4×10 frozen garage style

Mayhem prevented me from attending this week’s PowerMax indoor training session at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, but I had some fun in the frozen garage.

With flat pedals!

Setup: Cross bike on the trainer. Flat pedals. Sweat pants. Two t-shirts and a hoodie. iPod churning through the R.E.M. collection.

Mission: Continue Coach Lester Pardoe’s systematic base training. Last week we did 4 x 9-minute intervals at 90 percent of threshold power, and some exercises in optimal rpm showed me I’m a lot more comfortable at 100 rpm than 90.

Tonight I hoped to rock 4 x 10-minute intervals at 100 percent of threshold. Spinny style.

Warmup: I know they’re supposed to be important, but I don’t have time for such things.

Interval 1: Small ring and middle cog. 250 watts at 100 rpm. Easy.

Rest: Two minutes. Take off the hoodie.

Interval 2: Same gearing. 250 watts at 100 rpm. Not so easy. Focus on loose ankles and small circles. Firm up the torso and arms. Awkward. Less power. Too firm. Engage the torso and let the arms be lazy ropes. Better!

Rest: Three minutes. Take off a t-shirt.

Interval 3: I know spinning is important, but I live in the mountains and like single rings.

– One minute in the big ring/middle cog, 75 rpm at 250 watts.

– One minute in the small/middle, 100 rpm at 250 watts.

Repeat four times. In the bigger gear I notice myself shifting back on the saddle, rotating the hips/torso forward and really pushing across the top. It feels good. When it’s time to spin, my legs wonder for a couple seconds then come to life. Braaap! I actually feel fresher than after No. 2.

Rest: Three minutes. Take off the other shirt. Hairy, sweaty and building base!

Interval 4: OK, now for some fun. No time to count revs.

– One minute standing in the big ring/small cog, 320 watts.

– One minute sitting in the big/middle, 280-300 watts.

– One minute sitting in the small/middle, 250 watts.

Repeat twice and finish with another minute at 100 rpm.

Cooldown: Easy pedaling in the big/middle with four 10-crank bursts past the 999-watt max. That was fun. Let’s not lose our snap, eh?

Findings: I’m pedaling better, at least on the trainer. The weekend hike/DH adventures at Left Hand Canyon feel strong like bull, and I think the ruggedness is improving my Weir factor.

What about the pedals? I’ve been doing lots of these workouts clipped in. Today’s mission with running shoes on bent BMX pedals felt great. I like the free feeling, and I was NOT measurably weaker than I am clipped in. Even the mock BMX starts had some braaap.

Wherever you get to ride, pin it!

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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