Oh my God what a beautiful day to officially start winter training for 2010! On the plate today was 3-4 hours at a good solid endurance pace. So I cued up Verdi's Otello (yes for you Shakespeare scholars it is missing an "h"...maybe you can tell me why?) and headed out to do a quick warm-up then 3 hours, with each hour being 10 watts harder than the previous. At the start of the first hour I dialed up 190 watts with a nice steady 95ish cadence and waited for the heart rate to settle. After about 20 minutes, when everything seemed to be running well, I began to razor it up to the two hour mark and then I dumped it into the 50x14 and proceeded to hold on for dear life. You can see the watts and speed hold steady and then begin to decline while the heart rate steadily drifted up up up until I was almost at threshold heart rate for the final 10 minutes. This time of year that cardiac drift is the marker I like to watch. Once I can ramp the watts all the way to the end AND have my heart rate stay parallel to the effort, then I know I am ready for hard tempo intervals and some sweet spot training.
In the evening was weight training. I am up to two sets of 12 squats with 185 lbs. I was a little worried that today's workout would make the gym work difficult but I was pleasantly surprised to find this not to be the case. Right now I'm doing squats, incline pull-ups, push-ups, back extensions and crunches...2 sets of 12-20 reps of each and really concentrating on form. In and out in about an hour then off to the hot tub! Tomorrow is a working rest day with 90 minutes of commuting at 12 mph. Hopefully I'll be back to full strength for another hard workout on Thursday, in addition to weights on Wednesday and Friday. Until then, ride fast and swerve!