So today I engaged in some interval cycling. My riding buddy Mike has been doing them for some time and arguably he is a better cyclist than me. So, doing the math I figured it was time to bite the bullet and get down to the business of being a better, more efficient cyclist. (That translates into not being dropped on the hills anymore!)
The ride was short, less than an hour form the time I left my house and got back. 19 miles total…13 of it under interval workout. We utilized a 30/30 principle meaning, 30 seconds of all out intensity and then a recovery of 30 seconds which amounted to continued pedaling but only at about 50% intensity. Other than a brief “super high intensity” moment when the black Chow chased us, we maintained a great rhythm. (we opted for the category 5 hill on the way back rather than “dog alley”).
The blessing: I really felt like I got a great workout, utilized some muscles that probably needed some work and maximized my time on the bike. It is easy to cycle with little or no intensity. It was good to get out of the normal routine of just putting fast miles. And I think it also set a benchmark for my own endurance and where I need to be to keep up with the group and tackle the hills efficiently.
The curse: This something that has to be done consistently. Like anything else. It also made a statement for me that if I want to be better, more efficient, and more competitive I have to utilize interval training. It is hard work and my legs and lungs said a few not so nice things to me afterwards!
I addition there are some definite benefits of intervals training:
1.You get faster (running, cycling)
2. Builds cardiovascular strength
3. Burns calories
4. Allows you to train harder with reducing the risk of injury or burn-out that many endurance athletes face from time to time.
There are many variations of intervals, so play with the concept if you don’t already incorporate it and see what kind of results you can get. I think you will be surprised.
Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”
P.S. Coming soon – some great juicing ideas! Stay tuned!