Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Battle

Last night I had a battle with my trainer, power meter, and my mind. I'm still not sure who won. If you know me at all, you know that the trainer is not something I have a love-fest with. In fact, other than a good little spin-out for the legs on a rainy day, I pretty much despise it. I have always thought that the bicycle was meant to take me places. And as Dr. Seuss put it so well - Oh the Places You'll Go!

However, this year I have tried my best to embrace the trainer. I understand that a controlled environment can often yield greater results. This doesn't mean I have quit riding outside - just that once or twice a week, I'm giving the quality very-hard-trainer-workout a shot.

The first few weeks of hard trainer workouts went amazingly well. I train with power and heartrate and I liked the numbers I saw. So of course, it wasn't difficult to embrace the trainer when it seemed to be producing results I liked. Until last night.

The set started fairly well - I dare say I was even excited to see the power numbers I could create. As the watts increased, my legs got heavier. I found my mind starting to justify things: "Well, you did run a lot of miles last week." and "The weights you lifted at the gym made your legs tired." But I kept trying to fight back with "Only two more minutes, you can hold these watts - two minutes is nothing." And thus began the mental battle. My legs would falter, the watts would drop, I would use my mind to convince myself I could carry on. This worked until the final set. And I cracked. The legs just would not push any more. The watts dropped. A LOT. And I threw in the towel. It's sometimes hard to figure out when to keep pushing and when to come back to fight another day. Giving up is not something I do. But there also comes a point in a workout when gains are not being made, and I knew I had reached that point. Until the next battle, I will enjoy riding my bike outside!