Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Finds from the Grind - Dam to Tower

My first Dam ride of the year on 1/20/2018.

I'm doing my base fitness building a little differently this year. Since last year was all about dialing in my posture and position on the bike, I sacrificed a bit of my climbing speed towards the end of the year. This year, my position is already dialed in, which makes me feel fast, but I can see that I am not fast. That base and power still needs to get rebuilt from the Autumn and Holiday break.

So, I look fast, but I need to lose the detraining weight and rebuild the strength. This year, instead of working on cardio separately from neuromuscular strength training, I'm doing both at the same time with an emphasis on climbing. What that entails is stocking up the mileage load quickly while I'm still going slow.

I used to be a gamer, and RPG's were my jam. These days, I treat my cycling as an RPG and I'm the little character running around. Unfortunately, this is real life, so the only way to build XP is grinding. The language works out with bike terminology too, since I have to grind those gears. I bring up the gaming aspect because one of the things I always hated on my second play through of a game was spending time on the underpowered skills and abilities in the lower and middle levels before I got to the high levels and could swat down bosses without worrying. I didn't like living in the muck.

This year on the bike, I'm testing my patience by living in the muck. I'm trying out my longer distance routes and steep training routes while I still suck at cardio and power. It's... not fun. But this is the grind. The only thing that makes this wallowing at the lower levels tolerable is my comfort on the bike. Usually, I don't dial in my aero position until much later in the year. I've got it now, and I'm stroking the pedals with that good position, which is building the muscle groups at these lower power outputs with that same posture. The grind is going to be all about smooth power this year. Oh, and looking fast, if not being fast, all year round.

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