Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Easy Life

Taking it easy
I admit, this one is going to be a bit thrown together... I had this post ready and waiting for some proofreading, but blogger decided NOT to save this is my Wednesday morning best re-do. Enjoy the smooth sailing rough waters ahead.

This week's musings are about dialing things back and taking it easy, specifically in regards to training.

"Easy" days are something I used to take for granted, things I didn't "really" understand. And I assure you, I'm not nearly an outlier in that respect. I see very few of my peers doing easy days, scheduled or not. And even the one's (like my previous self) who DID have scheduled easy days generally don't do easy work on them. So, let's talk about what "I" do differently now, and you can compare / contrast for yourself.

Easy Days
Up until I was forced to wisen up, my easy days (or the easy parts in my workouts) were never truly easy. I would run a little bit slower than my "normal" pace, or bike at a nice steady output. What I was really doing was avoiding my "easy" zones altogether. They are slow...slower than you think. My easy rides used to be around 180-220 watts (of a 300w FTP) but as I've slowly started rebuilding, my easy rides now hover around 80-90 watts. It's almost comically easy... but that's the point. Recovery, not building fitness. At a ~19 5k PR, I used to do easy runs in the high 7 low 8 min mile pace... too fast. (Of course I'm currently not running...but you get the idea) I think a big part of my nose dive into OTS spawned from my lack of getting proper recovery in my workouts.

The funny part is... training that easy isn't easy. Go try it tonight if you don't believe me. Jump on your trainer and try to spin below 90 watts (without going over) for an hour. Then tell me if that wasn't difficult... it's very easy to blow that away without even thinking about it.

Warmups and Cooldowns
These are the other things that I used to get very wrong. Warmups...sometimes I would get those right (before TT's mainly) but cooldowns...hahaha. That's what you do sitting on the couch, right?

Well, no. Kind of like a race car motor, your body doesn't really love going from cold start to pedal to the metal, nor does it like to be shut off from max RPM's. The warmup can really make or break the following effort, and the cooldown can likewise sabotage the next days effort. That's why you see a lot of interviews with pro riders done on their trainers/rollers following a stage, they need to ease their body back into the normal running state.

Speaking of easy days... that's what I've got lined up for this evening. Last night I did another Zwift Training Race through the Richmond UCI Worlds course... managed to hold on to the A group for the first 3 laps, then got dropped on the final climb (too many matches burned already) and finished 5th about a minute down. Still, I was happy, last time I did a ZTR I didn't even make the B group finish... Finally I'm starting to gain a little strength back!

Thank you guys so much for reading! I really appreciate it. Until next time...take it easy!

- Christopher Morelock

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