Wednesday 14 May 2008

Interval Training Can Be Fun!

It was a very busy day at work, and my day was extended as I had to sit in on an Parliamentary Committee meeting for a group of MPs and Senators going to the US, so by the time I got back to the office and rode BlackAdder to the house it was nearly 7 pm. Luckily I had set up Dreadnought, my Leader TT bike, near the door. It was the first time I had taken the bicycle, which usually is my weapon of choice for trainer sessions, out of the basement in five months. I had to change the batteries in the Cateye computer/HRM (three in all!) and then headed out to the Eastern Parkway to do the time trial intervals suggested by my coach, Robert.

The first thing that struck me was how stiff and noisy Dreadnought is compared to my other bikes. I banged and crashed my way over the potholes that are on the road leading to the Eastern Parkway and I was really missing the Tarmac's shock absorbing qualities. I also felt a bit awkward as you really have to ride this bike in the aero position and I am not really used to that.

I rolled onto the Parkway and past the start line that the Ottawa Bicycle Club uses for the Thursday time trials. I slowly dialled in some speed as Dreadnought does not like to accelerate too fast. The heart rate indicator on the computer was behaving strangely and jumping all over but eventually it settled down and I reached my target of 158+ bpm and continued speeding up. The road soon became smooth and the rattling and banging disappeared as I settled into a comfortable pace. I was amazed at how much faster Dreadnought is compared to the Bianchi I used in the time trial last Thursday. The wind was a lot less on this beautiful evening, which probably helped too.

My intervals were 5 kms each, with a 5 minute recovery between each one. I was supposed to turn the cranks at 85-100 rpm but think I may have been a bit on the slow side there, but my speed was quite good, with a lot of stretches in the 40-42 km/h range. There were a number of other cyclists out enjoying the balmy temperatures too.

I met up with my friend Peter and we chatted for a bit but then the mosquitoes came out and I remembered an element of Canada I had always hated but conveniently put out of my mind. I think I was bitten 7-8 times before I got home. But the ride felt really good and I had a great time. Dreadnought ran like a clock, just maybe not so much over potholes.

Dinner was soba noodles with peanut sauce and fried tofu, followed by a small dish of Pecan Butter Tart Ice Cream which gives me motivation as a reward when I have done good training. Butter Tarts are a distinctly Canadian food item, like miniature pecan pies I guess, and judging from the video on my previous post Paolo Bettini has never eaten one. They are to make you fat while you watch "Hockey Night in Canada" on the television, I think. You can hear a discussion on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Morningside radio program from 1991 here, including mention of the runny vs. slightly runny controversy and the raisin question.

Since I am on a video kick this week, here is one about making Butter Tarts:


Will said...

Intervals .... ouch ... well done.

Funnily enough, Martin was in Canada last week and brought me back Butter Tarts.

I have been out of Canada for over a decade and always request these!

My diet is in shambles but yummy

Judi said...

I ride my tt bike in traffic - I love it. The video was cute.

Groover said...

I just found your blog through your comment on Donald's blog. Nice work. Butter Tarts sound great. Never heard of them before.

Sprocketboy said...

Judi, the first time I rode the time trial bike down to my training area in the heart of DC, I was sure that I would crash into every car before I got there! It is pretty unwieldy in heavy traffic and the brake levers are pretty much an afterthought, but I think I have gotten used to planning ahead now.

All the pros spend a lot of time on their tt rigs on the road and I have to do this as well, even if it means giving up some time on the Tarmac.

Groover, welcome to Tin Donkey and thank you for the compliment. Apparently, Butter Tarts are one of the few identifiably Canadian foods. I will not be doing a blog on poutine, an appalling mess involving french fries, gravy and cheese that is also distressingly Canadian.