Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fun in the snow

In addition to spending some time on the trainer the past two days I also ventured outside on the mountain bike. There is a canal a few blocks from our house with a dirt service road running alongside. Currently it's covered with 3-4 inches of snow which made for interesting riding. Somebody had driven a 4-wheeler on the road and the resulting packed snow made for good riding as long as I kept both wheels inside the tracks. The thing is, I had some issues holding the line so was constantly weaving around as one, or both, wheels slipped in and out of the rut. There was one section of the road that had seen heavy motorized and foot traffic so all of the snow was packed. This constant surface gave me enough confidence to pick up the speed a little which was fun. Other than that one section, however, I kept the gear pretty low so when I inevitably crossed into the deeper, wetter sections I was able to keep the pedals turning. A few times I thought I was going to stall out and fall over as my wheels slipped on uneven sections but throughout the ride I was able to keep it upright. Total ride time each day was only 35 minutes but it was fun to be outside doing something I don't normally do.

In terms of the trainer, I did another set of 3 minute building intervals this morning. This time my average heart rate looked like this: 154, 167, 182, 183 and 165 bpm. The numbers look good on the way up but coming back down it's clear that I'm having trouble recovering from the previous efforts. In another 1-2 weeks I'm going to add another set, though I'll probably do 10 minutes of recovery after completing the first set. Yeah, that's a bit weak I know, especially compared to the original recommendation to complete 3 sets in succession, but with time I should get there...

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