Yesterday I went out to find out if all these days freezing in the saddle are making any difference. The good news is that I found out that they are making a good bit of difference. The bad news is that the pyruvate I make still doesn't quite love my mitochondria the way I want them to.
I do my Threshold power tests on the 276 climb up to the Blue Ridge parkway. I start at Looking Glass falls and go all out for 20 minutes, usually that puts me out right where the gravel road 475b meets 276.
Learning to cope with the physical pain of a threshold test is half of the reason to do them. The other reason is that it gives a fairly accurate wattage for which I reach my Lactate Threshold, the point where my body stops using up the pyruvate left over from the production of ATP in the mitochondria of my cells. (Thanks Dr. Chandler for the College Education on the Subject) When a person who is training knows their personal limits they can train to make those limits better and make themselves better while they are at their limits.
For me my limits aren't much higher than they were the last time I tested, in September, however I am much more comfortable at those limits. I am more comfortable with threshold and I can perform at threshold more consistantly- my watts aren't all over the place as much and I don't have to recover every few minutes.
Another part of my my threshold test was the 12-16 degree fahrenheit- that was the wind chill the real temp was around 25- temperatures and the headwind- ON A CLIMB!!!- that I experienced yesterday. Now, I have been riding in some cold stuff lately but yesterday was the coldest ever; my feet, hands, and face were frozen. The thing about it is yesterday taught me a lot about pain and suffering. The pain of the effort and the pain of the cold, it's pretty painful to lose feeling in a limb and then get it back again. I am slowly becoming better and better at hurting myself and dealing with it. I have to build the pain a home to live in and make it comfortable, invite it in to stay a while. (I know that doesn't sound like much fun but it is kind of maniacal- thats kind of fun for some folks)
Well that's about all the training mess you're gonna get out of me on here so for now.....
- T Crotts