Training Training Diary

First Speed Skills Workout of the Year

In the still foggy air appeared a lonely figure far in the distance. His approach, to the observer, appeared fast. Legs moving frantically up and down creating wild vortexes spiraling in the mist. The observer waits. He waits a little longer, certain of the lonely figures imminent arrival. And still he waits a little longer… and some more. Growing weary and a little impatient at the lonely figures slow progress he lies down and waits some more. – Me noodling my 50×17 gear today.

My first base period workout other than general riding in zone 2 was today. It is a speed skills workout to improve leg speed and force. Very simply I put the bike in one gear. Today’s gear was 50×17. I then stick in this gear. You can make sure of your discipline by looking at a very satisfactory cadence vs speed graph in Golden Cheetah. It would be even neater if I didn’t rely on GPS for speed measurement.

Single speed workout. Cadence/speed distribution.
Single speed workout. Cadence/speed distribution.

I like this workout. In relative terms it is quite a low stress workout as you will find yourself simply unable to spin any faster forcing your to rest. On the other hand you can find some slopes particularly demanding. But this is the purpose of the workout. During time trials I often find I need a gear between the gears I have. I reason that this is because I don’t have enough functional range of cadence available to me. I want to increase this range by forcing my legs to work in a broader range of cadences. It is very easy to give up on a gear and flick up or down the cassette. Unfortunately rarely is the perfect gear then found. I have also lost momentum trying to locate the illusive gear.

Today’s workout went well and I felt that the higher ranges of cadence were becoming obtainable. With the gear at 50×17 in many places I felt like I was spinning and getting no where fast. Coming of the back of hill climb training my default cadence has dropped a little. Looking at the graph above I can spot where my comfortable cadence range finishes as the red dots become fewer, less dense. This seems to be around 105rpm. I hope to see this point increase in future workouts to confirm progress.




I was aiming for an hour and half today. In error I was a little longer than planned. Realising I would run out of road for the loop I had mentally planned. From Nantwich I took a turn through Wybunbury onto the the Woore road. I’m not overly familiar with the roads around there. Quickly I realised that going to Woore would be best left for another day. Woore huh, what is it good for? About an extra 20 minutes. So I looked for a turn I could take to shorten the detour. I found it and went down a very misty lane onto the Betley road past the Hand and Trumpet pub. In the end I was a little over my planned duration and my unaccustomed hip flexors are letting me know about it now. I was getting tightness particularly in the left hip area in the final 20 mins. This should resolve after a few more sessions.

Overall a good session.  Apart from a brief moment grappling for the bars having hit a small but deep hole in the road coming through Weston. The cold eerie mist and still air was an enjoyable back drop and a complete contrast to yesterday’s warm sunny November weather.

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