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The Time-Crunched Cyclist

September 16, 2010

Aren’t We All?

I am into the third week of training with Chris Carmichael’s “Time-Crunched Cyclist” training plan.  For those who are not acquainted with its premise, the plan involves approximately hour-long efforts punctuated by several short, high-intensity intervals followed by short periods of recovery.  Research has shown that this forces the body into adaptations similar to longer efforts with longer, albeit lower intensity intervals.  Since I do not have a power meter, I am using the heart-rate training plan.  What have I discovered so far? 

  1. I had been making poor use of the limited time I was previously using for my cycling training.
  2. I am a wuss.  My “rate of perceived exertion”  is always higher, especially early in a ride, than my heart rate indicates.  I was not working as hard as I perceived I was.
  3. I am improving!  My average mph over the same heart rate zones has improved by 1.5+ mph over the past two-and-a-half weeks.  Not bad, especially considering the gusty winds I have been battling of late.  Even at two weeks I was more enjoying my usual mountain biking loop on the SS.
  4. I am blowing through the CarboRocket to fuel these workouts.
  5. My training volume is up, and calories are down a little, so I am losing weight!

Before I began the plan I did what Carmichael calls a “field test”: two eight-minute time trials separated by ten minutes of rest between efforts.  In another week I will do another field test to check my progress.  I will keep you posted!

This weekend I have continuing education classes in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and will be trying my hand at backpack camping along the Illinois river.  There are multiple trails for mountain biking and hiking nearby, so my free time will be filled with good, fitness-inducing activity in the great outdoors.  I am not however taking the SS 69’er as it has been sequestered to prevent injury during the raffle.  Please donate!  Every $10 gains you one chance to win the bike and helps buy glasses and medicines for my annual medical mission trip to India.  The winner will be announced a week from tomorrow!  Click below to donate and a chance to win!

Win me!

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