so I can say I TRIed
so I can say I TRIed

Training update: 20 weeks to go - power to the pedals

charlieeliseby charlieeliseMay 7th 2012
It's been a few weeks since the last update, whoops... And I was doing so well.

Last time I wrote I'd just had a cycle training session with SpinMonk. Since then I've been putting his advice into practice. The pedalling technique he encouraged me to do I have been practicing, and it was making me feel pretty tired, as I was warned - the more efficient technique uses more muscles so until I adjust it will likely be more tiring.

Whenever possible - i.e. when I'm not being pursued by a taxi or bus seemingly intent on running me down - I have been doing the technique: trying to relax into the saddle, pulling up and pushing down smoothly, and keeping that wobbly right knee in place. When I get tired my right leg has a tendency to splay outwards and it puts strange pressure on my knee which can become a bit sore, so it needs me to keep my mind on it. the funny thing is that if I think about it, it straightens out. 

He was also concerned I wasn't eating enough protein and not getting enough complete protein as a vegan. I was already taking protein powder but I'm thinking more about it now and trying to eat more protein and make sure I supplement. Apparently I don't need to worry about the complete protein thing - although the protein powder I use is complete anyway. This is a good time to be thinking about it as I'm heading into the 'build' phase - although again I'm doing what I think is best for me depending on what's going on. I need to aim for about 120g of protein a day, which is not easy to do, but I'm trying. Tofu, quinoa, beans, edameme, all that kind of stuff is on the menu!

Yesterday I went back to the spin studio to have a test on my lactic threshold (I think that's what it was called). My heart rate monitor seems to think I'm continually on the verge of a heart attack, but I feel fine. As a 27 year old I should be working at a max of 193 bpm. Yesterday I did a threshold test and was working at 92% throughout the test, according to my heart rate monitor. It seems it is approximately 20 beats out, so my estimated maximum is actually 212 bpm. Apparently it's very steady at this level which is a good sign.

It may change over time. I know my resting heart rate is lower than it once was. I hope a fast heart rate doesn't mean I'm dreadfully unfit. I noticed when I stopped it dropped rapidly but then plateaued out before dropping again. I don't fully understand what this all means but I will now at least be able to use the heart rate training more effectively: previously I've literally been working at max, which gives me no idea of what's going on at all.

Also after my triumph with the SPDs, of course, I've come off. Stupidly, in the wet, while stationary, at traffic lights. I had quite the bruises! Actually the SPDs have caused quite a few bruises but I'm taking it as an occupational hazard. I've continued to commute in them and last week started feeling much better on them. Hecate and I are not quite as one yet but I hope that will come! I'm also hoping it will stop raining sometime...
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