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Crushing the Wall. (Or Not).

Beyond Suspension Training

In an effort to make the blog a little more prolific and interesting, I am going to try to post more stories, workout successes/failure, or just random ideas. Maybe I can spur some motivation or expose some new ways of doing things people might find useful(beyond posting short clips of workout movements).

At the bottom of “The Wall”

The goal of my ride today was to use a program called Xert to pace myself up 3 intervals of a 4-5 minute climb nicknamed “The Wall”. It is a rather enjoyable climb as they go. Located between Reno Nv, and Truckee Ca, it runs along the Boca Reservoir and Little Truckee River. ” The Wall” is steep enough to be tough but steady enough in the grade to allow you to get into a groove inside your personal pain cave all the way up. I wanted to move up in my Strava standings and/or get a breakthrough in Xert.

For those not familiar with those apps, they analyze the power you are generating and how fast you ride specific segments. In a nutshell, Strava compares you to others. Xert compares you to yourself and has an impressive feature that will tell you exactly how hard you need to ride to obtain a specific time or goal on a segment of your choosing. Both of these programs are great motivators and keep you in tune with your fitness. They are not just for elite or competitive cyclists and if you don’t already use them, check them out if you ride and want to add some fun and feedback to your rides. They both use wattage. Using power/wattage on a bike is somewhat the equivalent of knowing how much weight you can lift in the gym. Just like knowing that you can lift a certain amount of weight for any particular strength movement, you can gauge how much force you are generating during any given period of time(or interval) you are riding a bike.

Interval one: Tech Gods Say No. At the bottom of The Wall, The segment pacer needed phone reception to work. There wasn’t any due to being up in the mountains. I defaulted to using just average power for the interval. Halfway up and in the middle of the first effort, the Garmin computer that was gauging my power took a fart and just shut down. The joys of technology. I hit the power button, and it started back up(I have used it heavily, and it has started to show signs of aging). I was able to finish, but it wasn’t the breakthrough effort I envisioned at the start of the ride.

Interval two: The Nature Gods Say No. Back at the bottom of The Wall. I set my average power up alongside my current power on my computer and was ready to redeem myself. The goal was to obtain the highest average power during the hill that I could. I started to climb and got myself into a steady zone of suffering that I could maintain throughout the climb. Blue October’s most rageful song was playing in my head, and I was trying to match the pedaling cadence to the beat. I was about 2/3 of the way up and could almost feel the peak of the climb around the corner. I could also feel a giant flying(stinging?) insect that had crawled under my jersey and was now traveling back and forth across my back. HELL NO. I stopped, dumped the bike, and stripped off my jersey in the middle of the road. The relatively large and pissed off insect flew around me once and departed forever. So much for that interval.

The deer giving me some good advice and tell me to “chill out”, its just one crappy interval. There will always be more.

Interval three: Thankfully was less eventful. On numerous levels. No interruptions but certainly nothing to write home about. I was tired now. I also more have excuses that I will spare you. I did not accomplish what I had hoped to in terms of “Crushing the Wall”. However, it’s hard to stay frustrated when you are lucky enough to get to ride in such a beautiful country.

Not every workout can be your best workout. I did not “Crush the Wall” today. But as long as it’s still there, I will look forward a second chance at doing so soon.

A little recovery time on the dam across the Stampead Resovoir, between hill intervals.

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