Sprint Intervals.

I've been doing more sprint intervals lately, trying to build up my peak power and recovery capabilities. It's a lot of fun.
When I'm not pouring everything I have into the pedals, digging myself deeper into the black hole, I'm draped over the handlebars, gasping for air, barely spinning the cranks on the easiest cog. When I stop retching and can finally control my breathing, I start spinning easy. Eventually my heart rate comes down. Then I start all over again.
Here's the thing- I can grind out a steady state workout at a respectable wattage for an hour or I can do sprint intervals combined with stupid-easy spinning for the same amount of time. The sprint intervals will give me a higher Intensity Factor and Training Stress Score nearly every time. Sprint intervals are always more interesting to me than grinding out long TT efforts, because I can get them over with quicker and then crawl off to the corner to cry. With TT efforts, I'm constantly looking at the clock to see how much time is left before I can stop.
Still, I know I need some longer intensity-oriented sections to round out the fitness. Having an explosive Kittel-esque sprint means less than diddlysquat if you get dropped on the first bump. I've been mixing in some longer stuff to increase my tolerance for the suck. A few years ago I used to do a lot more of that sort of thing, but I find I don't have the enthusiasm for it like I used to. At some point or another a switch flipped in my brain and body. I'm thinking about starting some Functional Threshold Power (FTP) building workout plans, but with the season just around the corner, I probably won't get around to it next year. I guess I have that to look forward to.
I think I'm in better shape than I was this time last year, but I won't know until I pin on a number and race a few times. All of these numbers mean next to nothing compared to the cold, hard reality of getting shelled. On very rare occasions you get pleasantly surprised, but you have to be careful to qualify anything pleasant with things like "so-and-so wasn't there", "that guy wasn't on form", or "I got lucky", lest you start actually convince yourself you have any form whatsoever. That's just setting you up for disappointment. Better lucky than deluded. So, I'll continue my sprint intervals and hacking recoveries, and we'll see where I am in the spring.
Good chance I'll be off the back.


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