|The start of Viscous Cycle Gran Fondo Winthrop 2016. Frame from cool video by C. Warren, Sept. 25, 2016.|
With science we can characterize performance. In my training I rely a good deal on heart rate and I've been following a fairly structured approach - especially with respect to patterns of periodization, how one balances hard and easy efforts and rest, during workouts, across weeks, across months, and for the whole year. Perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively, to go fast, the research seems to show that you should either go easy (about 80% of your training time) or go hard (about 20% of your training time). But, crucially, you should generally avoid the middle ground, with some exceptions.
I've been riding with a heart rate monitor and being quite disciplined about keeping my heart rate within the targeted zones, and building in recovery days and weeks. Sometimes I think that by relying on heart rate I miss out. By focusing on numbers, I worry that I might not be as in touch with my bodily sensations, which arise from different levels of effort. In other words, perhaps the heart rate monitor is a kind of cheating. On the other hand, perhaps if I use a heart rate monitor in particular ways I'll learn more about the sensations that come from exercise. I conclude that the heart rate monitor as a double-edge sword. And therefore it is up to me to learn how to use it well.
Generally, I think that I can readily tell the difference between Zone 1 and high Zone 2 or above without heart rate feedback. But, the difference between high Zone 1 and low Zone 2 can be hard to detect.
And so I think there is something very interesting about the intersection between the quantification of performance and the meanings that we invoke about our bodies when we ride.
In any case, in 1965 these guys were racing on bikes similar to mine. They are racing on gravel, at least in part. I wonder how they quantified their performance? Whatever! These racers seem to be enjoying themselves, at least by some definition of fun! Check out the awesome video: 60 Cycles,
|Here's some Quebec gravel from 1965! 60 Cycles, 16 min. film,|
directed by Jean-Claude Labrecqu, from the
National Film Board of Canada.
I'm lucky to be alive. To be able to experience the pleasures of turning my peddles is a remarkable gift.
Looking forward to Gran Fondo Winthrop. I hope the Diamond Creek Fire slows and that the forests and properties in the Methow Valley are safe and that its possible for us to visit Winthrop and ride without bothering the fire fighters and incident personnel.