As I’m now day-to-day commuter I’ve taken to using the 30 minute ride each way as an opportunity to do some of those short intervals everyone talks about. Well, it’s one way to liven up the grind of going from red light to red light and I suppose it gets me there quicker.
Actually, depending on the route, I’m actually riding much of the prologue course for Le tour’s arrival in London in 2007 – The Mall onto Constitution Hill and up under the Wellington Arch and along South Carriage Drive are the bit I take in on my way home and I bag South Carriage Drive on the way in as well.
It’s a lovely straight strip of road to really power down, marred only by the appalling road surface which makes it a little more like hard work. I find that I can get up to a nice clip and feel like I’m hitting one of those nice sweet “zones” that HRM fans talk about.
I’m not a fan and don’t use one. I understand and can appreciate that they do have definite benefits when used within strict testing criteria and with parameters clearly established. But for the type of riding I’m doing, in terms of times and variable conditions, I just think that the parameters become so fluid that trying to apply precise science to it is a bit of a false exercise.
For example, my resting heart rate is not going to be constant because some mornings I’m in a hurry and a bit stressed, others I’ll be practically horizontal I’m so relaxed. Equally I’m not following an obsessive dietary regime so that can vary wildly on the input side of things.
Instead I prefer to let my body decide when I’m overdoing it and to trust my ability to know when I need a rest. So far it seems to have worked.