Let me start by saying that I loathe lactate intervals. I like riding because it’s very Zen. When I ride, I let my mind drift, and wander aimlessly until I achieve a Zen emptiness that’s much like meditation. It’s very relaxing.
Lactate intervals, on the other hand, are anything but Zen, especially towards the end. It’s hard to be Zen when you’re riding all-out, panting for breath, and so on. I hate exertion (yes, I know that sounds strange coming from someone who bikes up mountains for fun), and I especially hate pushing myself all-out. I think of riding as being the equivalent of a nice aimless walk, and loathe running.
That rant over, I have to admit: lactate intervals are doing me some serious good.
Went up Mt. Hamilton yesterday, doing lactate intervals: 15 minutes at top speed, 15 minutes off, 15 minutes at top speed, and so on. I made it to the summit in 2:57, a good 18 minutes faster than my previous top speed, and made it to the bottom in 4:04, 23 minutes faster than my previous top speed. And felt fresh enough at the end to bolt my way up the one little hill on the way back, just for fun.
So I’m doing a lot better, speed-wise. Obviously I’m not going to do the entire Markleeville Death Ride doing lactate intervals (I was pretty exhausted by the time I reached the last one), but I do feel comfortable riding faster and at a slightly higher heart rate than I have up until now. I’m pleased – perhaps I’ll be able to finish after all.
I’ve also decided that I’m going to leave early on the DR, perhaps as early as 3am. If I leave that early, I’m pretty confident of my ability to finish. I want that five-pass finisher’s jersey. 🙂