Yes it’s more tasteless wordplay. Must be the endless winter effect. Cabin fever setting in. It’s been tough hanging at the gym constantly, even though the people there are cool and the environment, albeit sweaty, is actually pretty motivating.

Doing the math on this training project tells me so far that I’m on track. Whatever that means. I used to do the opposite than what I’m doing here now – just ride hard without any recognition to the data, to the process or to the little details that might really trip me up (perfect bike fit, top mechanical condition of bike, perfect fitting bike shorts).

But you get the point right? It’s easy to feel a sense of accomplishment by letting it all hang out and blasting hard hormones as opposed to being cold, surgical and precise in your approach. I prefer AC/DC naturally, because it’s so instantly gratifying. OCD training – well, that takes more getting used to. It takes a kind of commitment that often doesn’t come naturally. Well, it doesn’t to me, and I assume I’m not alone in this attitude.

As a result of all my research in quest of the best training specifics I learned this week that DOM is not just a sexual preference, it is also a condition called Delayed Onset Muscular Pain! It’s what I’ve been experiencing in escalating form for many weeks now. It’s what I experienced my whole biking life to be honest when training.

On Monday I rode indoors and hit brutal intervals (5 x 3 mins) hitting more than on PB, one of which was really off the charts. 386 watts if you like the numbers.

Then on Tuesday I hit the gym and rode easy for an hour to warm up. Then I hit the leg press, and managed to shatter my previous best by over 100 pounds, which was unexpected and rewarding. 650 vs 550 pounds if you like the numbers. How is this possible? Well I put it down to the fact that I wore a heart rate monitor during the exercise, because I wanted to see if my heart was really about to “blow up” or whether it was just in my mind, just a unhelpful, limiting feeling.

Turns out it was in my mind, because I barely scraped into zone 2 doing the work. In the past this had been a huge cause of concern to me, based on a feeling and a nagging worry that going too hard would  cause permanent damage. However, based on what I experienced this session, those concerns are completely unfounded.

So unexpectedly it’s a psychological threshold crossed, one which has existed going back many years to my time in Vancouver. I used to hit a long open section of twin-road by UBC and tuck into a full out effort. I often had a spooked feeling that somehow I was going to hard and my heart (don’t laugh) was about to explode. A kind of anxiety I guess. But also a kind of self-destruction. Kind of like not checking the Woody Allen bolts are correctly tightened on your handlebars before a race. For example.

I was finally able to overcome this inhibition, not through being stubborn or ignoring the signs, but through careful analysis of a measurable response to stress. Stress ain’t nothing compared to numbers!

Now I can get back to playing in the snow. Oh yea, need some new snowshoes, broke the pair I had for three years as I chomped across the thick crust snow a week ago testosterone blasting. I know, I know: less AC/DC, more OCD.

Photo credit: Robert Gesink