1 thought on “Isabel de Castro

  1. Steve, that’s what I call “Interval Training.” I do about 10 miles of bike trail commute (each way) some days. Often, some Pathlete wsercs with me when I’m trying to do a light spin after a workout or going home. Usually they try to goad me into a race or pull off a dangerous pass, nearly hitting a woman with kids or some rollerblader or another cyclist. That’s when I decide to do some operant conditioning.So I settle in for an easy spin about 15 feet off the pathlete’s wheel. Okay, sometimes I have to go to zone 2 against Hinault Jr. Then I start doing intervals. Um, their intervals, not mine. They usually pedal along until I get right up on their wheel, then coast. The profoundly loud clacking of a Powertap hub is the signal for them to ride at 200% of Functional Threshold Power for as long as they can. They throw down for all they are worth for about 20 seconds, I let them get a little gap, and then they pop. When they visibly deflate, I adjust speed appropriately and cruise for a couple minutes about 20 feet behind them. They’re warmed up and ready to go now. I’m careful to spin quietly, and usually they are sure they’ve dropped me with that amazing jump. They get in a couple good minutes of rest, which is the most important part of any training plan. During their short rest is where I face the toughest choice of all: What kind of intervals am I doing today? If my Pathlete seems to be short on VO2Max ability, I do a Tabata protocol. That means every 20 seconds or so, I coast a little. The Pathlete takes off like a shot (from a very small gun) and pedals hard for 10 seconds, then rests, if by rest you mean “gasping for breath, bouncing around on the bike, looking around nervously.” 20 seconds later, ‘CLAK CLAK CLAK CLAK” causes him to stand up and do a little 10 second sprint. This is good because in addition to building supra-threshold power, anaerobic endurance, it will also increase aerobic base. Unfortunately, most Pathletes only have it in them to do about 4 or 5 reps before they are done for the day, and to get maximum value you need to do about 10 reps. Yeah, they just don’t suffer very well. But I’m working on the local commuter community, so there’s hope for them. On the other hand, if I want to do some subthreshold intervals, I coast, then settle in about 7 feet off the Pathlete’s wheel. He typically settles into a hard barely-subthreshold pace, bobbing shoulders and head, rocking side to side and all. After 4 or 5 minutes, depending on how I’m trying to work him out that day, I’ll soft pedal and let him get 30 feet, signified by his turning around on the bike, swerving into the oncoming lane, and look of relief. If I think he needs to work on lactate clearance, he gets two minutes rest before CLAK CLAK CLAK CLAK. If he needs to really focus on steady power outpout, I’ll let him rest for 4.5 – 5 minutes. Man, I’ve never had so much fun doing intervals before. You should try it. At first I couldn’t believe how consistently wannabe hammerhead commuters responded to this stimulus, but having seen it, I think I have found a new hobby. Man, they’re easier to train than dogs. Sure, some people might say it’s mean. But if they want to race, they need to train right. They should be grateful as hell that I’m willing to help them out this way. Crap, I pay a lot of money every month for coaching, and my coach is *way* tougher on me than that.


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