Spun out

The haze is receding a little, but it’s still classed as "Moderate" as in "moderately unhealthy". I much prefer air that isn’t full of particulates, and I needed to exercise, so at lunchtime I went back to 7Cycle for another session.

Every session at 7Cycle seems to be tougher than the one before it. I think part of this is their attempt to make everyone push a big resistance with a low rpm; coming off years of cycling where I was always trying to ride with a high cadence, it feels perverse to simulate riding in too big a gear. (Apart from those idiotic years of singlespeeding, of course.)

Today it started fairly tough, with some tabata drills (7 20 second sprints, with only 10 seconds’ rest between them) before progressing to a series of longer, hard pushes. Some of them were meant to be pedalled as quickly as possible, some with the resistance turned up and grinding out the revolutions. I chugged ever onward, seeing a pool of sweat grow around my bike even bigger than on Monday.

The last part was the hardest. The trainer exhorted us all to push as hard as we could, to avoid excuses, and as I struggled onward, I found myself in that strange psychological zone that high exertion sometimes inflicts on me. It wasn’t some sort of endorphin high where I felt great about the world. Instead, I felt profoundly miserable, my mind buckling under the pain in my body and the exhaustion I felt, plus the expected disappointment that I wouldn’t have done as well as the last time. I don’t recall feeling so awful since about mile 20 of my first marathon, exhausted and richocheting between mood swings. Of course, whereas then I alternated rage and misery, I was just utterly gloomy in that darkened room. It was fortunate that I was sweating so much, or the tears running down my cheeks would have been too visible as I wept for all my bad decisions.

Which is a good reason to exercise in the dark.

Leaving, again I was ready to keel over: I forgot to eat anything beforehand, which is a stupid error I keep repeating. At least I had lunch waiting for me on my desk when I got back to the office, and though I didn’t feel quite as energised in the afternoon as after the shock of the first class, my spirits were buoying up again.

Especially as the results came through, with the glad tiding that I’d ascended to the top of the leaderboard for that session, beating my previous maximum power by a good thirty watts. At which point a few minutes of pain and hopelessness don’t seem so bad.

Most annoying is that I can’t figure out if this has any benefit for my running, at least until Sunday, when, if the haze dissipates, I can head out to MacRitchie for another attempt. My calves are still a bit sore from the abuse meted out to them last week/on Saturday/on Sunday so I hope they’re recovered by then, and I can start plotting more graphs of means and quartiles again. Or do something else to justify the investment in all my shoes.

One response to “Spun out”

  1. I often get the eating beforehand wrong. Sometimes I’m just being perverse and trying to lose weight, other times, life and being just get in the way. But running on empty is a totally different experience, just have to keep it steady and get round without turning it into torture.

    My understanding is that the muscles for cycling and running are different, on opposite sides of the legs or something? But will be interesting to see if it’s helped your stamina, or if the intensity of spinning helps in a way cycling doesn’t.

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