Friday, May 13, 2011

The Bully Computer

Some days your heartrate just won't elevate no matter what you do.  This is quite common the day following a hard workout but there are a lot of potential triggers.  For whatever reason, Wednesday was one of those days. The workout called for 10-minute threshold intervals with 5-min recoveries.  This is one I've done many times and already have programmed in my Garmin Edge 500.  Sometimes I wish it wasn't.

I took off towards my chosen road for the intervals which is the perfect distance away for a short warm-up.  I could tell my legs were a little tighter than usual but nothing excessive.  I also knew that as soon as I made the turn and began the interval I'd be fighting an intense headwind the whole way.  I was prepared for this.

Garmin Edge 500 Cycling GPSI made the turn and hit the lap button on my Garmin to end the warm-up and begin the interval.  As is typical, the Garmin beeps at me because I'm below the target HR zone.  No problem, the heart always lags a bit behind the effort so in a few moments I'll be golden ..... except this time I couldn't get past threshold.  Here I was down in the drops pushing a big gear into a strong headwind, feeling the legs burning, and my Garmin dares to tell me I'm not working hard enough?  WTF?!?!?  I push harder still and occasionally manage to hit the elusive zone 4 but never for long.

I quickly recognize it's just one of those days where the heart won't elevate.  No problem, I'll crank out the effort and complete the workout as planned even if the numbers look off.  That works for a little while, but let's not forget ..... this is a workout ..... I am suffering ..... AND THAT DAMN COMPUTER KEEPS BEEPING AT ME!  Now I'm not just riding hard, but I'm busy cursing at a tiny electronic device that I paid good money to have.  Thankfully I'm on an empty country road because I doubt I'd appear sane to anyone who happened to hear me.  In the back forefront of my mind I'm envisioning grabbing the computer and tossing it angrily into the brush.  I can't though.  I know if I did I would just as quickly hop off my bike and be on my knees searching for it in the tall grass, telling it I'm sorry, begging it to let me find it ..... and that would be the moment a farmer walking his dog would pass by.  We cyclists have enough public image problems without me adding to it.  Oh well, time to HTFU, finish the workout, and get home.

So, what about you fellow endurance athletes?  Ever have the urge to destroy your computer/watch while working out?


Michael said...

YES!! Most of the time it's great to have the Garmin by your side, but sometimes I want to toss it away as far as possible and go back to life without it....but then I would immediatly regret it!

Tri-James said...

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

You have to make adjustments and know when to call a workout. Check the ego, turn the GPS off.