"Long effort. 1x60min at a tempo pace (80% effort). The burn should be there throughout, but under control and tolerable. "
Donna was hoping to hook up with a group road ride near her home that didn't pan out and I was planning on a Shippen Dam Road road ride (near Millersburg, PA and part of the Millersburg Crit weekend). But when Donna's group ride didn't happen, I thought maybe she'd be interested in doing the Stony Rail Trail. Coach Chris said at one point we could ride our mountain bikes on fire road in place of road ride and rail trail is comparable to fire road. The obvious benefits to rail trail are aboslutely no interruptions, a very consistent level (flat!) with no rolling hills or disruptions in your heart rate, and you can stay within a few beats of the recommended heart range the duration of the tempo ride. It was perfect. We rode a solid hour in our prescribed heart ranges. Well, mine was higher at about 86%, but I was ok with that 'cause when I trained for racing with the Wild Blues Team, I was nearly always in that range. I was feeling the burn throughout as the plan recommended. Donna's range is a little higher than mine so I had to work a little harder and at times I had to draft her to get the heart beat down a bit (thank you Donna!). I think I had a bit of dehydration going on too from not drinking enough all day. That will make the heart beat a little higher too. Rail trail training at tempo is ideal and don't ever let anyone tell you it's not. Last night, we averaged 13 mph on our mountain bikes. My average heart beat was 152 until we were finished (155 during the hour at tempo). It was yet another good training session. (Feeling great today -- the true tell-tale sign of how good the session was).