This morning I felt surprisingly fresh after yesterday's class. I decided to do a full 90-minute class today, but to take it easy. I told Kate I was feeling fairly energetic and asked just how easy I should take it. She said this is a recovery week, so yesterday's class should not have left me exhausted and suggested taking it down one-third to two-thirds of a zone. Good enough. I took it fairly easy during the warm-up. When the 23-minute reverse pyramid began, I stayed two-thirds of a zone back. But today's version -- even at two-thirds of a zone behind -- was almost harder than yesterday's workout done full bore. The difference was yesterday Alex had us going at eight to ten miles an hour below our base speed. For me this is 16-18 mph, which is still plenty of leg speed and not so muscle-tension, making it hard, but more aerobic than it may have been at lower speed and cadence. Today, Danielle had us going at the slowest cadence we could manage without losing form, so I rode at 11-12 mph (~45 rpm) and that felt like riding through sand dunes or running in chest-high water -- lots of resistance.
Anyway, I did first four intervals faithfully two-thirds of a zone behind prescribed intensity, but went full bore at the fifth. It was only one minute long and, as yesterday, I still could do anything for one minute, including this interval. Between intervals I was resting "harder" than yesterday, riding at lower speeds and resistance levels, which left me fresher for the ensuing intervals. The first interval of the second set I also did two-thirds of a zone off. The second was only five watts off, then decided the hell with it, and went for the remaining three with full gusto. It was hard, but not overly so -- a satisfying workout.
I'll rest for real tomorrow. Promise.
P.S. That's 40 now.