MENTAL & METABOLIC COMPONENT OF INTERVAL TRAINING
As we begin to increase fitness this year = longer intervals, higher intensity, and/or both- I want to point out a small trick that I feel is/has significantly helped me in conquering new goals in my power and paces.
When you look each morning at your training document to see the Rx'ed workout- review the strategy by calculating the total minutes of actual effort.
Use both the science and mental component to dial in the true goal of the workout rather than potentially being overwhelmed or dreading if you can actually "hit" workout.
Example Workout: 1hr Bike with 9x3min @ your Olympic distance power, pace, or heart rate (threshold) with 2min very easy recovery between each hard interval.
BIG PICTURE- after the warm up and cool down, this truly is only 27min of effort (less that half an hour)...
You have 33min of active recovery, below both zone 2/ active recovery hr rate and power!
Another trick I like to play when the interval seems overwhelming I like to compare the interval length to something completely out of the sport.
If we use the same 9x3min @ threshold example- I like to imagine that my next interval will take me LESS time that unloading my dishwasher at home.
Ok, so your mind trick and comparison may be better than mine- but try it- I can tell you, I personally love tackling an interval more than doing my dishes!
When you look at the workout like this, it seems far more manageable mentally and metabolically to recover.
You are only going to need roughly 150cal of carb to recover fully from these efforts. (ex: banana + piece of toast or 1/2c milk in your coffee- that's not much at all!).
Play games/ tricks in training- it is fun to test the waters and stretch your body and mind- guess what, if you have to stop mid point on an interval bc you aren't quite nailing it- that's ok, jump back in and try again, training is about the accumulation of effort not perfection.
Just like in life, you gotta go for it, OVER AND OVER!