There are three kinds of training: endurance (or fitness), specificity, and adversity. Yesterday, we set out to put in some endurance training for Trans-Iowa, and ended up getting a solid dose of adversity training instead.
First, let me point out that despite the fact that it’s nearly the end of March, winter has not left us here in southcentral Wisconsin — nor in many other places from what I’ve seen. As such, we knew it wouldn’t be warm and that it would probably snow a little.
And so we set out.
It was brisk and gray, but the roads were dry, and we started to warm up and get into the rhythm of the rolling farm roads east of Madison. After a couple of hours on the road, we stopped at the CamRock Cafe in Cambridge for food and hot drinks and then set out for points further south.
It had started snowing a little on the way to Cambridge, wetting the pavement. The wind also picked up a little — enough that we decided to modify our route slightly so that we didn’t go as far south, hoping that we’d not have as much of the NE wind to ride into on the way back.
After running south and then east for the middle third of the ride, and turned northward and found that the wind had not only shifted a little further into the north, but that it was building.
We slogged our way into Oregon, and stopped at Firefly for more food and hot drinks. I can particularly recommend the Mexican hot cocoa. We were a little tired.
And then, we got up to leave and things really started to deteriorate. What had been stiff headwind in the middle teens started gusting harder. And the snow started to fly.
Large, chunky snowflakes blown horizontally by high winds after 60 miles of riding in the cold? Brutal. The stretch of this ride from Oregon to the end of my driveway will remain, without doubt, one of the hardest rides I’ve done in a long time.
So, some endurance training with a healthy dose of adversity. A two-fer, you might say. A bonus. Trans-Iowa has all the potential to be harder than that, but it probably won’t be harder in the same way (assuming winter does end one of these days).
And now for some recovery — before the next hard ride.