Man, this morning was great. I got up about 5 - with no alarm clock other than the first light of morning and got ready for a ride. As I left the garage, the sun rise was an unbelievable shade of orange with the clouds over Four Peaks. There's not many better ways to start the morning.
I decided I needed some time on the mountain bike today and headed over to MMP to do some micro-intervals. The idea is that the quick acceleration and short recovery is good for building endurance. I was up for trying something new, and they were... interesting. I did 2 sets of 30 intervals of 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off - or 15 minutes total - with 5~ minute rests in between.
The first two minutes were torture. My body wasn't used to that rapid acceleration and deceleration. Once you push through the first few minutes though, you start to get into a rhythm that's kind of cool.
One of the main reasons I decided to try these today was to work on acceleration in places I normally back off when I'm on dirt. I'm bad about pushing into a comfortable rhythm, then letting the flow of the trail take over instead of pushing. Setting yourself to go every fifteen seconds means you're pushing with no regard for what the trail is throwing at you; climb, descent, turn, whatever. By the end of second set, I had really gotten into a good rhythm and was feeling much more comfortable accelerating on just about anything.
I followed up my last 5 minute rest with an "interval" back out to the parking lot from the South Ridge on the Long Loop. Ended up having a really good ride back and felt strong. Those short bursts followed by a long sustained effort felt really good. When I got through with my ride my legs were at that perfect "tired" stage where you know you've worked them just hard enough.