Here's a letter I composed in my head as I was riding on Sunday. For those of you who ride with a power meter, 85% of functional threshold is is the "work" effort we use over at Endurance Nation. We spend a lot of time on our long rides in that zone. For heart rate athletes, it's likely the effort you see at Z3. If you can learn to hold that level of HR up and DOWN the hills, you can have the same kind of fun I am. Read on.
I love you. Even though you can be a nasty, nasty effort at which to ride, I still love you. Why? Because I figured this out about you. 85%, you are the the magic number that lets me show those guy roadies what's what on the hills.
Granted there are a whole caliber of men riders to whom this does not apply--their sheer speed leaves me in the dust. And not one of my Endurance Nation guy teammates would be caught by your wiles. But I'm not talking about the clubbing-baby-seals level of rider either. I'm talking about the general fit roadie rider. The guys who hammer the hills--and do it stoopid.
Week after week now, I'm catching groups or pairs of men riders as I use you--85%--on the flats. Then off they go hammering up the hill, often looking back to be sure they are leaving me in the wake. As I continue to ride with my new love, I take you up the hills--then all the way down the hills. Who's looking back now????? And who is not catching up again either, as I continue to pedal my dearest % down the road?
85%, you are the magic number. It's you, always you. And I love you. :)