Within minutes of the sun rising over Mauna Kea the air temperature noticeably rises. Today’s ride was done and dusted before sweltering temps and trade winds could overly impact my workout. This is in contrast to a ride last week when temps were 10°C warmer and my heart rate was upwards of 30 beats per minute higher. Both environments are useful, but it’s important that the body and mind are prepared for the differing stressors—that workouts and recovery are coordinated to allow for healthy development. The goal of all training is to provide the body with adaptation stimuli. The goal is not to try and force change: the body doesn’t like being forced and instead responds by breaking.
The associated graph shows how my pulse rose and fell with recorded temperatures while maintaining a consistent power output.
Stay aware of what is happening in your body, adjust your effort accordingly, and take into account the roll that environmental factors play in your training.
Finally, if you’re going to allow competitive energy into your training, use it to be more consistent with your workouts than friends, teammates, or competitors rather than trying to train harder than them. In other words, train smarter. Play the long game.
❝ No two workouts are viewed by the body identically, even if they appear identical on paper. Sometimes the differences are small and negligible, other times the differences may be a big factor, even larger than the actual workout stimulus. …We must always bear in mind the physiological environment in which we impose a workout so that we can produce the desired stress and, hopefully, reap the benefits of the desired adaptations, which also require attention to our behaviours, such as sleep and nutrition during the recovery and adaptive period of hours to days after the workout.
Your body doesn’t experience an X-minute interval the same on any two days because you are not identical on any two days. The cells and organs that worked during that interval were not in the same neurological, chemical, hormonal environments on those two days.❞
~Shawn Bearden, PhD