Since I'm still on the broken list because of my knee, I've been interspersing some intensity on the bike with the usual running/skiing stuff. Its a strange concept, and I'm sure I'm doing it all wrong in terms of cycling training, but it does work to use a bike for ski training, to some extent. Anyway, I've since come to the conclusion that intervals on the road suck. So today, for the first time, I tried doing intervals on my mountain bike, and that was soooo much more enjoyable. Why hadn't I ever thought of this before? Since I normally ride in L3 just to keep up with whoever I'm riding with, it just felt like riding! I almost forgot I was doing an interval. Epiphany! While doing these intervals, I came to some conclusions which are probably quite obvious to the average person, but I'd never really thought about before...
1. If you ride a loop, each time you do the loop you go faster over the tricky bits.
2. The longer you ride hard, the sloppier you get on said tricky bits.
3. Humidity sucks.
4. The difference between my speed at threshold while running and my speed at threshold while riding is disturbingly small.
5. Using my big ring makes me go faster.
I figure I can use these discoveries to help in my next race. I will pre-ride the course, I will run any bits that I think I would ride sloppily, and I will use my big ring. Unfortunately, I don't think I can do anything about the humidity... and I don't really feel like running during a mtb race if I could be riding... and the big ring makes my legs hurt... and I never get there in time to pre-ride. Damn.