Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Training Summary: Base 3, Week 2

I guess that, what with this being sort of a training diary for me, I should make some effort to expand on the snippets of information that I write down in my 'Data Diary' with regard to the more emotional and subjective bits of how training has gone in the last 7 days.

GOAL: 'Hone in new aero position'

I think this is a 'tick'. All the intervals on Tuesday-Thursday were done in the aero bars, and I felt stable and powerful throughout with a good muscular fatigue profile (i.e. the right bits of my legs hurt by the right relative amounts!)

Monday: 65' easy - TT bike on the rollers.

Data: 222 W, hr 132, cad 88.

Notes: Noticed that the pedalling action didn't feel smooth on the TT bike, specifically in terms of L/R discrepancy. I need to check out (when I have time) whether the crankset is on the bike correctly.

Also, the wattages are significantly higher now that I am on my new TT frame. Whether this has something to do with the aforementioned crank problem, or to do with the new position being powerful, or to do with the SRM sensor being in a different location, I don't yet know. It is characterised by a reduction in the 'zero offset' figure of the system (from 600 to 500, roughly) but surely this measurement must be accurate?!

My feelings are that, as is, I get numbers that are uniformly about 25 W higher than they were on my old frame. As it is uniform, I have no real problem with this and have simply increased my FTP estimate in WKO+ by 25 W, and also my expectations of how hard I should be going.

Tuesday: 2x20' @ threshold - TT bike on the turbo

Data: 1: 297 W, hr 157, cad 93. 2: 303 W, hr 160, cad 90

Notes: After my rollers session, I decided that I was 'slipping' forwards on the saddle when in the aero bars with respect to where I was set up on the bike by Andy @ Bike Science (who came highly recommended and did not disappoint).

As such, I made a decision to put a longer stem on the bike. The other options were leaving the position as it was (cramping my lower back), trying to sit in the original position (never going to happen when going hard, so why bother) or moving the saddle further back (closing my hip angle for any given back position). So, I got out the 140mm beast and chucked it on.

The two things I noticed were that 1) I am not more comfortable in the TT bars than in the base bars, and 2) I feel really relaxed. To begin with I thought I must have been in a relaxed back angle and therefore not aero, but a quick check in the mirror revealed otherwise. Good news!

The session itself: as it's a tough one, and I was coming to terms with the 'new' wattages, I kept it quite under control. I suppose that 300 W is now below FTP, 95% or so, and this certainly felt like it.

Wednesday: 60' @ tempo - TT bike on the turbo

Data: 266 W, hr 148, cad 88 (for the tempo hour)

Notes: Relatively low end tempo - was initially thinking of doing it a bit harder but it was very cold outside and my legs were struggling to get warm. It was goo

Thursday: 2x20' @ threshold - TT bike on the turbo

Data: 1: 298 W, hr 159, cad 90. 2: 311 W, hr 164, cad 88

Notes: As it was extremely cold again, I set off on the first interval at Tuesday's pace, which felt like it was around 95%. However the legs responded quite well to this, and so I clicked up a gear for the second piece and the new wattage felt definitely more like the 100% FTP that this session should be (it perhaps felt more like 101%(!) but that could have been due to prior fatigue)

Friday: off

Data: don't tend to get power data in the pub.

Notes: The best intentions can sometimes go awry. I had only planned for an easy spin, but it was raining when I got up so I went into the office intending to go on the rollers when I returned. After the office Xmas party from 2-4pm, I decided to go the pub for a couple of drinks, thinking that I could then go home and do the easy session at around 6pm (two beers won't hurt, right?). However, I stayed in the pub until 10:30. It wasn't a rolling around on the floor type drinking session, but was great fun and very good for the soul - I don't often do that kind of thing so the long-term effects are going to be negligible.

Saturday: Hillingdon - road bike on the road

Data: to be uploaded

Notes: Thought it would be nice to mix things up a bit and kick off some mild anaerobic training with a visit to Hillingdon for the Cat 3 crit race. I basically arsed around at the back of the bunch, normally semi-drafting about half a bike length off someone else, to achieve some decent tempo training but with the caveat of a highly varied effort profile.

This is in complete contrast with the last 8 weeks of training, in which I have tried to make everything as isopower as possible (for good reason), but I think that when it comes to doing a TT you need to have some ability to vary your power output, even if it's just getting up to speed again after the turn roundabout.

Anyway, I planned to move up in the bunch with a few laps to go and contest the sprint in a non-meaningful way, but at precisely that point the E123 breakaway came through the bunch and we had to slow down. By the time they were clear it was 1.5 laps to go and I was totally out of position. I sprinted, but only from the back of the pack to the middle!

Good day out though, will return in a fortnight for more fun. Also realised it was my first road bike outing for a couple of weeks, and it was nice to be back on it.

Sunday: 2h30 inc 5x3' @ VO2 max - road bike on the road

Data: to be uploaded

Notes: What a session! Much warmer day (still only 5-6 degrees though) meant it was very pleasant to be out on the roads, even if wearing winter kit. Rode to the BUCS TTT course, met up with Jerry, rode the first half of the course until we got to the climb up to Milton Common. Due to the strong headwind I decided to do my intervals up the climb.

Unfortunately, I punctured just before we started. Therefore, the first interval was done immediately after fixing the flat (i.e. after standing around for 5 minutes). It was horrible on the legs, felt like I wanted to cramp, and all for a moderate HR. Pieces 2 & 3 were solid but unspectacular, and I took the risk in 4 & 5 to stay in a bigger gear throughout - same gear changes up & down but just overall one gear higher. This, although clearly a much harder interval, in a way felt nicer and the searing leg pain was accompanied by lung pain & breathing very hard, suggesting that I was definitely at my VO2 max. Jerry said he was doing ~330 W in the final leg and I passed him on the uphill section going a bit faster, so I would suggest that I was pushing close to 400 W on the steeper sections, and 360+ for the rest.

We then rode the rest of the course and I headed for home, tired but happy.

Bike totals: to come

Summary: a decent week with some good turbo intervals and a weekend spent on the road, giving my body a taster of the supra-threshold work that is to come in January onwards

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