Week in Review (Build 1, Phase 3, Week 3)

This week went a lot better than last week. I came in vowing to hit all of the intended workouts on the bike. I continued to run despite it being quite painful. I took two days off, then on Tuesday the treadmill was calling my name so I hopped on it for a 5 kilometre run. It was quite painful. The next day I decided that this may be an injury I can run through because it didn’t feel as painful walking around as it did the day previous, so I decided to run 12 kilometres on the treadmill again. It was not as painful as the run the day before, but afterwards it was very painful. I decided to try one more run on Thursday and once again, it was not as painful as the day before, but afterwards it was very painful. It was at this time that I decided to take off as much time as necessary in order for it to properly heal. Fortunately, the injury does not affect my swimming or biking, so I was able to continue on with these sports as planned. Here is what I intended on doing on the bike:

Tuesday December 10th: 3 x 15 minutes @365w with 5 minutes recovery (80 minutes total)

Wednesday December 11th: 60 minutes @ ENDURANCE

Thursday December 12th: 3 x (10 minutes @ 365w with 4 minutes recovery to 3 minutes @ 420w with 3 minutes recovery) (88 minutes total)

Friday December 13th: 60 minutes @ ENDURANCE

Saturday December 14th: OFF

Sunday December 15th: 110 minutes @ ENDURANCE

Monday December 16th: 4 x (15 minutes @ 365w with 5 minutes recovery) (140 minutes total)

The first workout was redeeming. Back home on my desktop suddenly the wattages had returned to normal. I should say, that the offset between the CompuTrainer and my powermeter is usually between 5 and 15 watts. I still have yet to figure out how to keep this daily fluctuation at a consistent number, and I am unsure if it is even possible. That being said, it occurred to me that I should be setting up the workouts on my powermeter as well as programming them into the CompuTrainer so that I can have the data from each interval reported by my powermeter as well. The reason for this is that this is the powermeter I will be using in races. Additionally, it is the same powermeter I did all of my training on in the summer, so for data comparison purposes it makes sense to have a recorded of what the powermeter says I am doing so that I can compare it to what I was doing last year, as well as have an idea of the numbers I have been holding, for races purposes. That being said, I have decided to present my powermeter data from now on. As you will see, the CompuTrainer is still being utilized because the intervals are nice and steady, but the wattage is skewed upwards from the wattages I programmed the CompuTrainer to hold. Here are the results from the first workout:

Tuesday's Workout

Wednesday I did a 60 minutes Endurance ride at Mac on one of the spin bikes. We were holding an indoor triathlon at Mac on Saturday so I had to get an idea of how we were going to judge effort on the bike portion of the race. These bikes are equipped with a power reading (that certainly is not actually being measured, it must be programmed based on where the tension dial is and what your cadence is). So within this 60 minute ride I put out 15 minutes at supposedly 410w. I was pretty tired from the workout the day before, but I would say that the power reading was fairly accurate, as I put out a very hard effort. On Thursday I did three times through 10 minutes @365w to 3 minutes @420w. Here is a graph of the results:

Thursday's Workout

Originally I had intended on doing this four times through, but when I got burned badly on the third 3 minute interval at 420w I realized that this was my fourth day in a row doing hard efforts on the bike. I decided that three was good. On Friday I did a 60 minute ENDURANCE ride at around 257w, and even with increasing the wattage slowly throughout the ride, there appears to be very little hear-rate creep. Here is a graph of the results:

Friday's ENDURANCE ride

On Sunday I was excited to see what the heart-rate creep would look like on my long ride. Unfortunately, a few minutes in I realized this would not be possible because the battery appears to be dying on my heart rate strap. That being said, I threw the intended 245w average out the window, and held 273w instead. Here is a graph of the results (with flawed heart-rate data):

Sunday's ENDURANCE ride

On Monday I intended on doing four times through 15 minutes @ 365w with 5 minutes recovery. It was going really well. By the end of the third interval I was excited and motivated to do the fourth. Then, I started hearing and feeling a strange bumping noise. I thought for sure I had a flat tire, so I got off the bike to check. No flat tire. I decided to continue riding. About two minutes later I heard what I would imagine to be something very similar to a shot-gun blast. Now I had a flat. I got off the bike and this is what I saw:

Blown Tire

I am not really sure what caused this. It is an indoor trainer tire so it is built to withstand high heat. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. Fortunately, I was able to finish three of the intervals before this mishap, then did a 10 minute cool-down on the treadmill afterwards. Here are the results:

Monday's Workout

Overall, I am happy with how the week went. The LACTATE THRESHOLD intervals are more similar to the demands of the races I will be doing so it is much easier to motivate myself to do them. Additionally, my knee is starting to feel better so hopefully I can get back into focused run training in the near future.

2 thoughts on “Week in Review (Build 1, Phase 3, Week 3)

  1. Hey Lionel – what cadence do you target for your endurance rides? I would imagine that to keep your HR static (or relatively so) you’re likely not seeing a lot of variability in your RPM number. Correct?

    Additionally, I notice that for a few weeks now your ‘endurance focused efforts’ tend to cap out at 60min. In your view, is this sufficient to tax your endurance system enough to stimulate positive adaptation?

    Lastly, I was able to hear you speak at Cycle Culture a couple of weekends ago – very inspirational stuff. Keep up the good work. All the best in the next season.

    Thanks,
    Eric

  2. Hey Eric, thanks for coming out to the talk!

    As for cadence, I just read a study, here is the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21479957 which gives a bit of evidence that low cadence cycling has more of a training benefit than high cadence cycling. That being said, there is a bit of variability to my cadence (20 RPMs at most), but for the most part I am holding between 75-80 RPM for these endurance rides. In a race situation I would never hold this cadence as it is very taxing on the run-legs. There I would aim for about 85-90 RPMs.

    As for the 60 minute efforts, this is the upper limit for this first build (that ends on December 31st with an FTP test). I am training for an imaginary 60k time-trial, and in my opinion, two 60 minute endurance rides, and a 2 hour long ride is sufficient for this race. You can go about improving “endurance” in two ways. Either increase the duration, or increase the wattage. Initial I was increasing the duration. Once I hit 60 minutes I then started increasing the wattage. I held 266w for 60 minutes yesterday, and there still was a bit of heart rate creep at the end, so I have not adapted to this pace. The upper limit of my ENDURANCE zone, according to Coggan, is about 290w. So if you increase to max duration, increasing to max wattage (without heart rate creep), hit all of the target wattages in workouts (also at max levels), then you should be absolutely certain that you will have a higher FTP when you do your next test.

    I hope that helps. Thanks for the comment!

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