Some days are good, others are bad. This was a bad day.
The training planed called for six very hard efforts. I bailed on the third. I just could not do it. It was beyond me.
I almost called and end to the entire session, but I forced myself to stay on the bike and work as hard as I could. I used the failed third interval to recover, and did the balance at a pace I could maintain.
This was suppose to be a long ride. It did not happen.
Two weeks ago, I added circuit training two times a week to my overall training. My weekly schedule is now:
||Circuit Training and Easy Bicycle Training
||Long Bicycle Training
I am somewhat concerned that this is too much. It seems to violate the maxim “Train Hard, Rest Harder!”.
Today, when I got on the bike, I was tried from the last two days of workouts (I rode on Friday to make up for a missed Wednesday). I felt good on the bike, however, I could tell that three hours on the trainer would be very tiring, so I cut it short and called it a “recovery ride”.
The CycleTap power meter also started to suffer from data drops. It maybe time to replace the batteries in the hub.
This workout had something new – three long intervals.
After warmup, I did three 8-minute intervals at 90% or 216 watts. On paper, it looks intimidating, but on the bike it was not that bad. I had enough in me to hit the last minute of the last interval hard.
I missed my usual Thursday workout due to other commitments, so I slipped it in on Friday afternoon. The workout was a stair step routine beginning at 168 watts and increasing by 5% every five minutes until I reached 205 watts. Then do it all over again.
Since I was on fresh legs (no workout or circuit training the day before) I did well, including hitting it hard during the last step.
Another hard session on the trainer.
The workout called for six 3 minute intervals above my CP of 240 watts! And it called for the last interval to be 3 to 5 watts above the first five.
I was dreading this. I did not want to do this. I even had an excuse – I was tired from yesterday’s circuit training workout. But I knew I had to, so I climbed on the trainer.
The first interval was hard, but I got thought it. In fact, each interval was hard, but I did not quit. I did all six! And the last one was my best one. I am pleased. My legs are tired.
A long ride on the trainer.
After the warm up, the workout called for four 30 minute sessions stair stepping from 159 watts 195 watts.
The first three sessions went well. I could ride at the requested effort easily. The same is not true for the fourth session. As soon as I started it, I knew I was in trouble. After ten minutes, I had to take a break, so I stood which means I can only peddle with one leg at a time (because of the power cranks). After the short break, I could not maintain the required effort. After five minutes, I realize that the cause was lost and I got off of the bike.
I am pleased!
|Average Heart Rate
My average power is up 14 watts!
I was determined to have a good test. So, at the beginning, I went out hard, well over 300 watts and I held it for the first minute of the test. Then I dropped down to a more reasonable level for the next three minutes. The last minute was very deep in the Pain Cave. I can think of very few times I have worked so hard on the bike.
But in the end, it was worth it.
A rather easy workout between tests this week.
The main set consisted of two 20 minute intervals at 207 watts. This was easy for me to do.
However, the next workout would be the five minute maximal test, and I am not looking forward to it.
What can I say? I peddled hard. I suffered. I almost lost my stomach. But in the end, my 20 minutes maximal test results showed no improvement over my last test.
|Average Heart Rate
My non-improvement could be attributed to two reasons. The first is that the training plan has been focusing on increasing my VO2 Max. This would be reflected in the upcoming 5 minute maximal test. The 20 minute maximal test reflects improvement in Critical Power, or the level of exertion that I should be able to maintain for one hour. As such, it may not be surprising that I should no improvement.
Another possible reason is one a friend of my put forth. I started this training program right after finishing the Furnace Creek 508. I trained very hard for The 508, so it could be that my Critical Power is at a level that only specific training will increase it.
None the less, I was a bit surprised that I showed no improvement.
Next week is test week.
On Tuesday, I do a 20 minute maximal test – after warm up, I ride as hard as I can for twenty minutes. This going to hurt.
On Saturday, I do a 5 minute maximal test. This is going to hurt worst.
My last 20 minutes test blog post is here. I started the effort too hard and then settled down an effort of 250 watts after a few minutes. Then, my power slowly decreased until near the end when I redoubled my effort. As such, my power graph looked like a valley with hills on each side. I final watt average was a very respectable 246 watts. I will not predict my result, but I do hope it to be better.
My last 5 minute test was on a day I had a migraine. It happened shortly after I woke and I went back to bed for the day. I finally got out of bed and did the test in the late afternoon. Again I started out too strong and faded during the entire test. My final power average was 265 watts.
The two power averages, and my weight resulted in a Critical Power of 244. This test will be the first opportunity to show if and how much this program has been working.