21 February 2011

training-trainer intervals

6 Time
of Day
trainer – 6:00 AM
Distance   Power threshold setting 330+ watts
Time Total – 55 min Speed 31 mph mostly
Breakfast 4:30 AM – PowerBar, water
Workout Food water
Workout Type intervals
Equipment Road Bike

It was just Dean J and Ryan D and me at Seattle Multisport today, kinda quiet and kinda nice.

Ryan emailed me last night letting me know he was bringing his race bike which I thought was sort of strange... was he expecting me to challenge him? Not likely, he seems to have these workouts mastered. He has superior leg speed for sure and that is what seems crucial to exceling here.

This was just my second time on my race bike this year and both times have been indoors so I have yet to feel the exuberance of riding this lighter bike outside. But it will come, and it will be glorious. :) The only bummer is like I said last week my position on this bike is not yet dialed in because I have switched to much shorter cranks which meant I had to jack up my saddle. I also tried to clone my handlebar drop and extension from my winter bike and it's close but not exact. Plus I slid my saddle back a touch to try and compensate for the shorter cranks and today it felt like I was sitting too far back. All that means this bike does not feel natural yet.

On the agenda today were 12 x 1.5 minute "peak and fade' intervals that start at 110% of your threshold and fade to 95% by the end of the interval with equal rest. Good stuff. I was about to start with my threshold power set at 320 but saw Ryan had his set at 330 so bumped mine up at the last minute. Riding in my 53x14 I was doing about 31 mph most of the time. For sure during each interval and almost that fast during the 'rest' period. From experience if you slow down too much ramping it back up is tough.

ASIDE – at my last threshold power test I managed to post 340 watts so I guess I should darn wall be doing these at 330 or higher. People (read: me) are so afraid to fail and so they set the bar too low. What's that called...? Oh yeah, sandbagging. We all want to be the big fish in the little pond.

Interval number two saw Ryan bump up his resistance to 340 watts and interval number three saw him at 350 watts which is where he kept it until the end of the workout. His speed also increased throughout the workout from the low 30s to the mid 40s! Nice job.

Tim had configured the workout prior to us showing up and he had placed Dean on the other side of the projector from Ryan and me. A bit of a drag. I did glance at his numbers now and again and was posting a nice, consistent ride. Good for him. Dean has been riding the trainer facing a mirror for months now and said it has helped his pedal stroke... I'd like to give that a try sometime. I know there is nothing like seeing yourself on film to improve your skiing so why not cycling?

I was not breathing very easy and it's starting piss me off. I feel like my breathing is literally restricted and although my legs are getting tired, my lungs are obviously the weak link here. For this reason I was afraid to increase my own resistance and decided to see if I could ride it out at 330. I 'm glad I was able to do so.

With three intervals to go I did increase the resistance to 340 watts and shifted to my 13 which resulted in me going about 34 mph. For the last interval I shifted to the 12 and tried to wind it up with 30 seconds to go and managed to finish around 44 mph. Ouch.

I was sucking wind for way too long after the workout ended... no fun. It took ages for my breathing to slow down and for my heart rate to drop. It does not feel quite so bad on the road but perhaps that is just because there I have so many distractions? Here you are supremely focused and supremely aware of everything. Sitting on the trainer I notice every little wrinkle in my shorts or every subtle shift of my ass on the saddle. Maybe I just hate riding a trainer.

Objectively it was my best workout of this type to date but subjectively it was not as good as I wanted it to be. I guess you gotta take what you can.

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