Sunday, November 24, 2013

TR Lamarck (@95%)

TR Lamarck was scheduled today. It's a 4x 10 minute @ FTP workout. However, I chose not to do it 100% FTP, but slightly below that, 95%. Why? Because at this time of the year / this part of my build up I do not want to ride @ FTP too often. I do my Kurt trainings at SS or very slightly above, but not 100% FTP. My focus is on high cadence and sometimes on muscular strenght with low cadence drills.
So I just did Lamarck on 95% and tried to combine both high and low cadence. First interval high, second low, third high and last one low (only in the last 1.30min I wanted to finish with high cadence).

Here are the results:

1) 288W,HR 151,cad 100

2) 292W,HR 150,cad 77

3) 286W,HR 153,cad 100

4) 291W,HR 156,cad 80 (last 1.30min high cadence)

In every interval you see HR going up. Only in the second interval in which I did the low cadence work you see my HR being very much lower than in the first (high cadence) especially in the beginning. Why? Because I relied more on muscular strength in the low cadence. When not fatigued this is no problem, but when you already have some lactate in the legs this is of course much harder. It is also good to see the difference in HRs on high and low cadence work. High cadence just puts more stress on the cardiac system. Although there were other things that helped Lance he sure was a master wrt high cadence and if you can ride on higher cadence and put out the watts, just do it. In the final you will still have some extra left in the tank (legs).My HR recovery rates right after the intervals were done:


Basically at the end of the last two intervals my HR was higher than on the first two intervals. That is not really strange since I start to warm up quite a bit in the shed (no fan). Also the HR does seem to hold a bit longer at a higher rate after interval 3 and interval 4. After that they do drop at a faster rate than the first two intervals. After 115 sec basically only after the first interval my HR was quite a bit lower than after the other 3 intervals. Dashed lines are the low cadence intervals. Below you see the recovery rates (in absolute terms and relative % terms) 
In absolute terms my HR dropped approximately 40 beats per minute after the intervals. Only the second interval it was less. after analyzing it I have seen that in between interval 2 and 3 my average wattage was a bit higher than in between the other ones. This might be an explanation for this one. Both in absolute and relative terms interval 3 and 4 do match interval 1 on 115sec. O yeah, why 115 sec? Because the last seconds of every rest period I already ramped up and so did HR.
What does this tell me in all? That my recovery rate of the intervals is quite good. There is not a significant decrease in the rate of recovery in terms of HR which is a good marker.
Tomorrow I have TR Gayley on the program. This one is similar to Lamarck but the intervals are 8 minute instead of 10 minutes.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

TRs and Endurance

Last Tuesday TR Beacon was scheduled. "6x8-minute Steady State (95-99% FTP) repeats with 4-minute recoveries. Work intervals are spent very close to FTP/FTHR without exceeding it. " I had to keep cadence at least at 90 during the intervals.

I did the intervals as follows:
1) 290W, HR 152,cad 101
2) 297W, HR 154,cad 93
3) 304W, HR 160,cad 94
4) 297W,HR 160, cad 93

Last two minutes of the last 3 intervals I increased the cadence. As you can see this also caused HR bumps in the graphs. Its good to get cadence up at the end of those intervals: good for the heart/lung system.

On Wednesday I did TR Thunder again with the following data:
1) 274W, HR 145,cad 98
2) 283W, HR 148,cad 99
3) 272W, HR 144,cad 98
4) 289W,HR 151, cad 100
5) 274W,HR 148,cad 98
6) 288W,HR 154,cad 100
7) 255W,HR 151,cad 98
8) 295W,HR 152,cad 90

I tried to link this data to a previous Thunder workout I did but it was hard to find a relation with that one. I did that one at lower watts and hence lower HR. I tried to figure out whether I was doing more watts per HR but that wasn't the case. In the old Thunder workout I did 2w/HR and in this one 1.9W/HR. My HR also drifted less than in this workout. Well, what could be a reason for this is, that I did Beacon Tuesday evening en Thunder on Wednesday morning. Probably my legs weren't up for it. What also might be an explanation is that in the morning I see higher heart rates than later the day. Maybe that also has something do to with it. Anyway it was a good workout with good high cadence.
On Friday I did a 2.40h, 83km Endurance ride. NP 218, AP 207, HR 138, IF 0.7, PW HR 4.92%. I kept cadence on average at 95 which was good. tomorrow one more left: TR Lamarck. That will be a relatively hard one I suppose: 4 x 10 min @ FTP.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Not Superman

Last Friday I had another TR session called Clark. I only had 1 hour to do so I couldn't complete the 6 intervals; 'only' 4.

In the four intervals I did find my HR to go up quickly from the 1st to the second.

1) 282W,HR 149,cadence 97
2) 288W,HR 156,cadence 95
3) 294W,HR 162,cadence 94
4) 287W,HR 163,cadence 85

The intervals started off with 6 seconds on a high gear and get up watts quickly to increase strength (high force stomps). After that SS pace and halfway to a higher cadence (except 4th interval which had to be done at low cadence high gear). Nice workout. Especially since it emphasizes heart/lung functionality due to the higher cadence icw SS. Not too hard, but not too easy either.

Last Sunday I did a Endurance ride and also in this ride I focussed on higher cadence (94) and lower gear. It went quite well, did 2.30h and guestimated power (NP) of 200.

This week I hope to do TR Beacon, TR Lamarck, an Endurance ride and Thunder to finalize the week. Should be fun! Next week is the last week of Intermediate Base I and I'll move to Intermediate Base II.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Last Saturday I did my regular 'weekend warrior' endurance ride. I rode 2.40h with an guestimated NP of 190 which means TSS of 103. HR was nice low and steady.

On Monday I did TR Ebbetts. The instructions were as follows:"4x8-minute Sweet Spot (88-94% FTP) intervals with 5-second Anaerobic Capacity (AC) tags at 150-180% FTP; 4-minute recoveries separate intervals. The tags are short enough to avoid overwhelming the muscles as long as a quick cadence is utilized, so spin quickly through the bursts and then promptly return to your pre-burst cadence." (Trainerroad). Cadence should be above 90 RPM during the intervals and ideally above 110.

Yeah right. Here are the stats:

Interval 1: cadence 101, 290W, HR 147
Interval 2: cadence 100, 290W, HR 150
Interval 3: cadence 90, 297W, HR 151
Interval 4: cadence 99, 280W, HR 153

The third interval I justed wanted to try and see whether my HR would be lower with lower cadence (higher gear) and in fact I my HR did not really jump up compared to for example interval 2. My preferred cadence is around 88-90. The last interval I didn't care much about HR I just wanted to do the higher cadence again. In all it was a nice workout. Not to hard, but also not too easy.

Today I did TR Needham which is basically the HOP. I did not have much time so I just did 45 minutes. I was sweating too much because I was wearing too much clothes so it felt harder than it should have. NP 264, TSS 75.5, PW/HR ratio was bit too high with 7.9% as far as I'm concerned, but like I said I think my clothing had a large part to do with that.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pleasant surprise

Last Wednesday I did Tallac on the Kurt. I did not have much time so I could't do the whole hour. I only managed to do two intervals of 15 min. Basically Tallac is ''3x15-minute efforts spent in the Sweet Spot (88-94% FTP), a little harder than Tempo work but not as exhausting as Threshold work, to improve aerobic fitness - both power & endurance - in minimal time. Recovery between efforts is brief, just 3 minutes. This pace is well below FTP but still requires a high level of focus to remain on target. Further aerobic efficiency via Sweet Spot efforts by improving glycogen storage capacity, fat utilization, and the capacity for more intense workouts later on while increasing power output at moderate intensities. " (Trainerroad).
Today I did Trainerroad Goddard. Well. When you just see the workout in terms of average watts you think: no problem. But when the training started I was pleasantly surprised that it contained one leg drills and that the sprints had to be done at high cadence (form sprints instead of power sprints). "3x3min Individual Leg Training (ILT) + 10x30sec Form Sprints + 3x2min ILT+ 2x6min Cadence Spin-Ups; recovery varies.Increase SE (Speed Endurance) & pedal economy; improve aerobic fitness via Sweet Spot work" (Trainerroad). 
It's for the first time I did those one leg drills and it's quite fatigueing. At first I had problems with my coordination. My other leg also wanted to participate (I bend it behind me on the Kurt). You have to kick and pull to make sure your pedalling move stays smooth. It's nice to train your quadriceps. Also it had a sensation in my hips. Something different, but nice to do.
The last sweetspot interval I couldn't maintain the high cadence given the power so I switched back to make sure I could do the last minute. I could have done the watts but with a lower cadence, but that was not the intention of the exercise. Good to do something different for a masher like me. On long term I however do not think I will ever be someone who -at FTP- likes to have a cadence of 90+, but variety is always good in training.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Early signs of improvement

Training is testing, testing is training. Well, I felt like I had to do a test again since the last 4 weeks or so I have deliberately not put any (read: not too much) lactate into my legs when training. A lower cadence, with focus on putting strain on the legs (low cadence, high gear) and focus on breathing / heart rate / trying to burn fat, left me with a good feeling and a feeling my training felt less and less intense. I also got the feeling that problems related to my injury were slowly fading away (finally).
Now, that's all fine but at the same time I do have to make a small change in my FTP. Otherwise I will just be doing less, because I am improving. So, I did the 20 minute Trainerroad test just like 3 weeks ago.  Below you can see my feeling it show in the result.

                                                                              Power (watt)

                                                                              Cadence (rpm)

First graph shows the power, second the cadence. The red line is my old test of three weeks ago. Power for this test was very stable and consistenlty 30 watt higher, whereas a few weeks ago I started a bit too hard the first 2 minutes or so and had to back off. My new test is a good example of good pacing: getting into the right mode the first 2/3 minutes and then a stable wattage and cadence (88 rpm) until the last 1.5 minutes in which I increase the power output. My average heart rate went up from ca 120 (start) to 177 in the end. On average my HR was 167. Power to HR drift was 4.5% which I deem OK (<5%). I did feel I could do a bit more, but at the end I felt this was a good test of where I stand now.
The rule of thumb of taking 95% of the 330 watt for FTP setting would put it at 315watt. However, I would like to take conservatism into account and I will put it on 305 watts. Why? It was on 285 and I find the step to 315 too big. I want to build up slowly and really make sure my engine becomes very well trained (for fat burning and moving up to long tempo rides). I want to take that slow and not to overdo anything.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Paris-Roubaix in the polder

When I looked outside this morning I wasn't too happy. The road was really wet and it was still drizzling. But, duty calls so I just put on my Gabba and went for it.

I managed to keep it dry....until I was out of the street. My hamstrings were already soaking wet by then. It got even nicer when I got in the polder. The farmers did their thing and the roads were horrible. Mud, mud and mud.

Next time they invite Johan van Summeren to do a photo shoot Castelli can call me.  You can imagine what I looked like.

Anyway. It was a nice endurance ride. I did not want to feel any lactate in my legs and I succeeded in that. However, my body did feel a bit tired, probably because of the strain that the concentration brought with it.

2.42h, 87km, 32.3km/h, HR 145, Guesstimates: NP 200, TSS 128