30/30's, inside on the trainer
After several weeks of great weather in October we finally had a cold rainy day in he upper 30's to low 40's so todays intervals were done on the Cycle-Ops Indoor 400. Just like last week we did 3 sets of ten 30 second on 30 second off efforts with 5 minutes between the sets. I also used this as an opportunity to go for a higher cadence at 110+. As a result todays average power for the sets was 487, 483 and 485 was lower than last weeks efforts.
The one advantage of riding indoors is its easier to sit in the saddle and settle into a decent wattage output without having to worry about any traffic, turns, hills, etc. The power profiles are about as flat as they'll ever be. It also seems a little easier to bring up the average in the last 10 seconds if its seems like I'm going to come in too low. My lowest power out of the 30 intervals was just under 470 and the highest was 505.
The disadvantages are the usual issues with riding indoors at intensity. It always seems more difficult given the same power, the time seems to go by slower, you seem to notice the Hr going up more than when outside, you sweat a lot more, etc. Shifting on the Cycle-Ops is also a little more challenging than a regular bike. There is just a small toggle button that moves the wattage up and down (you can also use gears or slope but I like the wattage number as a goal). I start each 30 second effort at a setting of about 330-350 watts and just keeping upping it until I'm at 520-530 at around the 10 second mark. The ability to generate really big watts in just 30 seconds is tougher inside and seated. Going in and out of the saddle while shifting outside allows bigger power. While my outside cadence riding up a slight slope at Ault Park was in the mid 80's my indoor cadence was around 110 average. I even had a couple at 115 and one at 124. At the indoor and outdoor time trials I'm between 105 and 110. At the end of the 30 seconds there is the issue with the Cycle-Ops that when you slow down just a little at that wattage setting that the pedals lock up. I quickly shift back to about 180 in 5-10 seconds and start pedaling again until its time for the next effort.
I have another day on these scheduled for tomorrow after the morning spin and circuit classes.
Nice Testimonial From An Athlete I Work With
This is from Tim Collins, a local Cincinnati rider who is moving to Seattle. Tim is one of the up and coming riders. In the Mt. Washington Hill Climb, the toughest in the world, he finished 30th out of 600 in the elite field. His road racing, crits and time trial results have improved tremendously as proven by the state championship medals. he sent this to the Team QCW google group as part of an email thanking the team for support over the last several years:
Lastly, a quick plug for Peter's coaching services. After plodding along for the past few years, I decided to get serious and start working with Peter last November. My results instantly improved, I was riding more aggressively and more consistently, and enjoying racing a whole lot more. In just one season working with Peter, I took over 90 seconds off my Cleves PR! It's definitely a monetary and time investment, but I encourage you to at least talk with Peter about options to work with him and see if there's a solution that will work for you. I was able to notice significant improvements with many weeks of just 8-12 hours of training.
Power Training at the Cincinnati Sports Club
if you've never trained with a power meter but want to test yourself to find your zones I will be offering training with power this fall and winter. We'll determine your zones with a couple of 8 minute all out efforts and then offer Spin classes focused on training within the various zones. training with power has many advantages over just training with Hr. Club members can get the test performed for $20 and take the classes for $10. Non-members will have to add $10 to each. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
30/30, day 2 and other comments
Started off today with a 6:00 am one hour training session with a tri-athlete I work with. He's great client. He'll be 70 next year and is still super enthusiastic about his training and getting faster on the bike, in the water and on the run. He also wins, a lot. I hope I'm still hammering at that age.
After that I taught the 8:15 spin (we did a simulated group ride with no breaks, lost a of fast paced efforts with plenty of climbing) and then taught the 9:15 circuit (lots of core work, lunges, squats, pushups, and ploy-metrics). I was pretty tired after that two hour stretch so I waited a couple of hours to do the 30/03's.
I used the course at Ault Park again and the average power for each of the 3 sets of ten were 566, 570, and 568. Not too far below yesterdays but i also didn't hit the 600+ power. Had a couple at 595-597 but also a low of 518 on the third of set 1 and a couple of 540's.
Have a two hour endurance ride tomorrow and then taking the weekend off to travel.
On the schedule yesterday and today are thirty 30 second efforts. These are split into three groups of 10 with about 5 minutes between and 30 seconds between each of the 30 second efforts. Yesterdays results by each group of 10 were average power of 568, 578 and 560 with highs of 610-620 in the second set and lows around 540. I used the loop at Ault Park by starting at the bottom of the circle heading clockwise and sprinting up the slight grade, turning around, coasting back to the bottom and assuming no traffic was coming I sprinted up to what the AP series uses for the finish. Didn't feel like I had any residual effects from Sundays Crankenstein tt. I have another round on these today after I teach spin and circuit classes. Its been nice to have some warm days to do these. It won't last forever so I'll take advantage of it. The first indoor tt is two weeks from Sunday. I've signed up for the 3:00 pm time slot for all four of them through the winter months.
I love riding time trials and I love long rides. You'd think combining them would be pretty easy. I know I thought that, and I was wrong.
There were ten 3 man teams at Crankenstein. The first two laps started with a mass start. The first rider to complete the 22+ miles was back in 51:40 or so, or about 25.9 mph. Our first rider was about 3 minutes behind this. No big deal as our second rider f had us in second place when he finished his two laps. I was on the course but still about 4 minutes or more behind the lead rider. He just recently won the national championship time trial so he was destined to put more time into the lead.
I was looking at 5 laps, the first two solo, and what turned out to be 57 miles total for all five. My two laps took around 53-54 minutes and we completed our 3 laps in about 1:20:00 or 26 minutes per lap. This did include one stop for a bathroom break for one of the riders on our team. It was actually nice to slow down the pace for a bit. As a team we completed the 100+ miles in 4:01:00 or so and took second place overall.
A couple of things I learned:
tt bike setup/position for shorter courses isn't the best for long courses; bars need to come up and saddle may need to go lower; the neck discomfort was pretty annoying
definitely need to train for this: I really didn't do anything specific; the recent power intervals have been a challenge but some specific long tt efforts might have helped
at this distance its not so much a matter of a super high heart rate, since I can't hold it in zone 5 that long anyway, but the muscular endurance needed is now obvious; quads and gluteus were and still are sore; I haven't felt like this since the 225 mile one day ride across Kentucky last year
These long time trials will never be my forte or a primary goal but they are fun to try. I'd do this one again but will make some changes to the bike and to my training heading into it.
Headed to Crankenstein
The 100 mile Crankenstein team time trial is today. First rider is off around 10am. I'm third in line in our three man team so I should be off around 11:30-11:45. At the end of my two laps the other two join me for another three laps. I've never done a tt this long so it should be interesting. Like all tt's, its about pacing and the pace for this certainly can;t be the same as our Tuesday 10 mile course. I'll get a feel for it on the first lap of my individual and then we'll have to see how everyone on the team feels during our rotation on the last three laps.
15x1's, third day this week, 6th in last two weeks
Wrapped up the last day on the 15x1 power intervals today. Did three consecutive days this week and three last week with one day between the 2nd and 3rd day. That makes 90 of these since last Tuesday. Certainly better not to think about that when I first started them last week.
Todays average power was 475, the lowest of all 6 days. Not too surprising. Didn't have any above 500 today. Normalized power for the 45 minute ride was 345. Heart rate was hitting 95-97% at the end of the efforts but still going back down to 80% in the minute between. I do always hit the trainer when I get home for a cool down. Riding more circles at the park would be an option but I'd rather spin at an easy pace while I read some magazines.
I'll ride very easy tomorrow (inside) and Saturday in preparation for the 100 mile Crankenstein time trial relay. Not too concerned about this being my best effort but should be able to put in a solid ride. I'll be riding the first leg (22-23 miles) and then the last 33 miles with my other two team mates. After that the next event will be the indoor time trial in Dayton. The multiple power intervals should help with that and I assume there will be more on the calendar.
Started today with the 55 minute 8:15 am spin. I had the class ride non-stop on a simulated group ride with plenty of climbing, pace line efforts, steady state efforts and some sprints at the finish. Followed that up with my 55 minute circuit class at 9:15. We did plenty of strength work (squats, lunges, pushups, rows, etc), core work, and plyometrics with lunge jumps, speed skaters, power jumps, etc.
Hit the bike around 3:00 pm to do the next set of 15x1's. Decided to shorten the time between from a minute to about 45 seconds since this was the actual time it takes to coast from the back of the pavilion back down the the bottom of the circle. Also went for a higher cadence of around 100. Average power for all was a little lower than the previous efforts at 478. Heart rate was above 160 for 18 minutes which includes plenty of time between when HR was high while power was to about 0. Normalized power for the entire 50 minutes was 350.
TriAthlete Magazine Article on Weight
The November issue of TriAthlete magazine had an nice article about athletes and their weight issues. The article highlighted three athletes with three different issues with their diet and weight.
The first one was the 'scale conscious under eater'. Basically this person was attempting to lose 5 lbs but just not seeing results even though the diet was pretty dialed in. After some testing it was determined that the athlete was under eating by about 600 calories per day which caused her to conserve fat. She had to start eating more to lose more weight. Seems counter-productive but it is true. You have to add fuel to the engine to keep it burning.
The next profile was the 'carb junkie and serial snacker'. About 50% of this persons diet was snacks like crackers, yogurt, candy, fruits. There many small meals with inadequate calories. There was also a problem with low energy for the workouts. In the end an increase in protein and good fat led to more energy and faster times.
The third profile was of the 'overly virtuous eater'. This athlete was super over the top about always eating only the best food to the point that going out to restaurants with friends and family wasn't an option. In the end learning how to relax a little bit and enjoy some of the bad food (i.e., pizza, ice cream, etc) occasionally led to a better balance in life with no effect on performance.
Another day of 15x1's and Weight Training
Did another 15x1 minute power intervals with an average for all fifteen of 489 watts. Two more days of these this week before the Crankenstein team tt on Sunday. These never get easier, Ideally you just add more power. Had a high of 517 and a low of 454. Used the course at Ault Park.
Have also started to ramp up the weight training. While I keep it going all year I do start to increase the time spent each week lifting through the winter months. I primarily use free weights for lunges, squats, curls, presses, etc and also use benches, boxes and Bosu's to vary the workouts. I also throw in a lot of pushups, chin-ups, pull-ups, planks, etc. If you have free weights you can do all of these at home. I rarely sue machines that isolate muscles or just aren't good for us. In that realm I include the Smith Machine, the leg press and leg extension machines. They have you move in unnatural motions, put too much pressure on your back, and have put too much pressure on the ligaments of your knee respectively. I would also avoid the clean and jerk and Olympic dead lift (and other similar exercises) unless you're properly trained.
I have a lot of people ask about some of the high intensity exercise programs like CrosstFit. While it has some benefits I've seen too many dangerous moves (see above) or just stupid workouts (45 minutes of squats---are you kidding??) to make them worthwhile. The same goes for TRX. I think its a great option, especially for vacation or home use or to add variety at the gym. I don't think its any better than a program that you can put together with free weights incorporating plyometrics, balance exercises, etc. My opinion is that our muscles don;t know and don't care how they are worked. They simply respond to being stressed and allowed to recover.
15x1 Power Intervals, 3rd time this week
I can't say these are any more fun the third time in a week but I am getting acclimated to them. I rode an easy 30 miles with about 2000' of climbing yesterday after hiking 10 miles in the morning. Today I hiked a few miles in the morning with a backpack full of camera gear (see mu Facebook if you want to check out the photo's). I did the 15x1's after lunch.
Within the 15 efforts I hit my best of the 45 efforts this week with a 525 or 6.8 watts/kg and also my lowest at 425 on the last effort. Average for all 15 was 481 or 6.24 wts/kg. have to admit that after the 12th effort today that I took double the time between. I was about to call it a day since my HR was coming down in the minute between. Usually I'll hit somewhere in the low 170's and then get back to the upper 130's or 140's but I was still hovering in the 160's after a minute. That is the idea once we get into them but I just couldn't start another one so I backed off. Might be that 45 of these in 4 days is a lot or might be that I didn't feed all day like I normally do. I was pretty much running on 5 or 6 power bars since 8 am. Not nearly enough. Still, the overall average power was pretty decent.
15x1's, day 2
Taught my 8:15 spin class with a heavy emphasis on high cadence 9in and out of the saddle, sprinting, etc) for 55 minutes and then taught a 55 minute strength class (covered all of the major muscles and ended with 10 minutes of plyometrics) and then drove 5 hours to Tennessee. Once here I hit the road that leads to our house to do the 15x1's.
Average power for all 15 today was 494, much better than yesterdays 468. Watts/kg was 6.4 compared to yesterdays 6.07. Out of the 15 efforts 7 were above 500 with 517 and 515 being the highest. The lowest was the last effort at 461. We have few more of these efforts over the next 4-5 days with the idea of giving VO2 a boost going into the indoor tt's and Crankenstein. Are these fun? Actually, yes. I enjoy the challenge of trying to add power from one effort to the next and one day to the next. that is the advantage of training with power. You can see the progress. Just watching HR would not give you that feedback.
Tomorrow I'll be hiking about 10 miles and then taking an easy ride of maybe 30-35 miles in the afternoon with a few thousand feet of climbing. The pace will be easy. With the triple on both road bikes I can keep up 90 rpm on most of the climbs in the park while pushing a pretty reasonable 200-260 on the power.
Back to the PI's
After several weeks of long Tempo efforts at around 3.9 watts/kg this week is all about Power Intervals. These are all out for the designated time with the highest power possible. The time between is the same as the time in the interval. Todays schedule called for 15 x 1 minute efforts.
With the weather being pretty nice (about 55 degrees) I headed to the crit course at Ault Park. I used the uphill section of the one kilometer course, going clockwise starting at the bottom of the loop, for the interval and then coasted from the back of the pavilion to the bottom of the slope to start again.
Power ranged from a high of 492 watts to a low of 451 with an average for all 15 at 468 or about 6.07 watts per kilogram. The lowest power was actually around efforts 8 through 11. The last few were around the average. We have two more 15x1's this week. With a trip to Tennessee tomorrow and a hike on Thursday morning I'll likely get the next efforts in on Thursday afternoon and the next maybe Friday or Sunday.
A week from Sunday is the 100 mile Crankenstein team time trial and then not long after we start the first of the indoor tt's. These PI's will certainly be great training for the indoor tt's. They last under 15 minutes so 15 x 1's well above the power held at that event (usually around 390) will prepare me for that effort. the previous long tempo efforts and a season of long rides (17 centuries) and time trials (35+) should have me ready for Crankenstein.
Lots of Tempo
This past week was all about long tempo efforts. On Tuesday I had 2 x40 minutes with a goal of about 290. I did these inside on the Cycle-Ops Indoor 400. With the right music and some newspapers and magazines I was right at the 288 on each with cadence around 90.
The next effort was on Friday. It was a one hour effort at 300. The weather was wonderful so I hit the local crit course at Ault Park where there is a one kilometer loop that if ridden clockwise you never have to stop. I did a few warmup laps and then started. I ended up with about 34 laps, 1800" of climbing, cadence in the low 80's and HR average at 150 or about 81% of max or 93% of LTHR. Sounds boring to just ride that loop but it is hard to find a continuous one hour non-stop ride without having to ride pretty far from home. With the other walkers and joggers in the park and the ability to really concentrate on power and not having to worry about traffic its actually an ideal place to ride.
I've also started to ramp up the weight training. While I keep it going year-round I do extend the time and times per week for the next 4-5 months. I've been incorporating more core/foundation exercises (not just abs but everything from the neck through he hamstrings), working the legs outside the saggital plane, plenty of balance work, upper body including dips, chin-ups and pull-ups and usually 100 pushup in sets of 40-30-30. I do use the handgrips so I can get very low and extend the range of motion. Ideall y the range of motion is extended on all exercises from squats to lunges to curls to dips. No sense join halfway and/or using bad form.
This is a good time of the year to evaluate what went well this past season and work on making any changes in your training schedule. Its also time to start setting goals for 2013. We're already thinking about the state tt, the national senior games in late July and possibly track nationals and/or masters nationals. There is no off season.