Congrats to Gerry Schulze!
Gerry recently placed 5th at the USAC Masters Nationals Cyclocross, women 45-49, in Madison, WI and today won her heat in Louisville at the World Cyclocross. Gerry is a client of CinciCyclingCoach.
With the warm weather today I headed up to Ault Park to do these. I started each at the bottom of the hill on Observatory and then climbed to the back of the pavilion, rolled down to the bottom and started over. The first five were about as expected with power at 478, 444, 438, 422 and 430. I try to make these all out from the start even if it means I can't complete the last effort. I was close to that with the last efforts' power being 388. Probably wasn't a good idea to participate in my hour circuit class last night but even with the fall off in power HR was still where we want it. Other than the last one these were all better than my two minute efforts on the same course from last winter. Actually I checked my data from 2010 on the same efforts and power was in the 360's throughout so there has been some decent improvement in that time.
I've read just both editions of the Hunter Allen book on power and they are both great books. I've also read Joe Friels book that just came out along with several other books on training that touch on power. In my own training and in working with other cyclists I really enjoy using power as a barometer of fitness. It is possible, in my opinion, to get lost in the data. I belong to a couple of coaching forums that have memebers who are really into dissecting the data to a level that really doesn't interest me. At the same time there is a basic understanding of the information that is important to everyone using a power meter. As much for my own benefit as the followers of this blog (and we're closing in on 6000 views in the last 12 months) I thought I'd go through some of the basic terminology. I'll be referencing the Allen and Friel books pretty exclusively. If you don't own them, I would recommend buying them.
So what is power? Simply put it is equal to Work divided by time or P=W/t.
What is work? W is equal to force times distance or W=F x d
From these equations we can say that P= F x d/t
Taking this a step further we can say that distance divided by time equals velocity so P=F x v. For cyclists this comes down to power being equal to how big a gear we can push at how great a cadence. We can apply more force at a steady cadence, pedal faster at a steady force or increase both.
I wont get into the true definition of a watt as I don't understand the equation but simply put it's a measure of power and when compared to our weight in kilograms offers endless discussion among cyclists.
Another number shown on most power meters is KiloJoules, or mechanical energy. Essentially the Kj is equal to a calorie by way of this reasoning: a Calorie (capital C) = 1000 calories or kiloCalories. If we know that 1 kiloCalorie equals 4 kilojoules and humans are about 25% efficient this means that about 1/4th of the energy we create is converted to energy on the bike known as kilojoules. If we're 255 efficient, then the 1 kiloCalories is equa lto about 1 kilojoule. Thankfully, someone else figured all this out and we really just need the end result numbers for training and fueling purposes.
The average power for all 15 efforts was 430 and average cadence at 115 with a high on the power at 441. Today didn't seem as mentally challenging as last weeks efforts. in other words, I dreaded last weeks but felt good about these from the start. I rolled through the first 10 before I even knew it. Usually efforts 6 through 10 are the hardest to deal with but not today. I concentrated on average power on all of them. I started each effort at 420 and quickly went to 430. The last 15-20 seconds I shifted up to 440.
Comments on Indoor TT
Average power today was the same as December, 358 average on the Powertap but my time was much slower at 15:20. Typically the power on the Computrainer is much higher than the Powertap but today it was lower. Not sure whats going on but either way it's a great workout. Fifteen minutes at this intensity in January is always good. I forgot my HR chest strap so no data there. I don't usually look at the HR numbers as I ride anyway and I'm sure I was in the same zone as last month. At least in the end I felt the same way, basically like I was going to pass out.
Question from a team mate
Have been trying to lose weight in prep for the upcoming season and for
climbing. I know that there is a trade off with adding muscle in place of fat
Found this workout suited for training and for weight loss. Any thoughts from
your end. How would you balance this with building on everything you have been
teaching? In addition to your weight training I do one day of weight training
I'll be blunt. I think that is a nice program for a non-racer. The overall ride times are moderate and the length of the intervals the same. I know that you can ramp it up and do more even if the ride times stay about the same. I know that work and family have to come first but you could really crank it up during the intervals. I'd recommend more of the intervals and at a definitive intensity. Have you done the 2x8 test on the Cycle-Ops? If you have I can calculate your zones. The bike training at this point should be focusing on building Vo2 for the most part. These would be a series of short (30 second to 2 minute) efforts, repeated multiple times. It gets boring for some people to do this two days per week for several weeks. I just had some guy I coach ask what the purpose of his training plan was as it seemed to repetitive. Thats what it takes sometimes! Now that you have power you can make every interval and every set of intervals and every day that you ride intervals competitive within your own training. In other words if you're doing two days next week of 12x1 minute efforts, I'd be comparing each effort on a given day, the average of all from a given day to the next day, and then see how they compare week to week. Riding against yourself is a great place to start training your body and mind. My blog on my website has some of this in my comments.
Essentially the efforts above are supercharged efforts from the bike article as you would eventually be adding in steady state's, tempo, climbing repeats, etc. You will burn some serious calories on these rides and I would do some long rides when the weather is nice. I love getting in a century ride at least one a month and usually twice. You burn during and after on those.
Strength training consistently would be the other component. you're doing the right thing with the indoor endurance and your other training. Stick to the simple things like dips, pull-ups, pushups, lunges, squats, planks, etc. Just build muscle everywhere and your metabolic rate will go up all day and night.
Did you do the Bod-Pod with Dawn? Do you have a goal for the weight loss and a way to track fat loss and muscle gain?
Average power was 425 with average cadence at 113. I did these inside on the trainer so power isn;t as high as I would do outside. I stayed seated for all of them and given how the Cycle-Ops 400 works with the toggle its really a matter of finding a power range that works and trying to hold it. I usually stated the interval at 410, moved up to 420 and then 430. At the end of the interval I'd stopped pedaling, allow the Cycle-Ops to lock up and then start shifting back to about 150 watts to get the wheel moving again. Hr was peaking in the mid 90% of max or about 106% of LT. Really should be higher.
Cincinnati Cycling Summit update
The Cincinnati Cycling Summit is coming up on February 2nd. You can still get in for $79 if you contact me and say you saw that offer here in this blog.
I was putting together my PowerPoint presentation last weekend. I'll be covering strength training, how to set up a training calendar, types of intervals that should be included whether you race or just tour, how to peak, etc. In addition to my presentation you'll have one on sporst nutrition, sports psychology and bike fit and equipment. All for $79!
Training This Week
With the warm weather last weekend (60's) I was able to get in a few hours outside on Saturday and since have been riding mainly recovery miles inside. The next seven days have a couple of days with the 15 x1 minute power intervals with a cadence goal of 110-120 (so, big power at the high cadence...lots of fun) and the indoor time trial this Sunday.
While I do weight train all year in the winter I increase the time and add in some plyometrics. I teach two classes on Wednesday mornings. The first is a 55 minute spin and the second a 55 minute circuit. During the racing season I teach but don't participate. From late fall through early spring I do both. It's a tough two hours but a great part of the weekly training. The circuit will include plenty of pushups (a goal of 100 during the class), rows, curls and presses, planks of many types, step ups, lunges to the front, back, sides and angled, single leg squats and balance work, lots of core and foundation work, and a nice mix of plyometrics like lunge jumps, power jumps, speedskaters, etc. We pretty much hit every muscle group and then work on explosive power.
Did todays efforts inside and held 321, 322 and 324 for the 20 minute efforts. Just one more set of these this week and we'll be moving on. Looks like some 2 minute power intervals.
The January edition of the Indoor Time Trial Series is on the 20th and the first outdoor tt is slated for mid-March on the Cleves course as a Colavita TT Series event.
Ideas from Chris Carmichael
I received this today; great stuff!
Happy New Year and welcome to 2013! Since the world didn’t end in December and Congress kicked the can down the road instead of booting us off a cliff, it’s time once again to focus on the things we have complete control over. A new year means new opportunities to take your performance to the next level, and I have 13 things you can do to help you have your best season ever in 2013!
1. Eat less while you train: You only need to replenish 20-30% of the calories you expend each hour. So, if you’re riding at 600 kilojoules per hour (roughly equal to 600 calories), you only need 120-200 calories per hour. And for sessions under 75 minutes, you don’t need during-workout calories, just fluids and maybe electrolytes.
2. Get used to being hungry: Almost without exception, we can all afford to lose some weight. To do it, you’re doing to have to suck it up and go hungry. Stop gorging after long rides and workouts, eat smaller portions, skip desserts, etc. If you’re consistent, your body and brain will adapt to eating less.
3. Commit to consistency: Training 4 times a week (ie. twice during the workweek and twice on weekends) is good. Five training days a week is great. Six may actually be too much for some athletes, and 7 is generally not a good idea.
4. Sign up for a big challenge: There’s nothing wrong with returning to events you know and enjoy, but it’s difficult to sustain passion and inspiration from those events. Go out on a limb and sign up for something exciting, scary, intimidating, or exotic! If you’re not excited and nervous about it, how are you going to commit 100% to preparing for it? Need some suggestions?
5. Get a power meter (or learn how to use it): The hipsters and knuckleheads who think athletes have to reach a certain skill/fitness level before they deserve to use power are just elitist morons. Power can be a valuable tool for athletes at all levels of sport, but if you get one, learn how to use it! Download your data. Track your progress. Ask questions about it. Here’s a great way to get a power meter!
6. Drink more when you train: Most of us ride the same set of routes, and drink the same amounts on those routes. The “Hannover Loop” is a 3-bottle ride, for instance. Instead of focusing on more ounces-per-hour, add a bottle of electrolyte drink (like a GU Electrolyte Tab in a bottle) to your normal fluid intake for 2- to 3-hour rides. Look at your power meter data and record your perceived exertion. You’ll feel better and your power will drop off less in the final hour of your ride.
7. Schedule a training camp: Eat. Sleep. Ride. Repeat. Carve out some time and make training, recovery, and nutrition your top priority for 1-2 weeks. Come to one of my camps or build your own by taking two long weekends with a few half-days at work in between.
8. Drop dairy: There are some good nutrients in dairy products, but they are also a sneaky source of a lot of calories and fat. It’s not the 1% milk; it’s the ubiquitous cheese everywhere, high-calorie coffee drinks, and restaurant foods made rich with cream and butter. Dropping dairy has proven to be an effective component of weight loss strategies for our athletes.
9. Drop caffeine: Caffeine enhances athletic performance, but to get the biggest race-day impact from caffeine you don’t want a huge tolerance for the stuff. When you consume less caffeine on a daily basis, less caffeine is required to achieve an ergogenic benefit, so the relatively small amounts in gels and chewables will help you more.
10. Fall in love with this workout: 3x10 SteadyState Intervals (3x20 for advanced riders), with recovery between intervals 5 and 10minutes, respectively. It’s not sexy or complicated, but sustained time-at-intensity increases sustainable power at lactate threshold. This the performance marker that leads to higher climbing speed, less taxing rides in the pack, and faster bike splits in triathlons. Intensity: 90-95% of CTS Field Test power, 92-94% of CTS Field Test Heart Rate, or an 8 on a 1-10 exertion scale.
11. Lose your power meter: I know I told you to get one, but it’s also important to lose it every once in a while. You have to learn to gauge your efforts by listening to your body, not just by the numbers on your handlebars. I’ve seen too many athletes sit up and drop themselves from a group, not because they couldn’t hack it, but because their power output seemed too high.
12. Jump into a faster group: You’ll never work as hard as you will when you’re fighting to maintain contact with the back of a group of athletes faster and stronger than you. You’ll improve your drafting and positioning skills, too.
Have a Great Weekend!
Carmichael Training Systems
3x20's in Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Finally did some intervals outside. Still pretty cold here with temps in the mid to upper 30's. I truly hate riding in the cold but with no trainer and some great roads to ride I headed out after lunch. I started each of these at the border of Gatlinburg and the park and rode to Fighting Creek Gap at the Laurel Falls parking area. Going all the way on the 1st and 3rd took about 22 minutes. The middle effort I stopped at 20 minutes. On all three I rode back down to the border. Needless to say the down at 35 mph was pretty cold. I don't think that helped. Power on the first was 324, the second was 315 and the last 307. the average for all three was about 315. Ideally I should be at 319 on the low end. The three indoor efforts on Monday were 320-321. Given the cold I'm not going to worry about 5 watts. I know from past experience that my time trial efforts on cold days are usually much slower (lower power) than on nice hot days. Still nice to get outside again after so many days riding inside. Should get out tomorrow for some endurance miles.
With the end of 2012 I was looking through my file with all of my miles ridden since I started tracking them in 1981. Through December 31, 2012 I'm at 247,362. Should cross 250,000 this spring. is 500,000 achievable? Might take until I'm well into my 70's.