Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tempo Threshold

I was relieved to be able to get a ride on yesterday, having only rode once on the trainer this week. That, and the abundance of food during the Raya Haji weekend made me feel bloated and ungainly (I so sound like a girl). The ride managed to keep me sane.

Since I didn't have a lot of time to ride, I decided to make it hard. Tempo and threshold work for most of the ride. It's pretty hilly on the back end of Penang, so that's where I decided to ride. Threshold on the hills, recover on the descents, and tempo to the next climb. The tempo sections were done on the lower end of Zone 3 (i.e. around 180W) and the threshold climbs midway through Zone 4 (i.e. around 240 W). It was pretty hard. The power profile is below, and the 4 threshold hill sections are circled in red.

After the last climb, I hammered all the way back at mid Zone 3, around 200W. It was damn windy on the Coastal Highway and at some points I literally felt like I was at a standstill. I was thrashed by the time I reached Queensbay and had an easy cool down ride til I reached home.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tempo Riding

I had a wedding to get to in Batu Gajah for the weekend, and with limited time for riding, one long tempo ride was all I had time for on Saturday. Rode from home to meet the wife at Bidor. The original plan was to try and make it to Tapah, but with time being limited, I had to cut the ride short at Bidor. Well, it was only about 12 km short, so no biggie. The aim of the ride was to ride in the tempo range for most of the ride, and I achieved that. Had two short stops at Kuala Kubu Baru and Slim River for refills. Average power for 4:15 that it took me to get to Bidor is 188W. Took it steady from Home to Rawang, and tried to keep it between 180W - 225W, which is my tempo thresholds (lower to upper). Power profile is below:

The power profile is pretty steady (well, as steady as you can make an intrinsically stochastic activity steady) except for two peaks. One is climbing out of KL just before the Templer Park, and the other is the short climb out of Rawang. The ride was pretty OK overall, except that I was hoping for some extra speed for that amount of power. But with the monsoon season being what it is, it was a pretty steady headwind all the way to Bidor. And it rained for the last 30 mintues of the ride. It served to re-energise me somewhat, but the ever present wind kept speeds down to a minimum.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Under The Weather

Coz that is what I've been feeling the last couple of days. It rains every evening here and going back on my motorbike I get all wet and cold. And it's taking a toll on my immune system (apparently). Runny nose, scratchy throat, mild fever seems to be the order of the day. Which means I can't go as hard as I want on the bike.
Yesterday I attempted 2 x 20 @ 220W and failed miserably. I've done 3 x 15 @ 220W before so the progression to 2 x 20 should be do-able. But his damn flu-like symptoms has me really strung out and tired. I did the first 20 OK, but only lasted 10 minutes on the 2nd one. Had to pull the plug as I was feeling slightly faint and dizzy.
Or maybe I'm just THAT weak on the bike. And maybe it's time for me to bite the bullet and just start the 2 x 20's on 200W, hold that for 2 weeks, see how it goes, then increase it to 210W for 2 to 3 weeks, and so on. Should I?

Monday, November 16, 2009

On The Blink

My laptop's on the blink, so I don't have any power files for you. Somehow or rather, my work desktop can't download the power files so I'm left just jotting down averages to record some rudimentary power data. Weather in the evenings are not conducive to riding outside i.e. it's pissing down most days, so I'm relegated to riding the turbo at TBB when I can. Although boring, it does allow me to regulate training to a narrow range and helps to target the power zones that I am targeting for the work out.
A couple of workouts that I have done so far:
3 x 10 @ 230W with 5 minute rests.
Riding indoors can't seem to allow me to generate the same outdoor power, for whatever reason. I know I can average 250W for a little more than an hour outside, but trying to ride 230W was killing me. So instead of doing the standard TTI (threshold tolerance interval) of 2 x 20, I just did 3 sets of 10 mintes @ 230W.
3 x 15 @ 220W with 5 minute rest.
Knowing that I can't hold 230W for 20 minutes, I reduced average power for the interval to 22oW and did 3 sets of 15 minutes. The last 5 minutes of the last set was absolute murder. One needs very high toelrance of pain to continually do intervals on the turbo as they're absolutely MURDER.
2 x 20 @ 250W with 8 minutes rest.
I had some house painting chores to do on the weekend and couldn't do a long ride, so on Saturday I did the mandatory 2 x 20's up Sempah. Manged to hit my goal watts for the intervals, hitting 254W for the 1st interval and 261 for the 2nd one. Much easier to do TTI's outside than inside, but only if it's heading uphill. Did a ITT (individual time trial) on MRR2 on the way back home and a course which is flat for the most part I only managed to get 240W. Sigh. If only I lived closer to a long gradual climb, then the 2 x 20's would be so easy to do.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cyfora Fraser Road Race

I just got my Powertap about a month ago and have just been playing around with it, learning what it feels like at different power levels,what it feels like during climbing, cruising on the flats, etc. Nothing too analytical during post-ride analysis (no CTL, TSB, TSS, etc.) just trying to guesstimate my FTP, which is the benchmark for training and race performance.

According to
this blog, the best way to estimate your FTP among the 7 methods proposed is a 1~ hour field test. And I managed to do this yesterday during the Cyfora Frasers Road Race. It was a hard 1:10 effort from the start of the climb to Frasers Gap. So after a month of playing around, I've managed to peg my baseline FTP at 250 watts.

Notice the higher average power at the middle of the chart, where we were racing up to The Gap. Based on the roughly 1 hour worth of work, I can estimate my FTP. And after reading Introduction to Racing and Training with Power by Andrew Coggan, I now know the basic training power zones. Now, to get on the bike and actually train with the power levels.

Onto the bike and beyond!!!