Showing posts with label kCals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kCals. Show all posts

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Hour of Power and New PB!

Thursday (2 days ago) was a rest day after 2 days of hard intervals and I planned a road ride yesterday. Unfortunately I was delayed at work and had other commitments when I got home so I had another day off and several glasses of wine and some chocolate too. Not exactly the highly disciplined training I had planned in November when this experiment started.

This afternoon I grabbed an hour to myself and headed out for another Hour of Power on the sunny roads, planning to repeat the hard session I did last week when I averaged a respectable 296W.

Today I felt great straight from the start and rather than trying to maintain 275-285W between the high power bursts, I just rode on feeling with occasional glances at my power. After 24 minutes I had averaged 317W (a new record) and then went on to set a PB right out to 60 mins. Other than a slight 'wobble' at 48 mins I just felt fine, though I was on the limit at the end and pleased to stop.

At the end I had averaged 313W compared to my last 60 min PB of 308W on 1 Jan. Then I tried to even out and control my effort, whereas today the Hour of Power workout is specifically designed to disrupt your flow and I would expect that to reduce your average power. So, I guess I must have got fitter. Last year's 60 min PB was 296W and I was absolutely shattered at the end of that, so I'm quite pleased.

 Average HR was low at 163, cadence was tightly grouped around 80rpm (yes, I do pedal slowly). 1100kCals for the hour and a relative intensity of 0.999, so hard work!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Road Session

Felt good when I got home from work and, motivated by the sunshine, I decided to head out onto the road for a mixed interval session. There's also a local Strava segment I wanted to attack.

The first interval was 2 mins at 400W which felt quite easy, then I did a 3x350W and a 30secs x 530W which felt very straightforward with a nice controlled heartrate. These were really just preparations for the Strava segment so I had a couple of minutes of easy riding before I got to the start point. Unfortunately, I chose a bad day for this segment with a slight headwind all the way along it but I thought I'd still have quite a good chance as it's a shortish segment. I was SO wrong. Although I gave it everything and averaged 415W for the 2:53 it took me to complete it at an average speed of 24 mph, I was still 21 seconds of the KOM for the segment. This is a ridiculously lousy result and one I'll have to do again. The KOM averaged 27.2mph so I 'm guessing there was something going on there.

Anyway, once I'd recovered I did another 4 of the same segment targetting 360W+ for the roughly 3 minutes it took to complete it, then did some 300W intervals on the way home including a 10 min one which drained me of my remaining energy and I was pleased to get home and warm up.

Average power for the whole ride (including 2 minutes picking a motorcyclist up after he fell off) and lots of soft pedalling between intervals was a fairly respectable 230W and I used approx 1100 kCals and covered 23.5 miles at an average speed of 19.2mph.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday Morning Road Ride

After Friday's fun on the road I made the effort to get up early and get a longer ride in today. The sun was up by 8am, shining brightly trough the morning mist, and after a bowl of cornflakes and a cup of tea I was ready to go, immediately hit by a cold blast of air as I opened the front door. When I set of it was a chilly zero degrees (C) and I was dressed for something a bit warmer than that, but I really couldn't be bothered to go back inside and change.

For the first hour I set a brisk tempo pace (90% FTP around 275W), just enough to feel like it's on the border between comfortable and uncomfortable with an average HR of 159 to match.

The ride was a nice mix of rolling terrain and steep hills and a couple of times I embarrassed myself by having to change down to the smaller chainring (34T!!). I wasn't trying to smash the climbs so I changed gear accordingly, but on a hard day I would have been able to all of the climbs in the big ring (50T) except Dalby Bank, which is a b'stard.

After the first hour the temperature had increased and I dropped down into the beautiful village of Hovingham and then home via Brandsby and Crayke on more terrible Yorkshire roads. It really is a matter of time before somebody dies as a result of hitting one of the many massive potholes.

I was lucky to not fall off on ice on Dalby Bank which just seemed to appear once I started climbing. After 15m I was just wheel spinning so I had to walk 50m or so to clear the slippery bit and try not to get hit by a wheelspinning car slithering its way up the 1-in-12 climb.

By the end I was pleased to finish the ride and get into a hot shower and have a hot coffee.

The rest f the week looks like turbo sessions, but as I'm starting work early and not getting home until 6pm I don't know how much enthusiasm I'll have.

Totals for the day:
Distance - 45 miles
Ave power - 245W (incl the first hour at 275)
Ave speed - 18.3 (including some ice walking)
Calories - 2160

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Weekly Summary

I've had the luxury of a week off work to allow me to focus on getting some good training in and hopefully make some more progress towards my targets. I've even had the the opportunity to get out on the roads and do some normal cycling rather than the relative monotony of the turbo.

This week has been my biggest since the start of the experiment:

Time riding: 8 hrs 44 mins
Work done: 7700 kJ
Bikescore: 650

This is most obvious in the graph below showing time in power zones 3, 4 and 5. I've done more in each of these zones than in any previous week and at the end of it I still feel keen and strong; much better than I expected to. It will be interesting to see how going back to work will impact on my turbo workload.

I've also managed to reduce my weight to around 74.8 kgs (based on 3 days' measurements) so cutting alcohol and reducing chocolate seems to be doing some good. With the race season about 2 months away I'm not really that bothered about my weight yet, but I'd like to be a kilo lighter next month.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Recovery Day Musings

At the end of the third week I have achieved: Rides: 3 - all turbo sessions totalling 3 hrs 35 mins (last week 5 hrs 50 mins). This reduction is largely a result of having 3 days off at the start of the week due to other commitments.

Total Bikescore (TSS): 274 (last week 456)

kCals burned (incl warm-ups and cooldowns): 3277 (5391)

I didn't have a planned TSS for this week, but I woke up this morning feeling a little throaty so I feel I have achieved as much as I wanted to in the last 3 days. We have a 'house cold' which I'm trying to avoid so I don't want to overdo things and get ill. I have been looking at the various ways I can compare workouts since I started to lose confidence in TSS/Bikescore as a useful metric. Below is a graph comparing my work done (in kJ), Bikescore and TSS. As you can see, and as I would expect, they are all pretty much the same across the last 4 weeks.

This week's times in various Zones show how easy I've had it compared to my 'big week' last week.
Total time in Zone 3: 0:33:37 (last week 57:10)
Total time in Zone 4: 1:32:36 (last week 2:17:34)
Total time in Zone 5: 0:16:50 (last week 0:38:23)
Total time in Zone 6: 0:01:20 (last week 0:03:37)
Total time in Zone 7: 0 (last week 8 seconds)
The last 4 weeks' Zones 3-5 durations are shown in the table below:

On every measure I have had an easy week. I have had 2 hard workouts and an easier one but I've  compressed all my work into 3 days and I'm now feeling a bit lethargic as a result and I feel I need a recovery day. I'm due (and dreading) a 20 minute power test soon to see what benefit the preceeding 4 weeks of turbo work has given me. I'll probably aim to do this next weekend so I'm planning turbo sessions on Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri (probably with a hangover after the office Xmas party on Thurs evening) and then the test.

Looking back at the same period last year I was doing a lot more riding on the road and racing CX too so I was getting a lot more time on the bike than this year. This year the Yorkshire roads are terrible to the point of being dangerous, with massive puddles and potholes. It will be interesting to see whether the turbo work has been sufficient to maintain my 20 min power output without the longer road rides I usually do.

Friday, 7 December 2012


This is a description of the terms, abbreviations and concepts that I use in the blog. There are better guides on the internet, but this is how I understand them in the context of this blog.

FTP - functional threshold power. This is the maximum power I can output for a 60 minute period. As I have never done a 60 minute test I use a 20 minute maximal test and subtract 5% from the result. For example, I recently completed a 20 minute power test at 322W, so I can calculate an FTP at 322x0.95 = 307W. The highest 60 minute figure I have ever recorded is 291W but I still use the 307W figure for planning workouts.

Bikescore or Training Stress Score (TSS). This is a measurement used to estimate the training stress of a workout. If I did a 1 hour workout at FTP I would record a TSS of 100. 30 mins at FTP is 50, and so on. I don't like this figure very much as I find it very blunt and it hides a multitude of information. For example, a 60 minute FTP ride gets 100. A 3 hour ride at 175W gets 100. The 1 hour ride would kill me and the 3 hour ride would bore me.

Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR). The exercise intensity at which blood lactate starts to accumulate faster than it can be cleared. The highest average HR I have recorded in a race was 174BPM which is taken as my LTHR (based on training industry norms). Since I got a power meter I use HR less but I always have an eye on where my HR is compared to LTHR. In steady state I start to feel uncomfortable at around 162BPM and I'm hating life at 174BPM. My HR on a turbo is different to my HR on the road or racing so there is difficulty using a race LTHR as a real guide on the turbo. Also, as HR varies from day to day, LTHR is really only a guide.

Interval. Basically an interval is a period of exercise where power output is at a certain level. For example, I may do a pair of 20 minute intervals at FTP or 5x5minutes at 120% FTP. The theory is that doing hard work for short periods allows you to stress your body more effectively. I'm lazy and sometimes mix the term Session with Interval when I really mean Interval.

Traditionally these are written as the 'number of intervals' x 'duration of intervals (usually in minutes)', for example 2x20 or 3x15. There is, by definition, a rest interval (RI) between the work intervals but this is not usually stated.

KiloJoules (kJ). A measure of the work done during an interval, session, ride etc. The greater the number the more work has been completed. It is often used as a proxy for calories (kCals) burned during exercise as there is a conversion rate of roughly 1:1 between them.

Powerzones. There are 7 power zones based around a rider's FTP.

Zone 1 - Active Recovery - 0-55% FTP
Zone 2 - Endurance - 55-75% FTP
Zone 3 - Tempo - 75-90% FTP
Zone 4 - Threshold - 90-105% FTP
Zone 5 - VO2 Max - 105-120% FTP
Zone 6 - Anaerobic - 120-150% FTP
Zone 7 - Neuromuscular - 150% FTP+

Sweetspot. To confuse things, the sweetspot is further defined as 88-94% of FTP. This is generally considered to be the most efficient region to train in if you're looking to improve FTP.
The Quits. During hard workouts I often get a dose of the quits or the weakness. It's the point where I pathetically want to give up and do something else. Usually accompanied by whimpering.