Friday, July 3, 2009

Back to Training, Sort of

Wednesday I didn't ride and yesterday I rode 1.5 hours easy and felt like total crap. My recovery after the road race wasn't exactly ideal, since I drank several beers to celebrate. Today I was feeling like my normal self again, but mentally wasn't quite ready for a real workout, so I opted to try an all out 1 minute, just to see what I could do and to put a high data point on my power profile chart. On a gradual uphill on Hwy 269, I did my 1 minute all out...almost. I messed up and stopped about 3 seconds early by mistake. Still it was my best 1 minute ever, 692 watts.

For anyone who uses Training Peaks software, I think it is impossible to have a true idea of your 1 minute power from any race effort. I couldn't come within 150 watts of what I did today if I were in a race. For one thing, sprints, even long ones are never 60 seconds and you will never be fresh enough at the end of a race to go all out.


Jones said...

Hi, I found your blog using a popular search engine. Your blog has been very informative. Question for you. I just got a powertap pro. I have two bikes, a cx (commuter) bike with Ultegra 10 speed and a road bike with Ultegra 9. It would be a PITA to switch tires/cassette every other ride. I am thinking of using the powertap on the cx bike only because I ride alone on that bike and can use the powertap to guide my efforts. The road bike rides are always in groups so I just try to keep up with the fast riders. If you were only using the powertap 3 times per week would you get TKO software?

Jay said...

Glad you stumbled on my blog and found it useful. I sympathize with your situation. A few years ago I used to swap my PT between my 9 spd road bike and an 8 spd bike I rode only on the trainer. PITA for sure.

Should you get Training Peaks software? That depends on what you want to do with the power information. There are some metrics like TSS, CTL, ATL and Normalized power that are very useful for measuring training load day-to-day, weekly, monthly, etc. It is easy to add manual workouts and estimate the intensity, in order to have numbers for rides where you don't use the PT.

If you do very structured workouts with steady intervals like 2 x 20 min, or 5 x 5 min, the average power for the intervals tells you pretty much all you need to know, but for unstructured variable intensity rides, the normalized power is the best indicator of how hard your effort was.