Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tough 2nd Set of Intervals

The plan for today was (2) sets of 5 @ 2 on 2 off with 5 min rest between sets. Target wattage for the 2 minutes on was 345W with a range of 325W - 355W. The first 4 intervals were OK with an average wattage of around 340W and the fifth was done at around 335W. The legs and hips were getting tight and I really wasn't looking forward to the second set.

I decided to drop the wattage back to 335W and it must be a mental thing, as once you dial the intensity back, it was hard to even keep the wattage above 300W. I finished the first 3 at around 335W, the fourth I stopped after 90 seconds with a wattage of 315W and the fifth I finished at 320W. Not happy with the second set but I'm glad I completed it.

Tomorrow calls for 1 set of 10 @ 1 min on 1 min off in a range of 366W - 400W. 5 minute rest then lead-out intervals - (4) sets 8 x 15 sec on 15 sec off with 1 min between sets. I really need to focus on starting out at or just below the bottom half of the range or I won't be able to complete the set.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Spending some CTL

Moving into SMSP or V02 work when training in block form causes you to give up some CTL or chronic traning load - what you've done over the previous 42 days. CTL can be viewed as how long you can go hard. Up until February 1, my focus has been building CTL with the idea that as I move into racing season, I would start the backward slide until I started another build to peak later in the season. The plan prior to switching coaches was to build the CTL to over 100 by April as this would bring into racing season with great form and fitness. My goal now is not to focus on CTL but rather raise my MSP - Maximum sustainable power as high as possible as he with the highest power output wins the race. Just ask Fabian Cancellara with his 620+ W average power for the TOC Prologue.

My volume has been cut in half but the intensity has been raised by 30+%. This week, my workouts consist of:

Monday - 2 sets of 4 @ 3 min on 3 min off with 5 min rest between sets. Target power for the 3 minutes should be 315W or higher.

Tuesday - 2 sets of 5 @ 2 min on 2 min off with 5 min rest between sets. Target power for the 2 minutes should be 345W or higher.

Wednesday - 10 @ 1 min on 1 min off at 385W with 5 min rest before starting lead out intervals of 4 sets of 8 @ 15 sec on 15 sec off with 1 min rest between sets.

Off Thursday and Friday with a 1 hour Zone 2 ride on Saturday. The 3 day V02 block starts all over again on Sunday.

First race is March 1st - 30 mile road race that will be won on the last climb prior to heading down the back stretch towards the finish line. All of this V02 work has me thinking about going out on a solo flyer or possibly take the approach of non stop attacks. Not looking for hardware or race results but seeing how I stack up against others and if my form is progressing as planned.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

White is the new black

Took delivery of the new Harrell's Bicycle World team bike and it is pretty sweet. The team currently rides Scott CR1 SL's but decided to upgrade to the Scott Addict R4. I chose to stay with the full Campagnolo Record Carbon Group and as well as Zero Gravity Ti brakes but moved away from the anatomic bend handle bars in favor of the traditional bend. I chose the Deda Newton shallow drop bars and stayed with the Ritchey WCS 4Axis aluminum stem. Instead of the Specialized Toupe saddle, I decided to give the Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbon Flow saddle a try and first impressions have me thinking this will be a keeper and will replace the Toupe on my trainer/back-up bike. With the Zipp 404 tubulars, the complete bike weighs 14.4lbs. I just knew the bike was going to come in under 14lbs but oh well.

First ride impressions - WOW!!! I love the look of the bike. The Tarmac SL is half the stiffness and twice as harsh compared to this bike. It is quiet, comfortable, and every bit of power is transferred to the road. Might be the placebo effect but I felt as though I was riding 1 - 1.5mph faster and could ride in the drops for hours at a time. With the shallow drop bars, the reach is shorter and therefore, I had to move to a 120mm stem. I think I need to remove a spacer or two as the bars are definitely higher due to the additional 10mm in length. I'll give it a week or two and see if I'm producing the same or higher power and make a decision at that point.

As far as training goes, I'm almost through with the lead-out intervals and will start the V02 work at the end of the week. My first training race is 3 weeks away so I think I'll be in decent shape. CTL should be in the 70's by the first race. No taper as my focus is to be in form for April and again at the end of August - SC Crit Championship in April and SC RR Championship in August.