Friday, November 28, 2008

Testing, Testing, and Testing - In the Lab and in the Field

Hi Fellas,

As a follow-up to last week's file from Saturday, here are my results from an Lactate Profile and VO2 Max test that I did on Monday, a 10K time trial (on the computrainer) that I did on Monday, and then an outdoor field testing session consisting of 5 second, 5 minute, 20 minute, and 1 minute maximum power. Keep in mind, that now is the ideal time for early season testing - we test now to ensure that your training is being done at the right range - not too hard, and not too easy. Ideally, you should re-test again in 3-6 months. Field tests should be done every 3-6 weeks.

First, here are my results from the lab test on Monday (yes, I took the day off on Sunday before the test):

Basically, my threshold power is at 285 watts, and heart rate of 158 beats/minute. Later on Monday, I did a max effort for the 10K TT that we do at BCSM as part of the PowerMax training sessions. For the TT, I did a 15:27 and averaged 308 watts (108% of threshold - typically folks average 5-15% above LT for a 15-20 minute maximum effort) with an average heart rate of 167 (9 beats above LT). A photo of the file is below, and the actual file can be viewed and downloaded here:

Next, on Wednesday (after another rest day on Tuesday) I did power profile testing with several other elite athletes that I coach, and also with Sarah Hammer (Olympic pursuiter, and former world champion) who was in town for lab testing, bike fit with Andy, and for this testing and consultation with me (including her coach). The results are: peak 5-second = 1515 watts, peak 5-minute 361 watts, peak 20-minute 290 watts, and peak 1-minute 526 watts. The order of testing was 5-seconds first, 5-minutes next, 20-minutes next, and 1-minute last. Overall, the 5-minute power is lower than the lab test would predict (I need to be tougher...), and the 20-minute power was almost exactly what the lab test would predict. The 5-second and 1-minute are more anaerobic in nature, so the typical LT and VO2 max test wouldn't predict those values well - but the Wingate test in the lab would be spot on for those values. Below is a screenshot again, and the actual file can be viewed and downloaded here:

Again, feel free to email at if you have any questions! Happy riding, Neal

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday Team Ride Stats

Neal's PowerTap graph from Saturday's Team Ride:

My heart rate distribtion from the ride:

My power distribution from the ride:

It was great catching up with everyone on Saturday! As you know, now is the time to be building up a good foundation for next season. Summer wins come from fall and winter work. In general, it's a good idea for everyone to think about trying to keep 60-70% of their riding in base (OD) range...which is about 50-75% of threshold (maximum hour) power. It should feel easy. You should also do about 15-20% of your time in the endurance range (75-90% of threshold power) and UP TO 10% of your training near threshold (sub-threshold tempo would at 95-100% of LT power is best for now)...and a touch (about 1-2%) doing sprinting or VO2 max efforts. The effort up Rabbit Mtn was 2 minutes of VO2max effort...out of 3 hours total, that's only 1% of the ride that was really hard. Throwing in a weekly workout with some high cadence or very short sprints (5-10 seconds long...with 5-10 minutes between sprints) is also a idea throughout the winter. For quality work (tempo and threshold), I recommend a weekly trainer it's very specific and you don't need to worry about bundling up and then overheating or freezing coming down a climb.

Above are some screenshots from my PowerTap file from Saturday. You can also view and download it here:

Below are some graphs for my 2008 season (since January). First off, no - it is not optimal training...but something to check out. One thing you'll note is that heart Rate underestimates the amount of effort that you are doing compared to the power output. As you know, I'm a firm believer in using both power and heart rate, as well as perceived effort to guide your training. Doing base work doesn't mean ONLY steady aerobic miles, but it SHOULD be the majority of the focus at this time of year. Most master's riders should also be doing some strength training a couple of days per week as well...which is good since daylight hours are limited. Oh year - this time of year is good for testing...we're not testing to see how good you are (that's what racing is for), but to determine your training ranges to make sure you're not overdoing it...and also to be able to track your progress again in the Spring! Happy riding, Neal

Power distribution for 2008 Season (since January):

Heart rate distribution for 2008 season (since January)

Training manager graph (from CyclingPeaks Software) for 2008: