Sunday, April 23, 2006

A new Functional Threshold

For the first time in forever, I was able to get outside and ride with a group of friends this weekend. The task was to get in a solid 3 to 4 hours of riding. My longest ride to date this season has been a single 1.5 hour trainer ride months ago. Otherwise, I've been living with 30-45 minute trainer rides all winter. Afterwards, I realized that my indoor threshold figures are no longer valid as the ride moved my Mean Max Normalized Power curve up another notch.

You can see, the highlighted area estimates my new FT somewhere near 330-335 watts. Seeing as this wasn't a formal test, I need to use other means in determining the correct figure.

To justify the need of changing my threshold (and thus my zones), I took a quick look at the distribution of both my Heart Rate and Power in relation to my training zones. I'll spare you the pictures, but the power zone distribution clearly showed lots of efforts higher than their corresponding heart rate zones. Thus, my power zones are understated.

Lastly, the ride itself scored a TSS of 297 with an IF of .908. The ride was tough. But, it felt more like a .8 IF. 275 watts * .9 / .8 = ~310 watts

Clearly, I have evidence enough to adjust my threshold settings from 310 to 335. So, split the difference until I can test further. (335+310)/2 = ~320 watts

Now, if I can only drag myself to the pool, I might have a chance at a decent showing next month in Effingham.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

First outside ride of the year!!!!

Oh yeah! Last week we have snow, sleet and rain. Today, it's 72F outside. Winds at 5mph. Welcome to Chicagoland. That's it. Time to get outside at last since I've been stuck on the trainer since Spirit of Racine (July '05).

Anyone who trains indoors constantly wonders what will happen when you finally get outside. My training this winter/spring has been very low volume and consistently inconsistent. But, I did manage to get in a few 4-6 weeks blocks of decent quality.

So, how does that translate to the road? Well, today's goal - just ride around and make sure that all the equipment works (race wheels, shifting, etc....) - was met with flying colors. It was a short ride full of hills and sprints and lots of coasting. The results? I moved my Mean Max Normalized Curve!!! The solid yellow line represents my new MMNP curve. The dashed line is my old indoor one.

The surprising part is that this wasn't a gut wrenching, all out ride. In fact, this was almost an easy ride. Well, we'll see what the rest of the season has in store.