Tag Archives: ftp

IMLP 2014-Week 22 Training Update-Taper Time!

Well it’s taper time! All the hard training is behind me now and I will gradually decrease my training volume over the three weeks before Ironman Lake Placid . It works out quite nicely with the start of the Tour de France  too. One of my biggest fears during the pre-race taper period is getting sick.  This happens to many triathletes as their immune defenses are at an all time low from all the training. Hopefully, my plant-based diet will help guard me against that with all the good nutrients I frequently indulge in.

I started off the week with an active rest day of mowing my lawn. Taper time is always good for catching up on some of those things that get let go during all the training. The rest of the week consisted of typical workouts.  I eliminated the two-a-day workouts, so I end up with 2 workouts in each discipline instead of three.

FTP Test

Wednesday was threatening rain so I ended up getting on the trainer again to attempt a final TrainerRoad 20min FTP test while also watching the Tour de France. The FTP test started out ok and I was feeling pretty good until about 2-3 minutes to go. I this sharp pain down the left side of my back. It felt a pulled muscle and I had a hard time taking a breath. It forced me to briefly stop pedaling until I worked it out. I eventually did and tried to re-coop my lost wattage, but it was too late. It ended up giving me an FTP of 223, which was well below my prior FTP of 234. 🙁 I know this is in correct, so I just manually changed it to 230 again. I am also about 7 lbs lighter than I was during the last test so my watts/kg went from 2.79 to 2.9.

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Some Bike Maintenance

Another thing that always seems to get put off is bike maintenance. Friday evening I finally got down to degrease my drivetrain and re-lube everything again. I also did a good wash and cleaning of the entire bike as well. My sweat tends to be quite caustic and I really need to do that more often. I also tried putting some bike tube sealant in my rear tire. I really have no idea whether any of it actually got in there or not, but I hope so. I checked over everything and all seems to be good to go.

Supermoon!

Supermoon!

The Weekend

My long, slow distance(LSD) workouts on the weekend were cut in half, except for my swim which I cut back 15 mins. Swimming doesn’t really take that much out of me, especially when I take it really easy. And for the effort of getting to the pool I might as well take advantage of it.

We were heading up to Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos on Saturday to Sunday for my in-laws family vacation so I got out on the bike a little earlier on Saturday. I stayed on more flatter terrain for the ride to keep the intensity down a bit. It is amazing how fast a 3 hour bike ride is when you have been riding 6 hours every Saturday. I covered a little over 50 miles for an average pace of around 17.4 MPH. I skipped my brick run just due to lack of time.

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

My Sunday run was a bit of an adventure since I really didn’t know where I was going. Although I had spent a big part of my childhood at Lake Wallenpaupack, I was not familiar with the area we were staying. I only needed to run for an hour and a half, so at least is wasn’t the typical mambo long run I would usually do.

The Long and Winding Road-Ledgedale Road, Greentown, PA

The Long and Winding Road-Ledgedale Road, Greentown, PA

 

We stayed in the Ledgedale Area and Ledgedale Road turned out to be pretty nice. It was a pretty quiet road trafficwise, but when there was a vehicle you didn’t have too much room to get out of their way. The guardrail was tight up against the road on one side and there were pretty high weeds on the side. Despite that most cars got over enough and it was a really nice road to run on. I had one dog barking and coming after me but never actually made it to the road. Another one was a Weimaraner, fortunately on a chain, barking like a maniac at me. Other than that it was pretty cool. The road followed the small inlet to the lake.

Performance Metrics

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PMC 2014 vs 2013 comparison

HRV

HRV vs. Training Volume - Week 22 Ironman Lake Placid.

HRV vs. Training Volume – Week 22 Ironman Lake Placid.

FTP Test Gone Bad!

 

FTP Test Gone Bad

FTP Test Gone Bad 

20 Minute Test – TrainerRoad.com

For some strange reason I got the bright idea to attempt doing an FTP test on Trainer Road last night. It was my second ride of this week, which is also the 2nd build week in my training cycle. Ya know when your body really starts feeling some fatigue from the previous weekend? Not only that, my first ride of the week was a pretty much a 40k time trial(below) so an easier ride this day would been a smarter option.

When I first started warming up, I felt a little stiff but didn’t think much about it since it was a warm-up. During the 3 1 min high cadence spin-ups I could still feel the stiffness in my quads and I was struggling to maintain the goal watts. Then the 5 min “clearing effort” pretty much destroyed any psychological help I may have had to help get me a little further in the actual 20 minute test period.

I managed to hold on for about 5 minutes and after that I realized there was no way in hell I could maintain this for another 15 minutes. An easy spin then ensued. Another day maybe.

Training Log-Prep Week 2-One Extreme To The Other

Captains view in the Pain Cave. Spending lots a time here these days.

Captains view in the Pain Cave. Spending lots a time here these days.

My second Prep week of 2014 has seen almost every possible type of weather has seen snow, rain, thunder, lightning, heavy winds and temperatures from -3 to 50 deg F. It has been one of the strangest weeks of weather I have seen. But rest assured, Donald Trump says that there is no Global Warming…

 

Regardless of the extremes, training marches on. The highlight of the week was my TrainerRoad FTP test on Thursday. I had done the 8 Min FTP test back in November to set a baseline FTP for my Preparation phase. I ended up with a somewhat depressing 207 watt FTP which seemed to become invalid pretty quickly during the Intermediate Base II Plan on TrainerRoad. All my rides quickly ended up with Intensity Factors(IF) in the .90 and above. Even on rides that were rated to be much lower than that. I was very eager to retest again to get things on track and was very happy when I came up with a new FTP of 234 watts. I also ended up dropping a few pounds too, which gave me a 2.82 watts/kg.

My Performance Management Chart on Training Peaks should now be a little more precise since the IF’s are more correct. The high IF ratings before were showing that my Fatigue(ATL) was much higher than what was reality.

TrainingPeaks-Performance Management Chart - Jan 12 2014

TrainingPeaks-Performance Management Chart – Jan 12 2014

The rest of the week consisted of mostly aerobic endurance type work. I am planning on doing a graded run test on the treadmill next week to set my baseline for my run fitness for the year. I had a nice 45 minute LSD swim on Friday night which ended with around 2000m. I am amazed that I am able to maintain that fitness throughout the off-season. I really felt like I could have done twice that much. I can’t wait to get to some open water swimming this Spring and Summer.

I have also been working on my Annual Training Plan(ATP) for the season while working through Joe Friels’ Triathlon Training Bible. I sort using that and also my prior season to try to tailor this seasons training along with changes to help the areas I would like to improve on. It is pretty interesting and I am gettin into the “techy” side it. Now that I have a true power meter on my bike I can get more accurate TSS readings.

I have also been playing around with using my Cycleops PowerCal for quantify some runs using Power. Usually you only have heart rate for running, but the PowerCal uses heart rate to calculate power. It doesn’t do well for instantaneous power, but for an workout average it is pretty accurate.

On Sunday, I got over to the Lehigh Parkway for my longer run of the week. It was a really nice day with highs in the 50’s, but the path was a bit messy to say the least. There was also some leftover ice in places which made things a little sketchy. I ended up with about 7.5 miles in 1:15. It was actually a better run than my time showed since I stopped to take some pictures and never stopped my Garmin.

Downstream-Lehigh Parkway

Downstream-Lehigh Parkway

High Water near Runners Bridge-Lehigh Parkway

High Water near Runners Bridge-Lehigh Parkway

A little mushy-Lehigh Parkway

A little mushy-Lehigh Parkway

 

I was listening to the latest Rich Roll Podcast on my run today. His guest was Charlie Engle who will be running from LA, across the country, and finishing in Boston and running the Boston Marathon. He is doing with another guy who will be in a wheelchair. It is a pretty amazing story. It is called Run2Boston so if you are interested check it out. You can also check out this story on Runner’s World.

 

IMLP Training Week 9-Cruisin’ Into Spring…Finally

I am a little late with my weekly post this week due to a busy Easter Sunday and my April Fools pranks. Easter Sunday started out with a rapid pace. I finished my 2 hour run in in the morning, then back home to cook up a couple plant-based dishes for the family Easter dinner, showered and up to the in-laws. It was nice this year since my parents joined us, so we could just have one big meal and not have to have two separate ones. I made a Quinoa Peanut Soup, Pasta and Vegetable in a White Sauce and my wife made some pumpkin bars from a recipe on the Forks Over Knives website that was really good. They were easy to make and pretty tasty. I think my wife and I ate all the bars. Nice thing about eating plant-based is most other people don’t even try the food and I end up with a good stock of leftovers.

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Monday started off with my typical hour swim. The pool at HPC is always so sporadic as to how crowded it will be. There is always the standard base crowd, but then there are always these other people that drift in and out. I headed over to Rodale Fitness Park for my post-work run. They have been actively de-foresting the large trees in the park since the recent hurricane damage. They close off the parking lot during the week but it only seems like they do work during the daytime. Regardless everyone still uses the path. I try to utilize the surrounding road a bit since I don’t want any trees falling on me. My run was to be a 35 minute Zone 3(HR) run bookended with a 10 min warm-up and cool-down. I was feeling pretty good and I jumped into Zone 4 quite a bit, especially on the hills. Ended up averaging 8:25 for those 35 minutes which kind of surprised me. Everytime I looked at my watch it was closer to 7:50 or 8:00 min/mi. Maybe I only looked when I was running faster.

 

FTP Testing

imageTuesday was still a little bit on the cooler side, so I decided to do a trainer ride that night.  I also wanted to re-assess my power and heart rate zones one last time before it really gets nice outside, so I did the 20 Minute Test on Trainer Road. Functional Threshold Testing(FTP) is the maximum sustained power output you can maintain for one hour on a bike. They typically use a 20 minute test to do this and then calculate your 60 min power from that 20 minute average. Many cyclist use the watts/kg measure since the cyclist weight obviously affect their power usage and it levels the field to compare with others.

FTP testing is always a bit taxing, 20 minutes is better than an hour.  I usually end up with a pile of sweat on the floor. I pushed through it pretty well and ended up increasing my FTP from 202 up to 223, which I was pretty psyched about. 21 watt increase in a month is pretty substantial I would think. My watts/kilogram is almost 3 which is improving too. If I lose a few more lb’s and keep hitting the bike hard I would like to get around 3.5 or so. Pro’s are usually around 4-5watts/kg which is insane.

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Wednesday was another hour swim. I had a set of 10×50’s with 25 hard and 25 easy on each rep which totally spanked me. The burn came on quickly since it was early in the workout, so its everlasting effects could be felt well to the end. After sitting on my butt all day at work, I finished up the day with a set of 4x60s Z4 running intervals. I really focused on maintaining some form while still pushing the speed as much as possible as well as negative splitting them. I still managed to get up to a 6:00/mi avg pace on the last set. From there on out it was an easy jog.

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Thursday was cool and really windy, but I pushed myself out the door for a road ride. I was almost blown away during the first half of the ride. The wind gusts at one point almost made it feel like I was stopped. Needless to say I didn’t pass many other riders out that night. The second half of the ride was mostly tailwind which was a nice cruise home. Glad to get out though.

I hit the pool early on Friday morning, but so did everyone else. Apparently everyone else wanted to get an early start on the day too. Many had the day off I guess. One lane even had 3 women in it. Good practice for a IMLP Swim start! Anyway, I settled into my LSD swim groove and life was good. I was only supposed to swim for 45 minutes, but ended up doing an hour. I really enjoy those long slow swims…they are so relaxing.

2013-03-30 08.45.07Saturday was really nice. Still a little chill in the air, but sunny and low winds. I got out for a ride around 9:30 and ended up with about an 2:15 ride. Even through in some hills at the end. This was the first full ride with the new carbon wheels and they performed flawlessly too. My rear training wheel is getting checked out in the shop, which turns out to be a bent axle. Always somethin’! The only bad thing on Saturday was there were a bunch of A-hole drivers out. I guess nice weather and opening day of trout season brings out the d-bags who don’t know what four feet is. It is a bit scary out there these days with everyone texting and driving all the time.

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Sunday was still nice, but a bit more cloudy. I headed down to the LV Parkway around 9:30am for my long run of the week. The place was buzzing with some leftover opening day fisherman trying to clean out the rest of the put-and-take fish out of the sewage-polluted water of the Little Lehigh Creek. It made for some extra entertainment during the run though. I made some good use of the time by catching up on some of my favorite podcasts in the first six miles and then a couple chapters of the book “Unbroken” in the last five.  I also find it very interesting how almost every other dog I see at Lehigh Parkway is a Pitbull. What is the deal with these dogs? It is like they are status symbols or something. Not to bash the breed, because they can be really good dogs, but the clowns I see walking these creatures don’t appear to be happy-go-lucky dog owner. It is the owners of these dogs that give them the bad rap.

 

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