Training with Power

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I awoke early this morning around 5AM fighting a rash from carbon-fiber work at the shop last night. I flipped on the TV and while browsing infomercials I somehow found motivation to climb on the bike and complete the Functional Threshhold Power Test I've been wanting to perform. A test from which all training power outputs are based when training with a power meter.

According to Training and Racing with a Power Meter the test includes the following:
1. 20 minute warm-up at 65% of threshold HR
2. 3 x 100+RPM - 1 minute intervals followed by 1 minute rest each.
3. 5 minutes all out to eliminate the "fresh" feeling
4. 1o minutes at 65% threshold HR
5. 20 minute time trial
6. 15 minute at 65% threshold HR
7. Cool down

I wrote it all down on a sticky as its a lot to remember especially when my main focus was pedaling. I got ready; turned on my fans, hopped on the bike and started with the 20 minute warm up. To this point the longest ride on my trainer had been about 45 minutes, not very long at all considering this summer I spent 4-5 hours a day in the saddle. As of late (as if I've been doing it a lot), I've begun jammin' to Rage Against the Machine on Pandora during my time on the trainer. Rage is a little heavy for 6AM but it certainly gets me pumped up and keeps me focused or shall I say disctracted.

My strategy during the time trial section of the test was to cover the time on my computer with the tape on my sticky note to pass the time faster. Even though the time was covered I based my time on the number of songs that played before I finally took a peek at 16:30. At one point I did try to cheat and lift up the sticky note to see the time but realized I had put the tape directly over the time which I think helped in the end. As far as my perceived effort, I think I probably could have gone harder but I'm just not sure. The cool thing about power is that this test is performed regularly (about every 5-6 weeks) to determine if any improvement in performance has been made.

Below shows the data captured by the Garmin during the test. I'm not overly pleased with the recording of the 310XT and here's why. The graph below shows three dramatic pauses in speed which occur from not pedaling, which didn't happen until after the 20 minute interval when I got off to tell Pandora that DAMNIT YES I'M STILL LISTENING!!! I don't have a magnet mounted on my wheel for the Garmin speed sensor because CycleOps recommends not to due to possible interference with the power meter. So where is the speed data coming from? Beats me! Not to mention the speed is similar to that of a car, not a cyclist on a trainer.

The PowerAgent ride summary shows all of the components of the ride. The 3x100+RPM - 1 minute intervals can be easily identified around minute 20. The result for the FTP 20 minute section, the important part of the test was 195 Functional Threshold watts. This number was corrected by subtracting 5% of the measured FT of 205.

I still have a lot to learn but this ride was a start in the right direction and hopefully I'll begin workouts based on power here soon.

Plus a little cookin'

Sesame seared Ahi Tuna on a fresh field greens salad with tomatoes from the vine, balsalmic dressing, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and other misc. ingredients.


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