Week three of the Chris Carmichael training plan introduces power intervals into the mix starting today. Thankfully they are kept short with just 2 sets of 3 x 3 minute intervals with 3 minutes rest between intervals and 8 minutes between sets. For me that means putting out a consistent power output of 206+ watts coming down to less than 150w between intervals.
Today I experimented with cadence, I tried to maintain a cadence of 90 at +206watts and although it was slightly easier on the legs I found my heart rate was a few beats higher than if I went up a gear and lowered my cadence to around 80 so down to 80 I went - just a little bit more comfortable. The workout called for 1 to 1.5 hrs but because of having to dash off to work I cut the workout a little short of the full 1.5 hours.
Power intervals at around 206 watts seemed to be about the right level for me, they were hard enough that during the intervals I had to constantly goad myself to keep the effort up esp when I got into the last minute of each set. They were hard but not so hard that when finished I got off the bike absolutely cream crackered. Carmichael knows how to put a good taxing but not overtaxing workout together, not only did my legs get a good workout but my willpower also, something that will be needed in bucket fulls come the end of March and come the sight of that hump called Mow Cop...
ThursdayToday's workout called for 27 minutes of over/unders incorporated within 75 to 90 minutes of Endurance Miles. Over/Under works out at 86-90% (under) and 95-100% (over) of the field test measured in watts, in my case that works out at 177-185w & 195-206w. So 15 minute warm up then into the 3 sets, each set comprised of 2 min under 1 min over repeated 3 times for the first set of 9 minutes, 6 min rest then repeat and then repeat again. All I can say is that they are bloody hard work but funnily enough I found that the Over with the higher wattage was just that little bit easier than the Under. What I was doing was upping the cadence to get to the +200 watts even though my HR upped slightly and that made a difference, not a lot but enough to take some pressure away from my thighs.
Again I am pleasantly surprised that the workout was hard but not so hard that after the workout I fell about with jelly legs and a foggy brain which i have done on occasion after an intense workout when I've been doing 'my own thing'. Completing the field test to get an accurate figure to base the workouts on is well worth the effort and anyone reading this contemplating following the TTCP would be well advised to do the test and not just guess your figures.
If you are wondering how I'm reading watts well I bought myself one of these. They are OK but nothing that cannot be done with a normal rear wheel reading bike computer and the speed to watts charts available from Kurt Kinetic, with the KK trainer any certain speed equates to a certain power just as long as you set up your bike on the trainer the same way every time. My advice? don't bother buying the KK computer unless if you are on the lookout for your first bike computer.
One thing I'm not sure about is Kurt Kinetic 'watts', are they the same as real watts the same as you would get from a 'proper' power meter? I hope not I hope that the KK watts are under reading and that my paltry 200 watts is really 250w because if they really are accurate to +/- 3% as KK say then I have a lot of work to do, I've got the power of an untrained pre-adolescent girl... no offence to any pre-adolescent girls reading this, unlikely I know but you just never know...
An easy day today with Sundays club ride in mind so it was pure Endurance Miles and a DVD, just miles today, no intervals and nothing else... boring stuff...
My Turbo Stats for the week
Tuesday 1hr10min, 16.42 miles, Av Spd 14.1Thursday 1hr30min, 21.75 miles Av Spd 14.5
Saturday 1hr 20min, 18.28 miles Av Spd 13.7