Yesterday’s workout was TOUGH; Death in family, not doing Horrible Hundred.
I’m now in the 5th week of the 6-week cycling training program I’m currently following on TrainerRoad, and yesterday’s workout was the first one that really tested me.
The 1.5 hour/42.49 kilometer workout in question is called “Tioga”. The workout included 5×9 minute intervals spent slightly above or slightly below my Functional Threshold Power (currently 280) via 2-minute under-segments followed by 1-minute over-segments; 6 minute active recovery between intervals. I spent 28.3% of the time riding in the Threshold power zone, and 14.9% of the time riding in the VO2 Max power zone. All the working intervals hurt, the last two were especially challenging.
For an explanation of Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and Power-Based Training, please give my Coggan’s Power-Based Training article a read.
What makes this workout tough is that contained in each of the five 9-minute intervals are three 1-minute “over” segments (above FTP) followed by 2-minutes at a slightly reduced power output (just below FTP). When you finish the “over” segments it’s tough to back off only slightly because you’re hurting. Of course then you’ve got 2 minutes just below FTP followed by another minute above FTP, and so on. The first few 9-minute intervals were tough, but as the 1.5 hour workout wore on and fatigue set in they became progressively more difficult. The last two intervals really tested me. This was the first workout in this training program during which I (briefly) wondered if I would be able to complete the workout. Of course the only way I was going to quit was by passing out!
Yesterday’s workout was made even more challenging because my legs were far from fresh: I did a tough 100 kilometer group ride on Saturday, spun out a 21.79 kilometer recovery ride on Sunday and then on Monday I did a muscle-heavy 1-hour/29.13 kilometer training workout.
The goals of yesterday’s workout are as follows:
“To develop the ability to handle changes in pace during hard, sustained efforts by improving my capacity to tolerate & buffer lactate accumulation & to gradually improve my sustainable power (FTP) by riding slightly above my current sustainable power for brief periods.”
While I was doing the workout I did not dwell on the discomfort I was feeling; instead I focused on why I was doing the workout. I thought, “I am becoming a stronger rider, and it’s happening right now.”
Nothing good ever comes easy. You’ve got to put in the work.
Here’s the power and heart rate graph for the workout (click to enlarge). Complete data on the ride can be found here.
Unfortunately we had a bit of bad news this morning. Lisa’s grandmother died last night. She was a wonderful lady and, at 96 years old, she lived a long and happy life. We’ll all miss her very much. Lisa and her parents are going to Virginia tomorrow, and while they are gone I’ll be the only family member here in town (I have to stay behind due to work and to care for the animals). While everyone is gone I can’t do any rides where there’s an elevated risk of injury, as all the family I have here in the state will be far away. So that means I can’t do the Horrible Hundred this weekend (which I was leaning towards doing, but still not 100% committed).
I’ll just stay close to home and use this time to focus on my training.
I slept 9 hours last night, and I really needed it. This morning my legs are feeling quite fatigued, and so I’m going to take the day off from riding and get an upper body weight training workout in.