The 25 mile “fixie” workout.
Yesterday’s 1.5 hour/25.2 mile cycling workout was “Baxter” on TrainerRoad. This workout is what I call the “Fixie” workout: one gear for the entire 90 minutes, no backpedaling no coasting–relentless pedaling. Cadence is used to alter speed/power/effort as you progress through the workout’s 32 intervals.
Because you can’t periodically stand, coast and stretch (unless you cheat, which I refuse to do), this workout is quite literally a pain in the butt. About the best you can do is lightly lift your rear off the saddle and adjust your position as you ride. This was not a very comfortable workout.
You may recall that I am going back and repeating the Intermediate Base I program on TrainerRoad. Because I’ve done these workouts before (while I was in better shape), I’m finding it interesting to compare my workout data now and then. The first workout was compared here.
There are too many intervals (as mentioned above, there are 32) to compare each interval, but I can look at the workout as a whole.
This is a (mostly) aerobic workout, and so the average target power for the entire workout is just 174 watts (based on my FTP of 270). The first time I did this workout (October 2012) my average wattage was 177, while yesterday it was 179 watts. Even though my average power was a couple watts higher yesterday than it was in October, that’s not really significant. What is very significant, however, is that my average heart rate was 141 BPM back in October while yesterday it was 154 BPM.
Considering I’m not in the cardio shape that I was last October, the heart rate difference is not unexpected. It’s still sobering to see, and I certainly felt the difference. Yesterday’s workout was not nearly as difficult as some of the threshold+ level workouts I’ve done, but it was certainly harder than I remember it being.
Even though I’ve lost some fitness over the past few months, I kept my FTP set at 270. This choice is making the workouts harder than they are designed to be for my current level of fitness. I’m OK with that.
I’m working hard to regain the fitness I’ve lost over the past few months. I expect to start closing the power/heart rate gap noted the past couple of workout over the next month or so. Even though the next couple of weeks I will be on vacation and entertaining house guests, my training will continue unabated.