I had a long and fairly stressful day at work yesterday, and I had to force myself to train. As is always the case when I don’t feel like working out, the hardest part is making myself do it; the other absolute is that I never regret doing so. 🙂
Yesterday’s cycling workout was “Ericsson” on TrainerRoad. This 60 minute/17.3 mile workout contains 4×8 minute intervals in the sweet spot (88-94% FTP). The workout is designed to improve sustainable leg speed and pedal economy.
As most of you know, 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. Even though my conditioning is not at its peak, I’ve decided to do these workouts using the same FTP (Functional Threshold Power) as it was the first time I did them (FTP of 270).
Yesterday’s workout required a fair amount of focus (as riding near threshold always does), but I felt good. In fact, I would say that yesterday was about the best I’ve felt on my road bike since resuming my training program.
Target average power for each of the four working intervals was 247, and I had no problem exceeding that mark with average power outputs of 252, 253, 254 and 255 watts. Target average power for the entire hour-long workout was 191, and my actual average power was 198.
As has been the case for the past few workouts, my average heart rate has been higher than it was back in October when I was in better shape. Back in October my average heart rate for each of the four working intervals in this workout was 153, 157, 159 and 164. Yesterday my average heart rate during the four working intervals was 165, 170, 175 and 177. That’s a 12, 13, 16 and 13 BPM difference. The 3rd interval (with the higher heart rate as compared to the other intervals) might be explained by a slightly higher power output (254 watts) yesterday than I put out in that interval last October (252 watts).
Looking at the entire workout, my average heart rate was 156 BPM yesterday, while in October it was 145 BPM.
Okay, so this is encouraging. The first of these past three workouts my average heart rate was 14 BPM higher than it was in October, the second workout it was 13 BPM higher and yesterday it was 11 BPM higher. I’m closing the gap. This is going to take some time, but I can already feel my former conditioning coming back! I almost feel like I’m on the cusp of a bit of a breakthrough. We’ll see.
I think it’s cool that I have concrete workout data to back up how I’m feeling. I know, I’m a cycling dork.