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Tough cycling workout yesterday (w/ analysis); Madone BB issue returns.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Yesterday I was still not 100% recovered from the 43 mile mountain bike ride I did over the weekend, and so I was on fence about doing a cycling training workout. The next workout in the training program I’m following is not just tough, it’s very tough. And long. The workout is called “Tioga“, and it’s a 1.5 hour/25.9 mile slug-fest. “Tioga” includes 5×9 minute intervals spent slightly above or slightly below Functional Threshold Power (my FTP is currently 270) via 2-minute under-segments followed by 1-minute over-segments; 6 minute active recovery between intervals.

I’ve done this workout in the past (November 2012), and after doing it I made the following comment:

“This workout was, by far, the most challenging thus far in the training program I’m currently following. It hurt.”

I was pretty much at my peak conditioning when I made that comment, so even under ideal circumstances it’s a painful hour and a half.

I think it’s important to listen to your body: over-training can hurt you every bit as much as under-training (if not more). But I find that if I’m truly on the fence about doing a workout (as I was yesterday), it’s always best to hop off on the side of Rule #5 (link possibly NSFW). So I HTFU and did it. Yeah, it was hard. Yeah, my legs were barking, especially on the last two intervals, but overall I felt surprisingly good and was able to exceed the power targets on every interval.

I think doing this workout right after the 43 mile MTB ride is going to bring about some very positive adaptation. I’m glad I did it.

Yesterday's workout graph.

Yesterday’s workout graph.

More good news. As you may already know, when I resumed my structured cycling training in late February (after a couple months of reduced riding and no structured training) I decided to go back and repeat the Intermediate Base I program on TrainerRoad. For each workout in the program I’ve found it interesting to compare my heart rate and power data from late last year (when I was at my peak) to the same workouts repeated this year. I’ve had a lot of catching up to do: up until yesterday my heart rate has always been higher than it was last year at the same wattage output levels. For the first time this year, yesterday my average heart rate was lower than it was last year doing the same workout! In other words, I believe my conditioning is nearly back to where it was. The next couple of workouts will be very telling.

And now for some bad news. Towards the end of the workout my cranks started knocking slightly. I ignored the sound and finished the workout, but I knew what was wrong…

After I finished the workout I grabbed the cranks and pulled from side to side: yep, loose. Again. Grrr.

You may recall that in early January I had the same issue (see this blog), and was concerned that the problem was a known Trek Madone issue. I took my bike to the shop the next day, and they appeared to find and resolve the issue.

I’m not happy right now. Clearly this is a larger issue than what the shop determined it to be in January, and is very likely the known issue that I discovered during my research. I want this issue resolved for good, or my money back. Also I can not be without a road bike right now, as I am right in the middle of my training program. If this bike has to go back to Trek for warranty work, I am going to insist on a loaner.

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