“8 Days In California”: Stage 4 recap
Yesterday was the fourth stage of the “8 Days in California” challenge, and I made another solid showing.
Stage description: A shorter stage with short, punchy climbs will require shorter, more intense efforts than the preceding stages. There’s plenty of downtime between these short climbs giving riders the opportunity to recover and then really attack each of the climbs. There are a total of 2 KOM’s and 2 intermediate sprints.
Stage strategy: We can play things fast & loose if the GC standings allow it. We’ll try to rest up a bit while hunting KOM’s and sprint points with less concern for a top finish.
I’m in the zone right now. About 10 minutes into the stage, after the first couple clearing efforts, I was feeling strong and powerful. I rode the entire stage (including all the optional KOMs and sprints) at higher wattages than required. Felt great the entire stage.
Here are my post-stage notes:
Felt like a machine again today–a good place to be in the thick of this challenge. I rode well above my target wattages, and really attacked every climb, sprint and KOM. I have to admit the pair of climbs at the end were pretty good (“good” meaning challenging). Short stage, but I rode hard with an Intensity Factor of 1.01 (NP 273/FTP 270). Also set a new 2 minute power record of 386 watts.
As you just read, I managed to break my existing 2 minute power record. I actually did that twice: I broke my existing record on both of the 2-minute Anaerobic Capacity challenges with average wattage outputs of 386 and 385 (my existing record was 383 watts).
I also performed well on the two VO2 MAX climbs at the end of the workout, with 3 minute average wattage outputs of 330 on the first climb, and 344 on the last one.
In my post-stage notes I mentioned my IF of 1.01…
Intensity Factor, if you don’t know, is a calculation used to gauge the overall intensity of a ride. The formula is (IF = NP / FTP), where NP is Normalized Power and FTP is the rider’s Functional Threshold Power. In other words, an IF of 1.0 would be an all-out effort for one solid hour.
The Intensity Factor (IF) for Stage 4 was supposed to be 0.93, but I rode the stage hard and wound up with an IF of 1.01! This is only the second time I’ve exceeded 1.0 IF in a trainer workout.
Here’s my entire ride with all data on TrainerRoad.
I’m very happy with how the first half of the challenge has gone. These workouts have been tough, and I’ve broken a total of six power records thus far. I suspect more records will fall over the next 4 stages.
The Peloton continues to hemorrhage riders as the race wears on: 1,026 riders started this challenge, and after the first four stages only 345 cyclists remain. I would not be surprised if less than 250 of us are able to cross the finish line.
Today’s stage is going to be the easiest of the eight. I’m going to do the stage as planned, and try to conserve my energy. I’ll needed it: tomorrow’s stage is a time trial, and it’s going to be FAST and TOUGH! Then, on Saturday, we have the penultimate “Queen” stage (stage 7). This stage has not been released yet, but I have a strong hunch is going to be the longest and toughest of the entire challenge.