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“8 Days In California“: Final thoughts along with stats and data.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

May
21
2013

TrainerRoad’s “8 Days In California” challenge was an incredible success. I want to thank the TrainerRoad team for putting this challenge together. Everything ran smoothly, and the workouts were extremely well done. Great job, guys!

 The Aftermath. This is how my gym looked immediately after I completed the eighth and final grueling stage. I left all the gel, Chomps, Sport Beans and other wrappers on the floor for the duration of the event to remind me how much I'd already accomplished whenever the pain made me want to quit.

The Aftermath. This is how my gym looked immediately after I completed the eighth and final grueling stage. I left all the gel, Chomps, Sport Beans and other wrappers on the floor for the duration of the event to remind me how much I’d already accomplished whenever the pain made me want to quit.

I found all of the stages to be exceptionally well-designed, but the Queen stage was a stroke of evil genius. That stage pushed me to my limits, and I loved it for doing so. Probably the toughest trainer workout I’ve ever done.

Here are a few words from the mastermind behind the 8DC stages (as well as many other workouts and training plans on TrainerRoad), Chad Timmerman. Chad is a USAC level II cycling coach (actually he might be level I now, not sure on that)…

First and foremost, overload was the umbrella objective both in a general sense but also in a number of specific senses. Clearly, that much work within such a compact period of training takes a heavy toll on the body as a whole and given adequate recovery will allow your capabilities to ascend to new heights, but the types of efforts doled out over the course of the tour each had their own objectives in terms of growing specific capabilities. Sprinting repeatedly (lactate production), riding at your peak aerobic output time & again with minimal recovery (aerobic power), pushing you to the height of your sprint output (anaerobic capacity), asking you to ride for extended, continuous periods of time forcing you to rely on straightforward endurance (aerobic base), and even some speed & form work thrown in for good measure all culminate in a well-rounded training scenario that illustrates how necessarily complete a cyclist’s fitness must be in order to contest or even complete a stage race.

And while stage racing might not even be on your radar, the benefits bestowed upon athletes who undertake such challenges, either in competition or simply as training, can change a rider forever. If you’ve ever closely followed the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia or the Vuelta a Espana then you’ve heard coaches, athletes, team directors, commentators remark on how a grand tour ‘changes’ riders. What you may not have fully grasped before 8DC was the depth at which these changes take root. While this event wasn’t a grand tour, over its course both physiological & psychological cascades of events were set into action. Riders inevitably learned that their bodies were capable of more than they’d imagined and just this glimpse of control over something intimidating and rigorous & the accomplishment that follows its completion can bring a new level of confidence and ambition that no typical training plan can foster via the usual, work/rest/work/work/rest paradigm.

These workouts pushed me harder than I’ve ever been pushed before on the trainer: over the course of the 8-day event I set new 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 60 and 90 minute power output records. Check out my career page on TrainerRoad if you want.

Last night I sat down and crunched the massive amount of workout data that was recorded during the 8 day event. I find this sort of stuff interesting, hope you do too!

For more information on the terms used below, please check out my article “Coggan’s Power-Based Training” and this article on TrainingPeaks.

8 Days in California: General Stats

StageTimeMilesCalories BurnedAverage SpeedAverage Heart RateAverage Cadence
TOTALS9:14:12173.48,64118.76151.7588.5
101:18:5825.31,27619.215989
201:13:0223.41,18619.315489
301:11:0222.11,10618.715487
400:55:0216.883518.414789
501:07:0220.91,02418.714789
601:00:0217.784517.714589
701:33:0229.31,46918.915788
800:56:0217.990019.215189

 

8 Days in California: Training Stats

StageTraining Stress Score (TSS)kilojoules (kJ)Normalized Power (NP)Intensity Factor (IF)
TOTALS8557,744259.25 (average)0.96 (average)
11191,1442560.95
21141,0632610.97
31149912650.98
4947482731.01
5979172510.93
6867582500.93
71461,3172610.97
8858062570.95

 

8 Days in California: Power Zone Stats

StageRecoveryEnduranceTempoThresholdVO2 MAXAnaerobicNeuro-
muscular
TOTALS00:54:01 (9.75%)2:35:03 (27.98%)01:25:47 (15.48%)02:27:02 (26.53%)01:10:46 (12.77%)00:29:47 (5.37%)00:11:46 (2.12%)
100:02:2100:18:0000:16:5300:25:2400:13:3000:02:2400:00:26
200:02:39
00:17:57
00:13:05
00:27:08
00:07:14
00:03:40
00:01:19
300:19:36
00:08:24
00:03:00
00:22:30
00:12:18
00:02:52
00:02:22
400:02:49
00:33:17
00:01:21
00:02:12
00:03:14
00:09:49
00:02:20
500:01:24
00:22:02
00:22:20
00:16:18
00:02:37
00:01:02
00:01:19
600:19:06
00:19:06
00:01:51
00:06:14
00:15:21
00:02:42
00:00:53
700:06:06
00:31:01
00:04:58
00:33:04
00:09:18
00:06:17
00:02:18
800:00:00
00:10:27
00:22:19
00:14:12
00:07:14
00:01:01
00:00:49

 

Finally, here are all my workout graphs from each stage (click to enlarge).

8DC Stage 1: My workout graph

8DC Stage 1: My workout graph

8DC Stage 2: My workout graph

8DC Stage 2: My workout graph

8DC Stage 3: My workout graph

8DC Stage 3: My workout graph

8DC Stage 4: My workout graph

8DC Stage 4: My workout graph

8DC Stage 5: My workout graph

8DC Stage 5: My workout graph

8DC Stage 6: My workout graph

8DC Stage 6: My workout graph

8DC Stage 7: My workout graph

8DC Stage 7: My workout graph

8DC Stage 8: My workout graph

8DC Stage 8: My workout graph

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to ““8 Days In California“: Final thoughts along with stats and data.”
    • Unfortunately no, but I agree that a ranking of the finishers would have been very cool. TrainerRoad could have, for example, totaled each rider’s Normalized Power from all 8 stages and then done a leaderboard.

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