“8 Days In California“: Final thoughts along with stats and data.
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!
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!
8 Days in California: General Stats
|Stage||Time||Miles||Calories Burned||Average Speed||Average Heart Rate||Average Cadence|
8 Days in California: Training Stats
|Stage||Training Stress Score (TSS)||kilojoules (kJ)||Normalized Power (NP)||Intensity Factor (IF)|
|TOTALS||855||7,744||259.25 (average)||0.96 (average)|
8 Days in California: Power Zone Stats
|TOTALS||00:54:01 (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%)|
Finally, here are all my workout graphs from each stage (click to enlarge).