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TrainerRoad’s 2014 “8 Days in California”: Stage 5 recap

2014 8DC Stage 5: My workout graph

Yesterday I completed the fifth stage of TrainerRoad’s “8 Days in California” challenge. This short 56-minute stage offered a bit of respite from the intensity of the previous four stages, but it was far from boring, and certainly not without its challenges.

Stage 5 description: Stage five is full of opportunity to gain points, but its shorter duration provides a great chance to get some life back into your legs after four days of hard racing. Frequent climbs at or above 77% FTP are intermingled with anaerobic sprint efforts for those coveted sprint points. What makes today’s stage most interesting is a strong climb towards the end, followed by a massive descent that is sure to keep everybody on their toes.

My post-stage comments: While this was not what I would call an “easy” stage, Stage 5 didn’t throw anything too crazy at me. There was one fairly long (~12 minute) Categorized climb that got my heart rate up pretty good, as well as three optional sprints (I did them all). Apart from that, this stage mostly involved tucking in for some Tempo and Sweet Spot riding. I worked the final sprint and its build-up pretty hard, setting new 10-second, 20-second, 30-second, 1-minute and 2-minute power personal records. I’m going to bed early tonight, Stage 6 is going to be a slaughterhouse.

I spent 16.3% of the stage (00:09:09) in the Threshold power zone, 6.2% (00:03:30) in the VO2 MAX power zone and in the Anaerobic Capacity/Neuromuscular zone for 3% (00:1:41) of the time.

Looking at my heart rate data, I spent 28.6% (00:16:00) of the 56-minute stage in the Threshold zone (155-171 BPM) and 15.2% (00:08:31) of the stage was spent riding in the VO2 MAX zone (171+ BPM).

My Normalized Power (NP) output for this stage was 261 watts, and my Training Stress Score (TSS) was 77. You can check out the entire stage with all my workout data here.

Here is my 2014 8DC Stage 5 workout graph (click to enlarge):

2014 8DC Stage 5: My workout graph

2014 8DC Stage 5: My workout graph


A couple dozen more riders were dropped in Stage 5: of 1,751 8DC participants, 1,146 have been eliminated. With three stages left to ride in the 2014 8DC, there are 605 riders remaining in the challenge.

Stage six, which I’ll be riding this morning, will be unrelenting in its wickedness–quite possibly the most difficult stage of the 2014 8DC. Rule #5 will be in full effect. I think I’m going have to make a special playlist for this one…