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TrainerRoad’s 2014 “8 Days in California”: Stage 7 recap

2014 8DC Stage 7: My workout graph

Note: This is continuing coverage of the 2014 “8 Days in California” challenge, in which I’m currently participating. My usual Sunday weekly maintenance report will return next week.

Yesterday I completed the seventh stage of TrainerRoad’s “8 Days in California” challenge. This stage required a strong effort to reach the criterium finish, and that’s when the real “fun” started. 🙂

Stage 7 description: Your penultimate stage certainly won’t provide any rest opportunities. Expect a ton of sweet-spot work as you navigate the initial rolling hills. But stay vigilant – you’ll need to give everything necessary to cover important moves while you work your way towards the extremely intense circuit finish.

My post-stage comments: My legs were feeling very heavy this morning, but once I settled into this Stage I felt quite good. The first three-quarters of the workout required plenty of sweat and focus, but after battling my way through the previous six 8DC stages any riding under FTP feels like a merciful gift. I felt solid on all the climbs and sprints, too. So that was the calm before the storm. Enter the criterion finish: 15 minutes of relentless over/under sprints–38 in total–took everything I had to get through. My Normalized Power (NP) for this stage was 275 watts, which breaks my previous 8DC NP personal record of 271 watts (set yesterday). My Intensity Factor (IF) was 0.96, which is another personal record for this year’s 8DC. Finally, I set a new TrainerRoad overall 60-minute power output PR of 273 watts, breaking my previous PR of 266 watts (which was set on Stage 4, and then tied on Stage 6). My legs feel like they are full of sand, but I’ll be ready for Stage 8.

I spent 17.8% of the 70-minute stage (00:12:29) in the Threshold power zone, 8.1% (00:5:42) in the VO2 MAX power zone and I was in the Anaerobic Capacity/Neuromuscular zone for 9.0% (00:06:19) of the time.

My heart rate data for this stage is as follows: I spent 45.8% (00:32:04) of the stage in the Threshold zone (155-171 BPM) and 25.8% (00:18:03) was spent in the VO2 MAX zone (171+ BPM).

As mentioned in my post-stage notes above, my Normalized Power (NP) output for this stage was 275 watts (breaking my one day old 8DC NP personal record), and I also set a new 8DC Intensity Factor (IF) personal record of 0.96. My Training Stress Score (TSS) for this stage was 106. You can check out the entire stage with all my workout data here.

I was pleased to see that I set a new indoor 60-minute average power output personal record of 273 watts on this stage (my overall/outdoor 60-minute power average PR, set last month on this ride, is 279 watts). That’s pretty darn close to my FTP of 288. Riding that close to my maximum capability for a full hour–especially alone and on a stationary trainer–is not an easy task. Stage 7 of the 8DC pushed me to do that, and I’m stronger for it. Thanks TrainerRoad!

Here is my 2014 8DC Stage 7 workout graph (click to enlarge):

2014 8DC Stage 7: My workout graph

2014 8DC Stage 7: My workout graph


We lost a few more riders during Stage 7: of 1,755 8DC participants, 1,228 have been eliminated from the challenge. That leaves just 527 riders in the peloton for the final stage.

It’s been a very tough week in the saddle, and Stage 8 will be no different. The final stage of the 2014 8DC is a circuit race; the cyclists who have survived to see this day will wage our final GC battle over four laps on a hilly and technical course. Let’s ride!