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Very promising early results as I recover from the 8DC.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

May
21
2014

The day after I completed the “8 Days in California” (8DC) challenge, I went for an easy and short 32 kilometer/20 mile ride. My legs were definitely feeling heavy, and I was quite fatigued in general. After 8 straight days of very intense riding, it was a little strange to be soft peddling around at 18 MPH in Zone 1 (Recovery).

For yesterday’s ride I increased the distance slightly, and I also increased the intensity to Zone 3 (Tempo). My weighted average power was 245 watts and my average speed was 20.2 MPH. I was feeling surprisingly good, so I decided to load test my legs by hammering a ~1-mile segment. On that segment I set a new PR for time, and I also set a new 2:08 average wattage output personal record of 413 watts (click to enlarge):

New 2:08 average power PR of 413 watts.

New 2:08 average power PR of 413 watts.

 

That new wattage PR smashed my existing 2-minute wattage PR of 376 watts, which I’d just set on Sunday during Stage 8 of the 8DC. I actually averaged 418 watts over 2:10, but the first 2 seconds of my effort was not part of that segment.

I think the fitness benefits of the 8DC are going to be huge. I’m already setting new time and power PRs, and I’m still not recovered from the event! In addition to the increase in fitness, the 8DC seems to have recalibrated my pain gauge. Hammering the above segment just didn’t hurt the way it usually would. I felt good. Really good.

On the subject of recovery, this morning I took a look at my “Fitness & Freshness” chart on Strava (this is a premium feature and requires a power meter), and saw that as of Sunday my Fitness has peaked at 77, but my fatigue was quite high at 106 (click to enlarge):

My current "Fitness & Freshness" chart on Strava

My current "Fitness & Freshness" chart on Strava

 

As you can see, since Sunday my “Fitness” has dropped only slightly to 74 (obviously a good thing), but my “Fatigue” has fallen considerably to 82 (also good). This is the expected result from a couple days of shorter, easy(ish) rides.

The other metric on the “Fitness & Freshness” chart is “Form”, and that score is derived from the Fitness score and the Freshness score. Strava models these scores along with projections (indicated by the dashed lines) showing where the athlete will, in theory, be strongest (also known as “peaking”). Click to enlarge:

My current Fitness and Form, shown with their future projections.

My current Fitness and Form, shown with their future projections.

 

The trick to actually realizing that projection is to resist my natural urge to ABH (Always Be Hammering), and let my body to rest and recover. Today’s ride will be low intensity, and not terribly long. I’m very interested to see how I perform when Strava thinks I should be peaking.

 

John Stone Fitness Comments

7 Responses to “Very promising early results as I recover from the 8DC.”
      • I was just wondering if you are preferring road cycling so much more or maybe if you were avoiding the mountain bike because without the power meter on it, you wouldn’t be getting all of your data.

        Congrats by the way on the 8DC. I find your transformation fascinating and really enjoy reading to see what you will do next. I’ve been reading for a long time.

        Thanks

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        • While I love to analyze my ride data, that’s got nothing to do with the lack of MTB action lately. The simple reason I’m doing so much road riding right now is because I really enjoy it. I’m hooked. As a longtime reader (thanks, BTW!), you probably know that when I decide I like something, I really get into it.

          I’ll be back on my MTB soon enough. In fact, I’m seriously thinking about selling my Fuel and getting to work on a 100% customized 29″ XC race build… with a power meter. 🙂

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    • I wouldn’t touch that question with a 10-foot pole. You always seem to ferret out the hot button topics. 🙂

      I’ll simply say that road cycling and mountain biking are both inherently dangerous sports.

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      • LOL, for once I was actually asking what I thought was a seemingly innocent question that I was just curious your opinion. I honestly thought for sure you’d say MTB, as that was what I figured to be the surefire answer. But I gather there’s some dissension among the biking ranks regarding this issue?

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