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Hard ride Saturday, new 4-hour wattage PR; Why zeros count.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I got some good rides in over the 3-day weekend, enjoyed some down time and had a few really tasty meals.

My longest and toughest ride was on Saturday morning. The ride was 133 kilometers (83 miles), and I rode solo. Group rides are a lot of fun and, depending on the group, they often have a competitive dynamic that is really motivating and effective from a training standpoint. That said, I really enjoy solo training, too. Some people have trouble pushing themselves when riding solo; I am definitely not one of those people. In fact, I’d say that I’m more competitive with myself than I am with others. Case in point: when I return from a ride, nothing excites me more than a new power output personal record. KOMs are great, but power PRs never fail to put a big ol’ smile on my mug. 🙂

On Saturday’s ride I set off just after sunrise to minimize the time I’d be riding under the scorching Florida sun. A nice bonus of rolling early is the view:

I love riding at sunrise. This was the view near the beginning of Saturday's solo 83 mile training ride.

I love riding at sunrise. This was the view near the beginning of Saturday’s solo 83 mile training ride.


It was relatively cool during the first half of the ride, but after mile 50 or so it really started heating up. Added to that, around mile 44 is when I did a fairly hard 23 kilometer (14.2 mile) 35-minute TT effort @ 253 watts. By the time I finished that little number I was drenched in sweat. The last hour of the ride was really hot and painful.

When I got back home I was pleased to see that I set a new 4-hour power output PR of 203 watts, which is a 15 watt improvement over my previous best 4-hour PR.

One thing to note about power PRs is that the clock is still running when you stop. In other words, if you rest those zeros are factored in. I did not rest at all during my 83 mile ride, but I did have to pull over at one point on a remote road to empty my bladder. It was a quick 3-minute stop, but that was 3 minutes of zeros averaged into my 4-hour effort, and that stop negatively affected my 4-hour wattage average. Without that 3 minute stop my 4-hour average would have been, I believe, 207 watts.

Factoring in rest time is the only fair way to do wattage output measurements. Doing 8×30 minute intervals with 10 minutes rest between each interval is obviously not true measure of how many watts you can output for four hours. This is something to keep in mind on those longer efforts if you’re going for wattage output PRs. In other words, don’t SAG. 🙂

My rides on Sunday and Monday were not quite as long and intense as Saturday’s ride, but they were not recovery rides, either. I think I’m due for one of those this morning….

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “Hard ride Saturday, new 4-hour wattage PR; Why zeros count.”
  1. I understand wanting to get your rides in early. Just returned home from vacation in the Destin/Santa Rosa Beach area and can attest to the brutal effects of the Florida sun. While we’ve been experiencing cloudy below normal temps and tons of rain here in TX, we saw nothing but sunny weather and my kids got fairly sunburned even through we had them applying SPF 50 constantly. I can usually ride for a couple of hours with no burning using regular sunscreen at home but was amazed at how much color I got on this trip.

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