Riding Long[er] & power profile testing

July 14, 2008 at 9:31 am Leave a comment

Feeling fresh off a recovery week, I got a little ambitious this last weekend.  On Saturday, I ditched the swim session I had planned (surprise, surprise) and decided to spend a little time indoors on the saddle to do a power profile test.  The test I used is outlined in Allen and Coggan’s Training and Racing with a Power Meter.  A quick aside: this book is technical and focused towards cyclists.  If you’re looking for a simple to understand approach to training with power, check out the free resources section on trainingbible.com.  Joe Friel sets out a simple approach based on A&C’s work.

Anyways, back to the weekend.  I’m happy to report that I set new personal power records in each of the distances I tested last week (5 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes).  It’s always nice to see that the work you’re doing is paying off.  I’m still not where I want to be in terms of power and where I feel that I should be given the power in my legs based on my gym workouts (I can do sets/reps with in excess of 700 pounds on the leg press), but I realize now (after some reading) that this is due to my status as a novice cyclist.  In reality, aside from my brief stint with training last year (about 2 months or so before I fell off the wagon), I had never been a cyclist before so I really only have about six months of cycling under my belt.  With focused training, I should continue to improve.

On Sunday, I set another personal best along with some more power records for 60 minutes and 120 minutes.  My personal best was that I rode 85 miles.  The majority of this was covered at about 20 miles an hour, but my total ride was 4 hours 30 minutes due to the lights/traffic getting to/from the Silver Strand in Coronado as well as the fact that I was wiped on the way home and there was a wicked headwind.  

I’m not going to lie, my legs felt like they were going to fall off.  I guess this is understandable considering that my prior long was 63 miles.  Still, I’m happy with my results.  My last really long ride of this length will probably be next Sunday and then I’m going to scale it back a bit so that I can focus on higher intensity training and peaking for my races.  

Although I’m not too concerned about this sprint race coming up, it’s going to be my first race and I want to do well in it.  I’m hoping the field will be a bit bigger this year (last year there were only nine competitors in my age group).  Since the race is so short, I’m going to be going all out and then some.  I have more than enough fitness right now to complete this race at a good pace for me but I’m hoping to surprise myself a bit as well.  

Well, back to studying for the more imminent test of my abilities: the California Bar Exam.  Exactly two weeks plus one day from now I’ll be mid-way through my first of six three-hour sessions.  I feel like all my training is going to help me somehow with the endurance factor on this test.  If nothing else, I’ll probably have one of the lowest resting heart rates in the exam room.

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