Over the past 2 months my fitness has been dwindling. Although I have some big races coming up, I haven’t been in the racing mindset, and my training has not been training per se. I have had more off days than training days, and I generally don’t even like to take off days. It is pretty normal for me to only take 1-2 days off per month, and these are only when other commitments keep me from exercising or if I feel particularly fatigued and decide to take a day off. Taking time off is not a bad thing, except that I have early season races planned.

I’ve only been riding about twice a week, and these have been fairly low intensity rides. I see them as ‘therapeutic’ in that they provide me some relaxation time to escape from the stress of life. Maybe ‘recreation’ would be a more appropriate term, but either way, my rides recently have been unstructured without a training focus. Friday (2/25) I went out for another one of these rides with my friend Tim, and a couple hours into the ride we decided to finish up with an interval set. We did 20 X 1 minute intervals with 1 minute rest. This is an aerobic workout, although the effort is much higher than tempo race effort. One nice thing about this set is you just ride hard without much concern of watching power, and can review the data later. I haven’t done this workout in a while. I remember doing it in July when I wrote about it here. Since I feel my fitness is pretty poor right now I pulled up those numbers to compare to what I was able to do this time.

Average Power for each interval:

Interval 7/22/10 2/25/11
1 503 526
2 409 465
3 426 460
4 413 446
5 400 495
6 432 463
7 391 455
8 429 454
9 378 441
10 397 440
11 364 424
12 403 450
13 423 439
14 417 434
15 384 452
16 276 454
17 309 438
18 442 454
19 420 449
20 392 500
Avg 400 457

I didn’t post any heart rate data in July, but decided to look at minimum and maximum HR for each interval. It takes a while for HR to respond to the effort, so average HR isn’t very useful. Minimum HR is an indication of how quickly I recovered between the efforts, and maximum HR is another indicator of ‘effort’, and the power data above is an actual indicator of output. By comparing the output (power data above) to a current threshold power (obtained through recent testing, which I have not done) you can determine a much more accurate effort measurement than looking at the maximum HR. My perceived effort for each interval was high, but I used different gearing for each interval so each interval ‘felt’ different.

Minimum HR for each interval

Interval 7/22/10 2/25/11
1 115 102
2 122 113
3 123 113
4 121 116
5 126 116
6 124 114
7 134 115
8 126 117
9 131 118
10 131 116
11 133 113
12 130 111
13 132 112
14 132 115
15 124 112
16 125 117
17 122 117
18 123 114
19 129 119
20 133 118
Avg 127 114

Maximum HR for each interval:

Interval 7/22/10 2/25/11
1 151 156
2 151 155
3 153 156
4 156 156
5 153 161
6 159 157
7 158 158
8 158 158
9 151 156
10 157 156
11 157 156
12 156 157
13 158 158
14 157 157
15 156 158
16 152 160
17 147 158
18 155 160
19 155 160
20 158 161
Avg 155 158

Overall, my power was higher, max HR higher, min HR lower, HR and power were more consistent. All these suggest that my fitness (threshold power, aerobic conditioning, and fatigue resistance) may actually be much better now than in July.

20X1 min intervals, HR and Power

I am offering some ‘by the hour’ coaching through Coachme Triathlon. If you are using this service, you can find me using this code: C2011-874509 or by emailing my name to athletes@coachmetriathlon.com. I know a lot of athletes training with power meters or GPS devices are struggling with making sense of the data. If you need some analysis or coaching with how to use these devices, I can provide that by email/phone/skype if you are not in my area.


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