Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday - Power Intervals And Progress

So now that I'm back from Colorado the real training begins. For the most part I've really just been tooling around running and riding and swimming without too much stress placed on the body except for the normal amount of stress that comes with the accumulation of increased volume over time. And I have to say I'm pretty happy with the results I've created from my decision to train in this manner. This is the first season I can remember where I've managed to stay healthy and motivated and so I'm actually looking forward to racing later this year.

Well almost healthy. I did step on a rock while I was in Boulder when I was wearing my Vibrams and managed to dislocate a "new" bone in my foot. My only real issue with this was I was in Boulder and didn't have access to my "magical" chiropractor to put it back in. The guy I saw in Boulder, while well meaning, couldn't tell if the foot had a dislocated bone or stress fracture. But at least he didn't charge me for the "sort of" diagnosis.

The difficult part for me was I managed to find said rock on my first day in town so I didn't get to run for the rest of the week and had to limp around town for the next 7 days. But it didn't stop me from riding. ;) So the blessing in disguise was probably that I spent a lot more time on the bike than I had planned and as a result also spent a lot more time in bed with my foot elevated to keep swelling to a minimum when I wasn't out riding. A total win on both counts.

All of this gets me to the title of this post. Today I start my more focused block of training which on the bike means power intervals on the trainer and longer steady state rides outdoors. This also means it is time for some testing to get the appropriate training intensities. Because I do the same stuff from year to year and keep decent enough notes, I was pretty happy to discover an improvement over last years work of about 25 watts. This is average power and so is a sustained power improvement. I am also about 7 pounds lighter than I was at this time last year which means not only am I able to work harder, I do not need to move as much body weight while I'm working. On top of the lighter body weight, and 25 additional watts, I also recorded a lower heart rate by about 3 bpm. Again all good news.

I still have a long way to go but starting my season out prior to the focused work which tends to produce the most noticeable gains in power threshold and fitness is pretty exciting. So my work for today had me doing a two part work out. The first section was an hour with a 30 min block of power interval work at high cadence (over 100 rpms sustaining prescribed wattage for 5 minute sets). The second block was an hour recovery ride keeping heart rate below 145.

Both blocks went well and I feel good going into tomorrow's workouts. The foot is feeling much better after getting the bone put back in place this weekend. But I'm giving it a couple of days to let the swelling and trauma resolve after it had been out for almost 2 weeks. But like I said, it gave me time to really focus on my cycling so I'm not too upset about not running.

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