and yes, I’m also biking…fast…and long

A lot of recent focus on kicking my swimming up a notch…and yes, I’m also biking and running 🙂

Yesterday’s bike ride is a good example of my long ride with HIT (High Intensity Training) for almost half of it…typically every Saturday…I don’t have such a thing as a long, slow ride anywhere in the schedule.

…our picture today my Power graph from the Saturday ride…the blue lines are MPH, and just shows how hilly the ride is…speed is all over the place…click on the picture for a bigger version

…if there’s a minor point in that…well, actually I think it’s a major point…speed is a lousy indicator of effort in both training and racing on the bike…the red line Heart Rate (RPE very similar…Rate of Perceived Exertion) is better than speed, but not as precise as Power since _lots_ of factors affect Heart Rate and RPE, not just the effort (work) that you’re putting out…the purple line, Power is as good as it gets, until something else better comes along

…I’ll write a separate post, using this workout as an example

Here’s the workout spec: 3:30:30 total time planned:
– the Z3/4/5 designations are my Intensity Zones…for more details on Intensity Zones:

All my bike workouts are based on my FTP (Functional Threshold Power)…my tested maximum power estimate for a 1 hour period…last test 270W on May 2, 2011

…I haven’t done much in the 95-100% FTP/z4-5 range for 2 months now, prior to my Vancouver Half Iron race on July 3, so was interested in seeing how the legs would hold up…also whether my weight loss had shredded the power in my legs

Warm-up: 20-30′ @ 65-70%/z1-2/Easy
â– 10′ (4′) @ 95-100% FTP/z4-5
â– 12′ (4′) @ 95-100% FTP/z4-5
â– 16′ (4′) @ 95-100% FTP/z4-5, then 10′ Easy
â– 2 x 20′ (2′) @ 80-85%/z3
â– Remainder of ride time is @75-80%/z2, in the aerobars, practicing steady riding: no surges, constant power, etc
Warm-down: 10′ Easy spin.

So here’s what I did…my training log notes…the Shearer route, is a heavy rolling course, although one of the few local roads where you don’t ‘run out of gears’…you use every gear, but can still keep 200 Watts+ even on the downhills…just over 7 miles…the N (north) direction is predominantly uphill, the S (south) direction, predominantly downhill…a hair shorter so that I don’t run into the stop sign :

solid ride, 3:37:26, @ 207W norm power…nice…although fading by the end…76-87F, 63-53%H…getting a bit hot…total calories: 3 Powerbar gel + 72oz Powerbar Perform & Gatorade  = 780 calories…been trying to stay to the light side to see if my stomach & legs like it better…maybe too light…should kick it up to 300 calories/hour next ride…last IM 400 calories/hour…maybe too much, deflecting too much attention to my stomach rather than legs
– workout as planned though, 3 sets of Shearer N & S, with rolling/planned rest between

#1: Z4-5: target was 255W’ish > ACTUAL: 257W, 21.8MPH (35.1KPH)
#1: N: 260W, 7.258 miles, 21:10, 20.6MPH, 148HR max
#1: S: 252W, 7.203 miles, 18:33, 23.3MPH, 151HR max

#2: Z3: target was 215-220W’ish > ACTUAL: 217W, 20.4MPH (32.8KPH)
#2: N: 217W, 7.249 miles, 23:09, 18.8MPH, 135HR max
#2: S: 217W, 7.190 miles, 19:22, 22.3MPH, 138HR max

#3: Z2: Ironman race target power: 200W’ish > ACTUAL: 200W, 19.7MPH (31.7 KPH)
#3: N: 204W, 7.254 miles, 23:29, 18.5MPH, 132HR max
#3: S: 195W, 7.162 miles, 20:24, 21.0MPH, 139HR max

…200W on the hilly Shearer route @ 19.7MPH, probably = 20MPH+ on the Ironman Florida course…
…190W probably therefore 19.5MPH’ish (31.4KPH) @ Ironman Florida

The long and the short of it is that I hit all my targets for power in each of the 3 intervals, so I was very happy with that…my legs were feeling it by the end though, and the 139HR max on the last interval tells me that I was overheating…should have been closer to 132HR’ish…as the cloud cover came off and the temperature was rising into the mid 80F’s, and/or maybe getting dehydrated…and/or maybe underfueled…or all of the above.

So of my total 3:37:26: (3.6 hours): HIT (High Intensity Training: Z3+) % as below

  • 39:43 was Z4-5 power & HR (interval 1): .66 hours = 18% of total time
  • 42:29 was Z3 power & HR (interval 2): .71 hours = 20% of total time
  • 43:53 was Z2 power and Z2-3 HR (interval 3): .73 hours = 20% of total time
  • balance @ Z1-2: warm-up, warm-down, rest intervals easy, recovery, 42% of total time

So that I’m relatively ‘fresh’ for this ride, I pull back the intensity of mid-week rides if I’m tired at all, to ‘protect’ this one.

…this long ride will move up rapidly to a number of 4.5 hour HIT rides, with roughly the same percentages of intensity, and 2 race rehearsal rides at 6 hours each…or 112 miles, whichever comes first

…part of my interest today was that #3 interval…19.7 MPH, at what I hope will be my projected race plan Power Goal…200 Watts…for Ironman Florida…this route is very hilly compared to the relatively flat Ironman Florida course, so again confirmed that 190-200Watts, _should_ get me the 19.5MPH in ‘normal’ conditions…a bit tight maybe, but doable…and I have 11 weeks to go to see if I can get my power up to a point that I can ride at 200Watts, and still protect the run (well marathon actually…26.2 miles)…right now, it’s closer to a 190Watt target (70% of my current FTP 270 Watts), so a bit more to go

…so based on this ride my race plan/goal remains the same as it’s been 🙂

Bike: 19.5 MPH / 5:44:36

Race plan: 70% of 286 FTP = 200 Watts…that should assure me of 19.5 MPH in ‘normal’ conditions…and not far off even on a windy day

Funny thing today…I was really _flying_ along on those intervals…like blowing by other cyclists and groups on the road…like passing guys going uphill…I _never_ pass guys on hills

…that few pounds that I dropped somewhere makes quite a difference on the hills, and my average speed on this hilly course used-to-be 19.6MPH, is now 20.4MPH, on the same 215W’ish power…IM Florida is flatter, so weight doesn’t come into play as much on the bike…but it does on the run…so good

…like at the end of my  #1: S interval, where I _blew_ by 3 sharp-looking guys in matching racing jerseys about a mile before the end, they stopped where I had stopped about to start my next interval, and said…

geez, I thought that we were pushing it pretty hard and then you blew right by us…I thought my chain had come off…are you like doing a triathlon or something?

Nice chat for a few minutes…

…I did look it up…as I was pressing at the end of that Interval, where the road leans slightly downhill, I was pedalling furiously at just over 30MPH (48KPH)…so no wonder I was looking good

…I know…I’m _really_ into this stuff…fun 🙂


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