Re-testing bike and run: my advance predictions

Bike and run re-test are scheduled for this week coming up…if I can get them in around my other ‘stuff’ this week

So here’s where I think that I’m at.

BIKE: Last test: 249 watts FTP: January 3, 2011

… my optimal goal prior to Ironman is 285 FTP, as I set in my post now 4 months ago…time flies:

… would be nice to think that I made a little progress towards the goal…my guess right now is that it’s about 260 Watts…on a great day, maybe a hair more….and if I tested below 255W, I’d re-do the test on another day, and write it off as a bad day…so I’ll begin running the power at 250-255W to start, and then ramp it up incrementally every 5 minutes, depending on how things are going…ideally I’d be in the 270W range in the last 5 minutes before expiry, and have nothing left at the end

Half way between 249 and 285 is 267…or an 18 Watt (7%) improvement, so that’s my interim target…whether I can get there now or not, I guess we’ll see…feels ambitious as I’m writing this, since there’s really nothing in my training numbers that would indicate that I’m that high…yet…although I did have a sub-maximal effort 20 minute stretch, outdoors, a few days ago coming back from the bike fit at 263W…not 40 minutes, but indicative that I’m in the range…although the power graph was all over the place, since I haven’t been on the road for a few months.

A solid 260 would be excellent…a 265 would be outstanding, since there’s no way that I could get to that in January…my all-time maximum for 20 minutes is 272 Watts set outdoors on June 24, 2009…this is going to be 20 minutes VERY HARD, 2 minutes spinning recovery, then another 20 minutes VERY HARD…last test was 243W and 260W for the 2 x 20 minute sections…be interesting to see how this compares

I have 2 options for doing the next test: either on the indoor trainer that I did the first test on, and have done bike workouts on ever since, or take it outdoors.

The indoor option has the benefit of being able to compare more exactly with the first test, and it’s much easier to maintain a steady, controlled hard effort on the trainer, than while riding rolling hills on the road in traffic…particularly since I haven’t been on the road with the tri bike in months…although indoors I find it much more difficult to stay aero the entire time when pushing _really_ hard, and it’s very common  to sit more upright to generate more power since there is no speed consequence on the trainer. 

The outdoor option has the benefit of being closer to real race conditions, and I would tend to just stay in the aero position and take whatever the results are, rather than sitting up more for comfort under a high load to max out the numbers…although the comparative numbers to the first test wouldn’t be as valid, since they are markedly different conditions…the general agreement from what I’ve read is that power on the road, is slightly higher than indoors…like about 10 Watts…given the same body position…although varying opinions on why this may be the case.

 I’m much more likely to have a controlled, accurate result on the trainer…you can readily see the difference on a power chart…indoors, it’s almost a flat, steady line….on the road, it’s much more jagged as we add in the compensation for the variables of wind, road conditions, hills, traffic, turns, etc…indoors you can just look a the power meter or cadence and peg it there…doing that on the road and you can drive off a cliff.

…if I decide to do the test outdoors, it’ll be a lot harder to be exacting in moving up the power ranges…oh and the other nice thing about indoors, is that when the test is finished, you spin down for a few minutes, get off the bike and you’re done…outdoors here, there’s only one road that you don’t run out of gears on because of the hills…and it’s a hair short…and about a 20 minute ride away

…power output in the aero position can be lower for me than sitting more upright, particularly when I haven’t spent a lot of aero time in the past 3 months…but in a perfect world, the more aerodynamic position, creates more speed…even with the lower power output…so the next task will be to translate whatever I’ve been able to develop indoors…in the more upright position…into the outdoors and all-aero-all-the-time position

…so I’m probably leaning indoors for this test, and then as my riding moves outdoors, do the next 2 tests before the Half Iron, outdoors

RUN: last test: 5K in 25:28 (8:12/mile) vDOT 37: January 6, 2011

…my goal before Ironman is a 41 vDOT, 23:38, 7:36/mile pace…seems very lofty to me at this point…initially set now 4 months ago on December 7, 2010:

If it weren’t for concerns about breaking something…specifically re-pulling that hamstring, I should be under 8:00/mile in a re-test, under 25 minutes for a 5K, that would put me at a 38 vDOT…actually anything faster than 25:12 (8:06/mile)…24:39 (7:56/mile) would be a 39 vDOT…24:08 (7:46/mile) would be a 40 vDOT

…38 should be there…on a good test day, I can see how I could get to a 39 vDOT…40 is most likely quite out of reach at this point…I’d definately take a 39 though and be very happy.

So I’ll begin the test at 2 minutes per 400M lap (8:02/mile), see if I can hold that for the first 2 miles (8 of 12.5 laps)…and then even move it up a hair faster if it’s there in the last mile…and then hang on to the end without collapsing before the finish…the only weakness in all that, is that pushing that hard, I’m bound to begin to have my leg muscles starting to sing to me, so it’s going to be tough to push past any hamstring signals, even though they may just be ‘normal’ for a maximal effort.

If I hear any noise from the hamstring between now and then, I’ll just delay the re-test for some future window, and work with estimated numbers.

…so there you have it…nothing left but to make it happen 🙂

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