Sunday, February 17, 2013

Enter The Pain Cave

I need some pick-me-up self-talk. The last post was filled with so much self-pity, I am not even sure I recognize myself - this isn't who I am 99% of the time. But once in a blue moon the 1% of crazy comes to pick up at my brain. I need to flush it all out, then move on, otherwise those thoughts keep on spinning inside my noggin and I get dizzy and start banging my head against the walls. Not pretty.

So here's me moving on. Moving onto the bike subject that is, because running's been taken care of for now. FYI, 16km this morning on the treadmill and just as prescribed by coach. It's so much easier to manage running in the right zones indoors where there is no wind factor, or inclines that shoot your heartbeat through the roof. 1h40 with Christian Bale and his Batman alter-ego, it felt like a breeze, so that took care of my confidence in sticking with a plan. Next!

Now, biking has been pretty fun too. I bought an indoor trainer and installed it in the basement, The Pain Cave as seasoned triathletes call it. I'm going to be spending quite some quality time with Neo and Kurtie from now on down there... ahem. Thank goodness it's not called the Red Room of Pain. I'd like my workouts to stay vanilla, thankyouverymuch. ;-)

Do you like my raiser block? I bought a real one since.

I also signed up with Trainer Road, a website recommended by DC Rainmaker, that provides cycling workouts and an application that you run on the PC and that is able to calculate the power you produce while biking thanks to the ANT+ compatible cadence/speed sensor. The folks at Trainer Road partnered with Kurt Kinetic and created a very accurate power profile for the trainer that I bought, so I know that I can trust the data. So far I did 4 workouts (they all have fancy names: Gayley, Baxter, Obelisk, etc.) and coach said that I should use the Base Intermediate 2 program for the next 6 weeks and see how it goes.

The night I hooked everything up I also did their 20 minute test to get my Functional Threshold Power (FTP) measured. Alas the program wasn't calibrated properly because I had not entered the correct wheel size and it brought another meltdown upon me after giving me an average power level of 106 watts, which was one of the lowest, if not THE lowest among the users on the website. I really felt like a complete noob. 

This is how exhausted I was at the end of the test. Hard to describe when you are swimming in your own sweat. However, the test did give me pretty much the same lactate threshold that I had found on my own last year, 164. 

For the second workout, Gayley, I corrected the wheel size and decided to push again as hard as I could in order to recalculate my FTP. And miracle, it went up by 60 watts thanks to the proper calibration. I got reassured and proudly jumped my number to 160. I felt like belonging to the brood again.

This is what the aforementioned workout looked like after I was done:

The yellow trace is my power output, the red trace is the heart rate. I chose to go incrementally hard so I don't die in the middle, and make sure that by the last interval I reach the same heart rate level as in the FTP test. I averaged the last 2 intervals to get my new FTP. Normally you have to follow the level of the blue blocks, but since I wanted to test myself again, I only used those intervals as a baseline. Here's for example what it looks like when you do it "right". This was the first bike workout of the two that I did yesterday (I may or may not be a bit of a perfectionist freak).

Bottom line, I am IN LOVE with Trainer Road. The two workouts I did with the new FTP were spot on. I also love my trainer, the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, it's quiet and smooth and carries a life warranty. It will most likely outlive me anyway, but I promise to make it suffer for as long as I can. Who's your mommy now, eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment