Tuesday, March 27, 2007

CTS Field Test Data

Ah, the CTS Field Test...seven minutes of pain...three miles of suffering...a 3 mile test of power and stamina.

Here is a peek into what my most recent CTS field test looked like from my power meter...

The legend is on the left and the right and it is color-coded. HR is the top line. Speed is below that, then cadence, with the power graph at the bottom.

Test 1 of 2

Test 2 of 2

Monday, March 26, 2007

Carmichael Field Test #3

Yesterday was the next installment of the dreaded "CTS Field Test". Carmichael has athletes do them on a schedule of every 8 weeks. The test, combined with an extensive, but not exhaustive, questionaire determines the workouts and schedule over the next 4 weeks.

These are essentially TWO back-to-back 3 mile time trials, with an RPE of 10, meaning that you go as hard as you possibly can for 3 miles with the goal to be finishing it in the fastest possible time.

We have a course setup on Lafayette Road with the start line just north of SR-267 and the finish line being just before the first overpass on I-65. It is exactly 3 miles and marked with yellow lines and finishing countdowns every 1/10 mile for the last 1/2 mile.

I am more than pleased with yesterday's results as I saw improvements across the board in time, HR, consistency within the effort and most importantly, power (watts).

Here is the raw data taken from my training log on the CTS website:
Field Test Results for Mar 25 2007

Course : Cycling (Road)
Terrain : Flat
Wind : Breezy (5-15 mph)
Humidity : 0.71
Temperature: Warm (60-80 F)
Weight : 219.0lbs

Interval 1

Elapsed Time : 00:06:33
Distance : 3.0Miles
Average Speed : 27.7mph
Max Speed : 30.0mph
Average BPM : 184
Average Power : 439
Maximum BPM : 188
Maximum Power : 711
Average Cadence : 90
Perceived Exertion: 9 - very difficult

Interval 2

Elapsed Time : 00:06:35
Distance : 3.0Miles
Average Speed : 27.6mph
Max Speed : 29.9mph
Average BPM : 183
Average Power : 411
Maximum BPM : 187
Maximum Power : 703
Average Cadence : 85
Perceived Exertion: 9 - very difficult

Comments:I felt like this was a great ride. I was turning gears at speeds I haven't done in a long time. The wind was a "non-factor" in that I thought I'd get a bit of a push from a tail wind, but the wind shifted while I was on my way to the course warming up. As it turned out the wind was off my hip at about 8 o'clock for the duration - not quite a tailwind and not quite a crosswind. I used the 53x14 in the first half of the first test and switched to the 13 in the latter half. For the second test, I actually used the 12 in the last half and while it took a minute or so, I got "on top of it" and was able to turn it over at 85-87 rpm.

I see some significant gains across the board in time, speed, HR and power. I feel recovered and am going to ramp it up a bit more for the next cycle by asking for more intensity during the review. I am stoked.

Now, I just need to get my Zipp 808's and some decent clip-on bars...first Time-Trial race is in 2 weeks.

All for now....

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Perils of Riding in Unpredictable Weather

A friend of mine, Glenn, and I went out at around 1:30 pm to do an easy 2 hours. The forecast was 43-ish with windchills around 35 and wind out of the SSW at 9. We got down just outside of Zionsville and out of nowhere a dark cloud formed over us, the temperature dropped noticeably and it began to rain. I got wet almost immediately - through my clothing...gloves, tights and even my "water resistant" jacket. Then came the freezing rain - it felt like thousands of tiny razor-sharp icicles piercing my face. I kept telling myself, "this will let up...it isn't that bad...it won't kill me" (thinking Frederick Nietzsche)...but it didn't last long.

After about a few miles of this, we turned north hoping for improvement, but got little, We had to stop at this little church so that Glenn could figure out why his pedal was sticking to his cleat and he had no float. He clipped out and one of his cleat plates and screws popped out. He wanted to fix it. In my most direct and blunt fashion I said (and as most of you that know me understand what this means), "screw it, just ride it home...we aren't sprinting or climbing and I don't want to freeze my ass off while you fix your cleat". So, we rode on, but we decided to change our ride plan. Instead of heading north all the up to 156th, we decided to head back through Zionsville and go the most direct route to my house, and I would take Glenn home in the car.

A few miles later, Glenn decided that he was going to be in trouble soon. He has a circulation problem in his hands and he was starting to lose feeling in his fingertips. He decided to call his wife to meet him in Zionsville and pick him up. It was absolutely freezing at this point as we were both fairly wet and the wind was harsh and the temps had dropped. NONE of this was in the forecast or on the radar when I left.

Just on the outskirts of Zionsville, I couldn't feel either of my forefingers or thumbs and me toes were starting to go numb. I did something that I have never done in my 20 years of cycling...I pulled out my phone, called my wife and said "come and get me". She asked me if I was joking and my response was a plain, dry, "no, I am not".

We got to the Citgo station in Zionsville where we headed in and to our surprise were two other cyclists that also got "caught out". They were "billboards" (my term for guys in team clothing with sponsors all over it) and looked quite young (and one quite stupid as he had on knickers and NO shoe covers - we found out that he did NOT have any gloves either!!!). It turns out that one of these guys was a local "up and coming" racer, a fellow named "Guy East". If you are curious, just go to USACycling.org and check out his stats. The guy is fresh out of high school and is racing at the Pro/1 level. He is destined for great things. Anyway, as it turns out he had called his dad to come and pick them up as well. So, we spent the next half-hour waiting, drinking bad coffee and chatting it up about track racing, pro racing, and whatever else related to cycling.

I said as they left that I though for sure that we (Glenn and I) were the only idiots out today. Guy said, "misery loves company". Once in the car on the way home, it occurred to me that he may meant something other than what I thought he did.