Baseline set for training

It was ugly, but it’s done. Now I’m ready to put it behind me and start spinning for better days. The CTS Field Test is done and tomorrow I start training for the next season.

I wasn’t feeling very good when I got out of bed on Saturday morning. However, as the day progressed, I wasn’t feeling any worse. I decided to go forward with the Field Test despite the lethargy.

The first 20 minute warmup spin was helpful and by the time I got around to the ramp up for the first 8 minute session I was feeling pretty good.  When I reached the “PowerInterval” section of the prep, I was surprised at the amount of wattage I was able to hold for the 1 minute and then 2 minute session. Suddenly, I was feeling good about my chances.

Then it came time to do the first 8 minute effort. That would be followed by a 10 minute easy spin. The test would finish up with a second 8 minute effort followed by at 20 minute cool down.

This is when things went wrong. I had changed my computer to show me what I thought was a lap time and power. My plan was to work my way up to the wattage I thought I could hold for 8 minutes and keep it there.

The problem is that when I set the computer, I had displayed lap time and AVERAGE lap power. So, I found my power reading to be misleading. In this case, it was much higher because I came out a little hotter than I should have.

Then I had to decide what I was going to do. I realized that I was seeing the average wattage. I knew I couldn’t hold that average for 8 minutes! However, I wasn’t sure how much I should ease up to get to a sustainable effort.

Finally, I decided to focus on the cadence. I put the gearing at where I thought I was producing the desired wattage at about 93 rpm. Things began to equalize, but I was really starting to hurt by the time I finished the effort.

I was happy to get to the 10 minute recovery. It was at that time I realized just how hot it was in the basement office. The computer showed 64 degrees. That doesn’t seem that hot until you start getting your heart rate up into the 180s with no cooling wind.

It only got worse when I started the second effort. I fixed the computer display before that time, but that didn’t help my legs. I watched the wattage drop lower and lower as I pushed through the minutes. It was disgusting to feel my body rocking back and forth to try to squeeze out more power and watching the number drop below 200.

In the end, I would give myself a D for execution. The highest average wattage for one of the 8 minutes was 260. The highest heart rate came from the other 8 minute segment was 183.

Interestingly, that is 10 watts higher than the first test of last year. Within a few weeks of that test, I had upped my FTP significantly. That makes me feel better going forward.

Well, that forward starts tomorrow.