Power Interval blues

I woke up this morning a little irritable. A clue to my mood could be found in my weigh in — 170 pounds. Basically that means I was hungry. The Beautiful Redhead will tell you that when I get hungry, I get grumpy! It also was due to the Power Intervals I did around 9PM last night.

That means I rode two days at a more intense pace. Even as I was completing the Power Intervals I regretted overdoing it on the EnduranceMiles workout on Monday. Now today I feel it as I walk up steps. It isn’t that it hurts, it is just there is a weakness in my legs. It is as though I did squats in the weight room… that shaky feeling you get the morning after working out.

So, how do these Power Intervals work? Here is the deal when following the Time-Crunched Cyclist Plan with the Experienced Competitor track. Last night’s workout called for a total ride of 90 minutes averaging 170 to 190 watts. Within this period you complete 2 x [3 x 3 minute Power Interval efforts (over 260 watts) with a 3 minute Rest Between Intervals and a 5 minute Rest Between Sets].

PowerInterval Chart

90 min. 2 x [3 x 3 min. @ PI (3 min. RBI)(5 min RBS)] with chain falling off

I started out spinning very easily until I felt comfortable at about a 95 rpm. After 5 minutes, I shifted to a harder gear and continued that each five minutes until I finished 30 minutes. You can see the stair step progression in the above chart. Of course, at 20 minutes I was at the max of the EnduranceMiles wattage and so I held it there until the Power Intervals were to start.

You can also see the chart five “plateaus” or increases in wattage to a sustained level for three minutes. These are the Power Intervals. So, where is the sixth one? It is that “spire” one following the five.

Just as I was beginning to start the final Power Interval my chain dropped. On instinct, I just kept pedaling and shifted my left lever to bring the chain back up onto the ring. Of course, that only works when the rear wheel is turning… which, of course, it wasn’t because I was on a trainer. I ended up having to get off the bicycle and pull the chain back on with my hand. I then “took off” out of frustration.

I was pretty toasted after that. However, after a few minutes of spinning, I was feeling good again and you can see I pushed above the EnduranceMiles limit for about four minutes. What you don’t see is that the cadence during that time was around 100 rpm. I then started “stepping down” in wattage until I was very easily spinning for the last five minutes.

What do the numbers look like?

  • Warmup – 125 watts
  • PowerInterval 1:1 – 277 watts
  • RBI – 147 watts
  • PowerInterval 1:2 – 281 watts
  • RBI – 156 watts
  • PowerInterval 1:3 – 276 watts
  • RBS – 167 watts
  • PowerInterval 2:1 – 274 watts
  • RBI – 178 watts
  • PowerInterval 2:2 – 276 watts
  • RBI – 122 watts
  • PowerInterval 2:3 – 280 watts
  • Cool Down – 159 watts
  • Average for workout – 171 watts

Did I do it correctly? I guess the one question I have is the efforts during the PowerIntervals. These intervals are supposed to be the most power you can produce for the required time. I didn’t really take that approach. I set a target of 260+ watts. My only concern was not dropping below that number. I wasn’t concentrating on seeing how hard I could go.

Still, I think it worked out. I exceeded 270 watts each effort and that is over my FTP. By the time I was getting near the final intervals my perceived exertion was telling me I was near the limit. Plus, that final effort had me deflating from 365 watts in the first minute, 326 minutes in the second minute and 285 watts in the third. In other words, the numbers seemed to indicate that 280 – 290 would have been the absolute I could have consistently held for the period of the intervals.

Why do I post this stuff?

  1. It keeps me accountable
  2. It serves as a training log
  3. I hope it encourages others to take up a plan of their own
  4. What else am I going to blog about?

Well, if you happened to read this far, “Thanks for reading!”