Saturday, February 14, 2009

Week of February 9

Just a quick update - have to catch a plane in a few hours and then I'll be in communications blackout for a week.

Monday - an easy 32 minutes on the PCs

Tuesday - freaking rain so I wasn't able to get out

Wednesday - Wanted to do some threshold on the PCs but I was getting ankle pain again. As the ride went on I was feeling some hip pain as well, which was something new. The 1:50 long ride was miserable. Power was down, the ankle and hip hurt, and things overall just sucked. I've come to the conclusion to shelve the PCs for a short time. I've given them my all, and coming to this decision was not made lightly, but the reasons are:
  1. I don't experience any ankle/foot pain when on my race bike with regular cranks. What's the point of using a training device if the device and/or pedals cause injury? The new hip pain really caused me concern.
  2. My power has been stagnant, so I need to shake things up a bit.
  3. I'm in the race season and my upper end snap (what little I've had) is down significantly. In order to train properly for races, I need to incorporate some other training.
  4. Motivation - because of the lack of being able to get up and sprint properly out of turns and such, my lack of motivation on the PCs is killing me. I need to bring some fun back into training.
I'll ride regular cranks the rest of this week. Next week I'm out of the country and won't be riding at all (except perhaps an exercise bike). Hopefully the time away from PCs gives my body time to heal.

Thursday - pretty much the same ride as Wednesay but with regular cranks. Power was much better and I had fun for the first time on a solo ride in awhile. It was refreshing.

Friday - Just a quick hour on the regular cranks.

Saturday - Decent group ride. Did a lot of pulling and accrued well over 90 minutes of L3 and above in the 3 hours of riding. My upper end snap wasn't there (see #3 in the list above) which will be a killer if it's not there for mass start racing. When I get back it will take a few weeks to regain that.

PC time this week - 2 hours 20 minutes
PC time to date - 188 hours 30 minutes

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Week of February 2

What can I say? Another boring week. Work got in the way a few days this week which prevented me from doing too much volume.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - I was having a bit of a mechanical issue with the PC equipped bike so I had to jump switch to the race bike if I was going to get a workout in before sunset. Hopped on for a quick tempo workout. Afterwards at home I fixed up the PC bike to be ready for Wednesday.

Wednesday - 85 minutes on the PCs doing a hybrid VO2/threshold workout. I logged 45+ minutes of time in L4/L5 before calling it a day. NP during that time was 274 W. Still haven't sniffed close to the 282 W effort of a few weeks ago.

Thursday - A quick 65 minutes of tempo work on PCs with tired legs. I wanted to do threshold but my legs protested. On top of that my ankle was in real pain. I'm not sure if it's the PCs or the Time ATAC pedals (or a combination of the two), but my left ankle/foot has been having a pain similar to tendonitis on the top inside of the foot. It starts to get debilitating and limits my power output.

Friday - rest day

Saturday - Group ride day on the race bike with a ton of time spent in L3 and L4. It was windy as heck and I was on the front a ton.

Sunday - Back to the PC today. Despite being tired from yesterday I manged to ride plenty of L3 and L4 time over the 2:35 ride. It was just a consistent effort. Before the ride I flipped my ATAC cleats around after reading how the float could be reduced by putting the left cleat on the right shoe and vice versa. It really helped. Hopefully the amount of pain I've been experiencing will be reduced in the coming weeks.

PC time this week - 5 hours 5 minutes
PC time to date - 186 hours 10 minutes

A little update on the amount of work I've been doing. I continue to be well ahead of pace compared to the last 2 years in terms of TSS points. To date with the PCs I'm at 16842 points. For the 2 previous years I've been at 15373 and 15411 for the same time period. So on average I'm about 50 TSS points higher per week since using PCs compared to the last 2 years. In addition, I've been spending a lot more time in the higher zones compared to the same time period as last year:

Zone 1 (recovery) - 91 hours 15 minutes last year, 69 hours 21 minutes this year
Zone 2 (endurance) - 60:41 versus 77:19
Zone 3 (tempo) - 53:11 versus 60:39
Zone 4 (threshold) - 35:03 versus 39:29
Zone 5 (VO2) - 12:48 versus 16:00
Zone 6 (anaerobic) - 6:33 versus 7:36

The total time last year was 259:31 compared to 270:24 this year. The percentage of time spent in zones 3-6 are pretty similar between the two years, suggesting equivalent training structure, though in reality I have been spending more overall time in levels 5 and 6 this year in an effort to drive up my power. Despite this, however, still no huge jumps in power are evident. Actually the last 3 weeks have seen a slight decline in overall power.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Week of January 26

Not much to write about this week. A pretty boring week overall. Nonetheless,

Monday - 70 minutes of PCing where the intent was to do some intensity work but I just wasn't feeling it.

Tuesday - 1:50 of PC riding with a 2x20 block in there. Recall my great hour effort a few weeks ago and how I said I need to be consistent to truly be sure I was improving. Today was proof positive of that thought. I completed the 20 minute intervals with no problem, but they were both around 272 watts average. Given the 282 W performance for an hour, I would have expected these intervals to be 15-20 W higher.

Wednesday - an hour of PC riding on the Computrainer. At the end I did some isolated leg drills to see if PC riding affected my leg strength. I reported my results on Slowtwitch (see I would have figured that if the PC claims were correct, PC riding should have improved any imbalances. To date they haven't.

Thursday - rest day

Friday - 50 minutes of PC riding including a 10 minute TT effort at 293 watts. That's a fair amount below my best since starting PCs (301 W) and a good deal below my all-time best (309 W).

Saturday - Did the group ride with the PCs this week. I was doing well for the first 2:15 with a normalized power of 245 W. But then my legs wanted to stop. The first couple of hours I was having to work harder than usual. The bike with the PCs is a heavy beast (around 25 lbs with the PCs) with lousy, slow tires and 32 spoke wheels. When you add in my more upright position (harder to ride in the drops with the PCs) I turn into an aerodynamic pig. I can easily put out the same watts in the draft as the lead rider in clear air. Nonetheless, the 3:05 ride gave me plenty of tempo and threshold and even a decent amount of VO2 work. Unfortunately it didn't give me the L6 stimulus I need. Do I see riding the PC equipped bike in group rides necessary for training? Not particularly. For mass start racing I need to train my L6 system as well, particularly very high end out of the saddle sprints. I just can't simulate that on PCs like I can with regular cranks.

Sunday - 2:45 of PC riding, mostly endurance and tempo. Not much of note.

PC time this week - 10 hours 40 minutes
PC time to date - 181 hours 5 minutes