Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cycling Study

Its been a fairly busy past couple of days. The most exciting event being the cycling study I took part in this morning. The study is being put on by Dr. Mike Koehle at UBC. Today's evaluation was simply a maximum effort test. How it works, after a 10 minute warm up the test begins at 0 Watts. That part is fairly simple, but then it picks up by 1 Watt every 2 seconds. The idea is to keep pedaling seated until you can no longer pedal 60 rpm. At that point the test is over.

I was a little nervous coming it to the test for two reasons, first, the test required "Elite" cyclist.  I didn't think I fit into this bracket, however, upon getting there today I learned that in reality that was just to discourage Joe Schmoe
from signing up. At this point I was more confident in my ability to perform well in the test. The only thing that was still looming over my head was the fact that my legs felt a little dead from last nights killer run workout (I know, making excuses before the test even takes place). Last night we did 5.5km of hill intervals, definitely not the ideal workout prior to a cycling power test. Our coach is kind of a jerk and just doesn't listen to people. Someone should really put him in his place.

With the test underway, I felt pretty good and was talking with Mike until I reached about 220 Watts at which point I was still feeling alright but decided to be cautious and stop talking because the pain would surely hit me pretty hard soon.

With Mikes encouragement (I wasn't allowed to see the computer or time) I kept pushing through and when I estimated was about 300 watts it got real hard, I managed to get my bike jersey off because it was hot in that little room. I finally cracked and I mean cracked HARD at 378 Watts. I'm fairly pleased with this. I've charted this on a graph below, my breaking point is signified by the lightning bolt!
As you can see, my maximum power output is roughly the same as that held by a professional cyclist during a 75 minute time trial (Note, my graph says 6-7 hours, in reality this should be at TT, this was a mistake but I decided not to redo the graph). However my maximum average is somewhere in the 200-250 Watt range for a TT, which was roughly what Floyd Landis held as an average for the 3 weeks of the Tour.

All this to say I have a little bit of work to do. My max power is 6Watts/kg, and my sustainable power is in the range of 3.5-4. This season I would really like to bring this up higher to maybe 4.5, that would be epic.

The next days of the study involve going at 75% (282.5 Watts) for as long as I can hold it. Apparently that is usually 15-40 minutes. I fear this workout because after todays workout, I realized that I am pretty comfortable and then BAM hit a wall. This 75% may still be in my comfortish zone, meaning that I could be one of the fortunate ones who gets to hurt for 40+ minutes. YAY!

Oh, and my legs felt good, no excuses needed from last night.

I will have all the heart rate data to go along with this after all the testing is done. Also I did a similar test to this a few years ago, it will be interesting to see how I compare to a mid June (when I did this last) test.

I'm out for a run in the rain, enjoy!


Rob said...

Looks like Team Lampre fed the warrior!

Tanis said...

I laughed really hard when I clicked on the link of your dead beat run coach and saw that sweet picture of you looking all cool and boozy. I knida already knew that you were the run coach, but I was still really amused by that little treat. Thanks.

Ulyana said...

Wow, the majority of all that went over my head! Sounds pretty hard core!