Friday, December 28, 2007

BVC Workout - endurance and short sprints

Rushed for time, so only able to do a quick endurance workout plus some short 1-2 lap sprints.

No sense pushing intensity or TSS at this point, the 6-day starts on Tuesday... So just keeping warmed up, CTL at or about where it is at, and hope for the best.

Apparently there are already 24 B racers signed up and registration is open for another 2 days... So I'm expected some fairly stiff competition.

I know that Mike Sidic has been out at the track training hard and experimenting with a slightly larger gear. Which I expect will give him a bit more endurance at speed. He's probably going to be tough to beat.

The 6-day is the biggest race series of the year at BVC, so I'm expected some very stiff competition. I'm hoping that Gina Grain (2007 Canadian Road Champion) shows up, she was (IMHO) the best rider last year barely missing first place behind Adam Shwind and Matt Potma (young bucks, since moved up to A group...)

My best result last year was something like a 6th place in a long (80 lap) scratch race. So I'm hoping to do a bit better this year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Computrainer - 6x2mTT

More rain, so computrainer.

4x1m high cadence, then 6x2mTT, then 1x6mTT and cool down.

Hard to get power out today, probably too much turkey yesterday.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sun! - Anmore Tour

No rain today, and the Sun was actually visible at times... although the roads where still wet enough to need fenders to keep dry.

Anmore tour, not in record time.. about 2:13 (although that included an extra little climb at the end, about 5 minutes..) Still 25 minutes slower than mid-summer times.

It does compare reasonably well with last winter (Feb 2007) times: 2:22 and 2:08 (without the extra small climb.)

Entire workout (183 watts):

Duration: 2:13:28 (2:45:57)
Work: 1466 kJ
TSS: 162.4 (intensity factor 0.854)
Norm Power: 252
VI: 1.38
Distance: 41.684 km
Elevation Gain: 1250 m
Elevation Loss: 1270 m
Grade: -0.0 % (-20 m)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 684 183 watts
Heart rate: 0 0 0 bpm
Cadence: 24 101 56 rpm
Speed: 1.7 59.1 18.7 kph
Pace 1:01 35:18 3:12 min/km
Altitude: 1 310 127 m
Crank Torque: 0 106.3 32.8 N-m
Temperature: 4 20 5.6 Celsius

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Computrainer - 5x10m, revising FTP down

Computrainer today.

5x10m, attempting to do lactate threshold. Tough to do. Should have been 290-300, was closer to 240 Pavg.

Finished with 10x15s at VO2Max... Those where actually easier by comparison...

Based on recent performance I'm thinking that FTP has fallen again. Down to 295 as of Dec 2. I'm not sure if this is due to lower CTL or just lack of doing longer hard rides over the last few months. Or just because of the different conditions of training primarily indoors (fixed gear on the track and Computrainer.)

I have added FTP change points to the PMC chart.

Friday, December 21, 2007

BVC Workout - 5 minute intervals

Was supposed to do 5 minute intervals at 345 Pavg, but just couldn't get near that. Did four at about 315 or close... Really can't get the high numbers on the track (compared to TT...). Finished with a 2 minute Pavg 333.

Ran out of time, should have done at least another 2 minute and cool down.

Track closed until next Thursday. Then we get a few days before the 6-day starts on Dec 31. I don't have to race until Jan 1, and may skip that day (sprints and keirins) and just do the mass start racing starting Jan 2. I think 9 races over three days. Then a final separate Olympic event series on the last day (Saturday.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

BVC Workout - flying 500's

L3 endurance with flying 500 intervals. (500m as fast as you can go... Typically > 500 for the first lap, trailing down to high 400 for the second and mid-low 400 for the final lap.)

Racing not always the best training...

It's been my personal belief for some time that for time trials, which means FTP, that you need to ride long periods of time at your lactate threshold and/or VO2MAX. Not just short intervals, but lonnnggg ones....

Dr. Coggan commented on a related topic to this in wattage today (thread here), providing a summary of what muscle recruitment you need and the required adaptations.

> And if all of those logical jumps are correct, then the implication
> is that in a time trial, you are recruiting all of your type 1 and
> type 2 fibers.

As a percentage of VO2max, maximal lactate steady state/critical power/
functional threshold power occurs at the point at which, based on
various measurements (e.g., PAS staining of muscle samples, EMG
measurements), significant recruitment of the most fatigable type II
fibers begins (I'd refer to them as type IIb/IIx, but after training
they are converted to type IIa, even if they still remain part of that
final "pool" that is hardest to recruit/most fatigable).

> So if your type 2 fibers fatigue quickly, it will hurt your muscle
> endurance for time trialing, and your ability to jump out of a corner
> 40 times. So that fits both of our profiles, as described above.
> So what governs fatigue resistance of type 2 fibers?
> What sort of training stress is required to improve it?
> I have no clue about the physiology.

I do. ;-)

The factors that govern fatigue resistance in type II fibers are the
same as in type I fibers, as are the mechanisms by which said fibers
adapt to increased use so as to minimize fatigue resistance. These
include, although are not necessarily limited to, an increased ability
to generate energy aerobically (e.g., increased mitochondria,
increased capillarization), as well as a reduction in ATP demand (by
replacing faster type IIx myosin with slower type IIa). Either way,
the way to go about inducing these adaptations is to continuously
recruit these motor units for a sufficient duration so as to induce
the above adaptations, something that can be accomplished numerous
ways (e.g., "aerobic" intervals, long rides). What I would
*hypothesize* is of limited benefit (because the motor units aren't
"switched on" long enough), at least by comparison, would be - ta da!
- criterium racing (or really any group ride that is too short to
force extensive recruitment of type II motor units, due to fatigue of
the primarily-recruited type I motor units). IOW, I believe that
racing is *not* always the best training...

Andy Coggan
My improved FTP over the summer was (IMHO) a result of doing lots of short, hard, time trials. E.g. the Ryder 8k TT (with about 60m of climbing..) 11-12 minutes in VO2Max. I was able to take more than 30 seconds off both the Ryder 8K TT and VeloVets 10k TT times by the end of the summer.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Roule and you will see ...

Well the original (French) title is Roule et tu sauras.... (for those of us who are French challenged a translated version is here.)

Interesting power training blog from someone whose math skills are far better than mine.

BVC Workout - 10 sets 6on/6off

Straight forward workout today.

Six sets of 6on/6off using 51x15 (~89"). then four more sets using 51x14 (~95") gearing. The target for the "on" was 43-44kph, or L5.

I noticed while doing the first sets on the 51x15 that I my breathing was labored by the end of the set. So after doing the first four I stopped and put on my HRM. Then did two more on that gearing.

Then switched up to 51x15 and did four more sets.

There was a definite difference. The overall Pavg for the first six sets was 322 watts, and for the last four, 329 watts. Subjectively the first six where also "harder" with my breathing more labored and (I think) heart rate higher.

The difference in cadence is not huge, about 95 for the bigger gearing and 101 for the smaller.

In theory, assuming I could maintain the same force, the higher cadence should have meant higher wattage. Since wattage went down, it means that I loose a fair amount of force as cadence moves up from 95 to 100.

This may also explain to some extent the difference in wattage between the TT bike and on the track. On the TT bike I maintain a cadence around 88. If there is a similar drop (in force) from 88 to 95 that starts to explain why I find it hard to maintain the same power output on the track.

I'm hoping that I can get my leg speed up, with appropriate force, and without pushing the heart rate up, as of course that would make my track results better. As it is I can do well in the local B group as I have just enough jump, speed and endurance in the 51x14 to be competitive.

But I would get crushed by the A group. To get up their speeds would require jumping up another notch (say to 97"), but that would leave me in the dust... But on 95" I would be spinning out (due to leg speed) when they lead out 58-60kph.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Peaksware Blog and Wiki

Just a note that Peaksware (parent organization for CyclingPeaks and TrainPeaks) has a blog. It has been around for a while and has been getting more active lately.

Also, I noticed a new (I think) wiki help area with very uptodate help for both TrainingPeaks and CyclingPeaks.

Power Seminar - Hunter Allen

Michel Pelletier and Anthony King organized a Power Seminar in Vancouver yesterday with Hunter Allen of CyclingPeaks and TrainigPeaks fame presenting.

Very interesting, with lot's of little pointers on using WKO+, how to interpret power files etc.

He gave us a short preview of the new about to be released WKO+. Lot's of good things for runners and tri-atheletes. Use your Garmin GPS and it will give you a running (and I think swimming too) TSS score.

For any workout with GPS data you can also easily export to google earth to get an interesting view of the workout track.

If you get a chance to attend one of these with Hunter, it is very worthwhile.

BVC Workout - 3 sets 3onx3off

Track was open today, so was able to workout there instead of outdoors (cold, wet, cold, dark, cold) or on the computrainer...

Started with a good high pace warmup (dodging the guys doing motorpaced madison training...)

Did three sets of 3 laps on (> 400Pavg, L6) and 3-4 laps off. First set was on 91x14, did the reset on 91x15 (effectively 95" moving down to 89".) Trying to see if I can get leg speed up a bit (a weakness.)

Then 20 minutes L3, and cooldown.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Escape Velocity Spring Series - dates and routes up

Escape Velocity has put up the Spring Series 2008 information. The new route this year is the "Snake". Which is just another variation of the Armstrong hill course. Longer loop (so less laps) but (I think) slightly steeper... about 7% grade for 1km.

Friday, December 14, 2007

BVC Friday - final night for Fall series

Who knew a head cold for a week equals tapering :-)

The last night of the BVC IWE Friday night series for fall 2007... double points for the last night. In strong 2nd place but trailing Tony Zachary by large amount, with a strong third place contender (Mike Sidic) snapping at my heels...

Tony Zachary 73
Stuart Lynne 47
Mike Sidic 38
Nick Berry 29
Jacob Swhingboth 28
But if I managed 1st, 7 points, times two, in all three races, that would put me past Tony, assuming he didn't finish well.

Three races:

Elimination to 15 lap Scratch
30 Lap Scratch
5x10 Points

With 17 people showing up....

I decided on the 51x14 as that has been my most successful gearing so far this year. And managed to get a good 20 minutes warmup on it. Because of my cold last week, I effectively have been tapering for two weeks. Current TSB is through the roof...

Elimination, standard tactics, get to front so I don't have to burn any matches sprinting ... had a minor problem when someone else got ahead of me after about 4 eliminations, and I got boxed in. Got to the back and went over the top to get back to the front. I can easily deal with 42-44kph leading the group. Much easier than trying to contest the back ...

The scratch portion was easy, just got to the front and on the blue with a half dozen or so laps to go, waited, Mike Sidic (I think) jumped with about 3-4 to go, went 2 laps, I just went the rest and took it easily.. Legs felt absolutely marvelous...

Next was the 30 lap scratch. Just stayed at the back for the first 20+ laps.. The front group kept trying to push the pace up, doing little sprint efforts. But the rest of the field was strong enough that it didn't split, so I was safe at the back and not doing any work. After one of those sprint efforts, when the group bunched up again I just moved over the top to the front and took over on the blue line. Waited for a lead out.

Nobody wanted to try anything, preferring to follow me when I went. With a little over one lap to go I jumped, and again easily kept ahead of the field (only 230m, 16 seconds, not long enough to fade.)

The 5x10 points race was harder. I was starting to notice some fatigue. And my bronchitis was hurting my breathing a bit... But I made an effort to contest every sprint. Figured even if I just placed in all of them, that would keep me in the top 3 as it was unlikely that anyone would win more than two..

First two where hotly contested. I only (barely) managed 3rd in each. In the next two the field was slowing down a bit and I was able to get 1st both times. But at a cost, I had little or nothing left for the last sprint, a group of about six riders took off with about a lap and a half to go and I just couldn't hang on. But 2 1sts and 2 3rds still was enough to get me 1st place.

Which in the end managed to get me enough points to get 1st in the fall series. By about 4 points. I missed it last year to Mike Roethengaler by (if I recall correctly) about 2-3 points so that was nice. And getting three 1sts on the final night was fun as well.

So, it appears that a head cold that keeps you off the bike for a week doesn't affect your legs... They just treated it like a bit taper. It wasn't until the final sprint of the final race tonight that I really had any problem keeping up. That was after contesting the first four sprints (and winning two!) Normally in a 5x10 I contest the first and possibly the second, then alternate more or less. Try and do well in at least 3. That allows me some rest between the ones I contest. But tonight I just didn't need to rest until after the first 4... And that absolutely has to do with big TSB...

Now, a little more than two weeks to go to the 6-day... and my CTL has plummeted... I think the plan is to see if we can punch in some good workouts with some intensity over the next week or so, get ATL/CTL back in line, then see what we can do for the 6-day.

For us B-Riders the 6-day is actually 8 races over 4 days for the Ominium, then a one day series for Olympic events (500m TT, Flying 200, kierin etc.) So it's hard to taper for. But still the Ominium is 1 less race than the last 3-day. And the Olympic series is at the end so doing it won't interfere with the Ominium.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction

So in the course of googling up how to treat my Acute Bronchitis, which I seem to get anytime I get a cold, I discovered that I also suffer from Exercise-induced Bronchoconstriction, also known as Exercise-induced Asthma.

This happens periodically at the track, have a hard race, with a very hard sprint at the end, and I end up with a severe cough, literally within the time it takes to take a few laps to slow down and get back to the infield...

One of the common triggers for this is "vigorous exercise in cold, dry air".

Our track is covered by an air-inflated roof. And to keep it inflated they need to pump in cold air from the outside, which they then heat up, which drives the relative humidity way down. And to keep the heating bill low, they don't heat it up past about 15 C (60F). So it is, relatively speaking, cold and dry air.

The fix for this is to use a "Beta-2 Agonists" inhaler (Ventolin, Symbicort, etc.) prior to exercising.

The bad news is that officially makes you a doper according to the UCI as those are on the prohibited list.

The good news is that you can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. In Canada this is done through the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sports:

And we are covered here:

Abbreviated TUE (ATUE)

It is acknowledged that some substances included on the Prohibited List are used to treat medical conditions frequently encountered in the athlete population. As such, the following substances are subject to the ATUE process:

  • Beta-2 Agonists by inhalation only (formoterol, salbutamol, salmeterol, and terbutaline); and
  • Glucocorticosteroids administered by intra-articular and local injections, and by inhalation.
The ATUE process differs depending on the athlete's category. Some athletes no longer have to apply for an ATUE at the time the medication is prescribed. The Abbreviated Therapeutic Use Exemption Guidelines provide complete detail on how the process applies to different groups of athletes.

So the even better news is that for us lowly "domestic" racers, all we need to do is have the Doctors prescription prior to use of the drug. And file a TUE form on request. I.e. if/when you actually get tested, and the test is positive, then you need to have your Doctor fill in the form and send it in.

This is for Canada, other countries may have different requirements. But this does seem to be a reasonable policy. Reasonable use under a doctors supervision is allowed without prior notice. But your doctor must be willing to say that you had a valid prescription prior to the use.

The only fuzzy area in the summary was the discussion on "international-level" athletes. They are required to file the TUE prior to any events.

I know I ain't one... :-)

But if I go down to Seattle to do a Cat 4 race, does that mean I qualify? Ditto for World Masters events?

I've sent off an email asking for more information. We'll see what they say.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BVC Workout - L2/L3

Easy workout, cold is gone but the after effects are a case of Acute Bronchitis. So no intensity to make me breath hard.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Matt Chater flying 500 - helment cam

Matt Chater does flying 500, Mike Skullman follows with helmet cam....

I'm working on a related project to install a Sony EVI-D30 PZT (Pan, Zoom, Tilt) camera, with some tracking software that will allow track races to be easily taped..

But the above shows the alternate, on the track, POV. I'm not sure, but I suspect that it was taken with one of these, Oregon Scientific ATC2K.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Zipp Gear Bag

Xmas early this year, my new track bag arrived today..

This thing has more pockets and straps than you can shake a stick at :-)

It has room for all of the junk you need to take to and from the track. And allows you to keep things sorted into different pockets so you don't have to dump everything out to find what you need.

Felled by the common cold

No posts this week... time off for battling the common cold....

I work at home and only go out to train or ride at the track... So I can only assume that someone else at home here brought the cold bugs home. Probably the kids who are still in University.

Hopefully I'll be back in training mode soon.

Tomorrow I'll be at the track, but only for a work party.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Computrainer - Map test, misc

Snowing outside, so had to do computrainer again today. Saw Uhl's post on doing a MAP test which reminded me that I have been meaning to do one for some time.

I constructed a simple MAP test erg file, ramping from 100-200 watts with 25 watt jumps per minute, then 5 watt jumps every 15 seconds.

The test protocol is simple, just match the required watts until you can no longer do so.

Then look at the Pavg for the last minute.

The results where a bit low. Only managed 346 watts in the last minute.

According to Ric Stearns MAP info page here that results in the following.

Zone Min Watts Max Watts Ride type Level
Recovery Recovery
Long Endurance 1.5-6hrs
Core Endurance Endurance
Tempo Training
Long TT Power Intensive
Shorter TT Power(and MAP/VO2Mx work)
MAP training (VO2Max efforts) Maximal
Anaerobic Work Capacity (<= 30s)

Estimated power outputs for distances based on MAP
3km 89-91% of Map 308 - 315 Watts
4km 88-91% of Map 304 - 315 Watts
16.1km 75-81% of Map 260 - 280 Watts
40.2km 72-77% of Map 249 - 266 Watts
80.5km 64-72% of Map 221 - 249 Watts
161km 60-68% of Map 208 - 235 Watts

Which seriously (I think) under estimates my power zones. Even assuming a (huge!) drop from this summer's TT performances, for short TT's I was doing 340 Pavg for 12-14 minutes (8-10K TTs).

Playing with the numbers show that to achieve that performance, according to MAP test protocol, would require a MAP test result of 400 watts Pavg in the last minute...!! Which I'm sure would not have been possible even at my summer peak.

I suspect this is a product of my power profile. Very low numbers on the left (5 second and 1 minute) and quite high on the left (5 minute and 1 hour..) I can go a (very) long time at FTP (say 320 watts) and just above (up to 350 watts), but as soon as I go above a certain point (say 370 watts) I run out of steam very quickly.

This also impacts on racing, both road (where short hard hills that other riders power up can cause me to burn a match) and on the track.