Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday Morning Road Ride

After Friday's fun on the road I made the effort to get up early and get a longer ride in today. The sun was up by 8am, shining brightly trough the morning mist, and after a bowl of cornflakes and a cup of tea I was ready to go, immediately hit by a cold blast of air as I opened the front door. When I set of it was a chilly zero degrees (C) and I was dressed for something a bit warmer than that, but I really couldn't be bothered to go back inside and change.

For the first hour I set a brisk tempo pace (90% FTP around 275W), just enough to feel like it's on the border between comfortable and uncomfortable with an average HR of 159 to match.

The ride was a nice mix of rolling terrain and steep hills and a couple of times I embarrassed myself by having to change down to the smaller chainring (34T!!). I wasn't trying to smash the climbs so I changed gear accordingly, but on a hard day I would have been able to all of the climbs in the big ring (50T) except Dalby Bank, which is a b'stard.

After the first hour the temperature had increased and I dropped down into the beautiful village of Hovingham and then home via Brandsby and Crayke on more terrible Yorkshire roads. It really is a matter of time before somebody dies as a result of hitting one of the many massive potholes.

I was lucky to not fall off on ice on Dalby Bank which just seemed to appear once I started climbing. After 15m I was just wheel spinning so I had to walk 50m or so to clear the slippery bit and try not to get hit by a wheelspinning car slithering its way up the 1-in-12 climb.

By the end I was pleased to finish the ride and get into a hot shower and have a hot coffee.

The rest f the week looks like turbo sessions, but as I'm starting work early and not getting home until 6pm I don't know how much enthusiasm I'll have.

Totals for the day:
Distance - 45 miles
Ave power - 245W (incl the first hour at 275)
Ave speed - 18.3 (including some ice walking)
Calories - 2160


  1. Enjoy your blog as i am in a similar situation and have been using a power meter mainly indoors for the last 3 months.

    If i can pick your brains- my indoor FTP based on 20min test is currently 280 (71kg) which based on overall training seems about right.

    How does your indoor/ outdoor compare.

    I am also looking now at the performance manager side of things and seem to be averaging weekly TSS scores of 750+ with my Long term stress sitting at over 100 and my TSB being in the minuses.

    Not sure if this is too much since after a few hardish outdoor efforts i have been laid low with a virus thing for 4 days now! Frustrating.

    How do you manage such things?


  2. Hi UHS

    I have never directly compared my indoor and outdoor power outputs. My best indoor 20 min is 331W (suggesting an FTP of 314W) and my best outdoor 60 mins is 308W (both with the same powermeter) so there's some consistency there, or it could just be coincidence.

    750+ TSS sounds quite high to me, but I'm not a big fan of TSS as it combines the many important details of a ride in a single number. It's possible to get the same TSS score from vastly different rides with very different training benefits so I just focus on intensity and time. For example, after a session I'll look at the time spent in power zones 4 and above, anything lower than that on a turbo seems to be a waste of time, but this is just my opinion. In a circuit race it's your ability to react to the surges in the bunch (L5-L7) that determines how well you'll do, in a TT it's more about the L4-5 power that counts. This is why I'm focussing on L4+ because I'm targetting circuit racing where average power doesn't really matter. I'm working on a new scoring system which I prefer to TSS and Bikescore and if it works I'll blog about it to see if other people find it useful.

    I tend to use feel to decide whether I want/need another workout. On days when I really don't feel like it I have a day off. I think the key to fitness is the balance between exercise and recovery. Recovery allows you to go harder; without recovery all sessions end up a bit mediocre. I regularly get home from work and decide I really can't face an hour on the turbo but it's hard to say whether that is a good or a bad thing i.e whether the gain in recovery offsets the loss of training.

    The main reason I have blogged about what I am doing is that it has made me think more about training than I used to. I have realised that my HR and power seems to vary significantly from week to week and I can't explain why. It's worth recording what you do and taking time to look back at what you've done and any effect it's had.

    If you ever find the answers, please let me know.

  3. This post has some relevant details about indoor vs outdoor performance.