Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Micro and Macro View

When it comes to post-ride analysis, there are only two metrics that are important: 1) is within the micro view where you look at the individual ride specifics metrics of speed, power, heart rate and cadence and 2) is within the macro view where you look at multiple ride specifics of fitness, form and fatigue.  Let's take a look at the micro view of an indoor trainer ride last night and the take-away from that workout:

The micro view includes max and average values for Speed, Power, Heart Rate and Cadence.  The first 20 minutes of the ride was nothing more than a warmup in the L2 (endurance) Zone.  This is a zone where you should be able to ride all day long and just about break a sweat.  At the 23:20 mark, a series of 6x1 @ L3/L4 (Sweet Spot) intervals w/ 20s RI commences.  That is six intervals of 1 minute each in the "Sweet Spot" Zone with rest intervals of 20 seconds between each interval.  Normally, intervals like this would be performed in the L5 Zone (VO2max) during the regular season because the intervals are so short in duration.  But, since this is the off-season, and I only have 1 day off of rest before I have a tough ride, it was good enough a workout to keep the legs fresh without fatiguing them.  (More on this in the Macro view.)  What's also interesting to note is the saw-tooth pattern in the Speed, Power and Cadence profile during the intervals- most evident in the Power profile.  What's important when doing intervals is that the peak power of each interval is the same for the first interval through the last.  You don't want the power peaks of each interval to decline.  This will be harder to maintain during L5 (VO2max) interval workouts.  But, it's vital that you try your best to maintain the peak power for optimum training results.  You can also see how I ramped up the cadence from 80 rpm during the rest interval to over 90 rpm during the work interval.  It makes it a lot easier (subconsiously) to pedal faster than it is to pedal harder.  Remember, Power (watts)= Force (lbs) x Speed (rpm)  You can either pedal harder or pedal faster to maintain power- or both.

The macro view has been discussed in past blogs.  However, the important take-away from the following graph/chart is that I was able to maintain my Fitness and decrease my Fatigue after my workout.  This is important because I have a tough ride coming in 2 days and only have 1 day of rest.  If I had a hard/tough workout I would be Fatigued going into my hard/tough workout and wouldn't be able to ride as hard/strong as I'd like to.

Just a week ago, my fitness level was 18 and my fatigue level was 38.  You can see that my fatigue level has dropped to 18 (almost half from last week) but yet my fitness level has been maintained at 17.  That is how you get stronger.  It's all about "impulse" (or dose) and "response".  It's how your body reacts to the getting stronger.  So, the next time you give your body the same impulse or dose, it's better able to handle it either by being stronger (able to produce more watts at the same effort) or more efficient (lower heart rate for the same effort).

That's what it's all about- impulse and response.  So basic a concept, yet so complex to optimize.

Power ON!  Coach Rob

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