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Monthly RAMP test

In order to track progress in power output and efficiency I am going to perform a monthly ramp test. This will take place every 4th week on the Saturday before the Tour of the Surrey Hills on Sunday. Just to be awkward I have reversed this week to avoid the bad weather.

Protocol
Pump up turbo tire to 100psi and pedal comfortably for 15 minutes, to allow me to warm up but more importantly the turbo to warm up. Then calibrate the turbo to 0. Warm up for another couple of minutes in case the calibration takes a while. The test proper can then begin, maintaining a comfortable cadence gradually increase the power output by moving through the gears. Target power output for 3 minute intervals are: 180, 210, 240, 260, 280, 300, 320. Finally, drop back to easy pedalling at 180w and wait for heartrate to return to level seen at the beginning of the test.

Results
Startlingly different from a 20minute 250w test yesterday that set my HR at 147 for the entire 20 minutes.
  • 3 min 180 - 118bpm
  • 6 min 210 - 120bpm
  • 9 min 240 - 130bpm
  • 12 min 260 - 137bpm
  • 15 min 280 - 144bpm
  • 18 min 300 - 152bpm
  • 21 min 320 - 159bpm
  • 25min Recovered

I found it quite hard to get to the target power output and stay on it consistently but then sometimes I was high sometimes low, I'm sure it all comes out in the wash. During the recovery period I sat up and pedalled without realising that made my heart rate go up again - won't make that mistake again. Thought it amusing that I hit 180w at 118bpm at 25mins on the nose - exactly 4 minutes to recover whilst pedalling at 180w.

It is VERY important to note that the Tacx is very optimistic in its power calculation, popular figure puts it at about 20% over, so that helps to normalise back to my 250w test which was on a gym bike. I will be using this protocol going forward since its on the turbo I own and far more easily reproduced.

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