Skip to main content

Square One

Either I've lost cycling fitness due to running or the Computrainer has brought me back down to earth** ... or maybe a bit of both. I did 1 hour on the CT last night in my Endurance HR zone (132-145) and had to keep the load at 150 watts.

Strength? What Strength. I guess I'm back to square one.

At least I've got tools I can trust and it is the beginning of base training. I've got almost 7 months to prepare for La Marmotte and I know where I am starting from. More importantly, this year I understand what matters and what doesn't.

Here are my estimated zones based upon an FTP of 250 watts (HR then Watts);
  • Recovery 131 or lower, 139 or lower
  • Endurance 132-145, 140-189
  • Tempo 146-152, 190-227
  • Threshold 153-162, 228-264
  • V02max 163+, 265-302
  • Anaerobic Capacity 163+, 303+

I don't feel ready for a proper FTP test - dusting off the cobwebs from the running. I'll do a test next weekend making sure I get a bit of rest beforehand. So for now I reckon 250w on the CT is realistic - wonder how it will translate to powertap numbers on the road...

** Looking at the ascent of Ventoux from last summer, I was pretty much at my best that day and managed 11.8km/h up the average 7.5% over 21km in 1:47. - that equates to an average power of 235w according to kreuzotter (I didn't take the PT on the trip). The wind wasn't a factor in the forest and the section out of the forest my heartrate went berserk. Maybe I've been kidding myself all this time on the Tacx. Certainly my long rides all have an average of about 180w on the PT at 145bpm.

Popular posts from this blog

W'bal its implementation and optimisation

So, the implementation of W'bal in GoldenCheetah has been a bit of a challenge.

The Science I wanted to explain what we've done and how it works in this blog post, but realised that first I need to explain the science behind W'bal, W' and CP.

W' and CP How hard can you go, in watts, for half an hour is going to be very different to how hard you can go for say, 20 seconds. And then thinking about how hard you can go for a very long time will be different again. But when it comes to reviewing and tracking changes in your performance and planning future workouts you quickly realise how useful it is to have a good understanding of your own limits.

In 1965 two scientists Monod and Scherrer presented a ‘Critical Power Model’ where the Critical Power of a muscle is defined as ‘the maximum rate of work that it can keep up for a very long time without fatigue’. They also proposed an ‘energy store’ (later to be termed W’, pronounced double-ewe-prime) that represented a finit…

Polarized Training a Dialectic

Below, in the spirit of the great continental philosophers, is a dialectic that attempts to synthesize the typical arguments that arise when debating a polarized training approach.

It is not intended to serve as an introduction to Polarized training, there are many of those in-print and online. I think that Joe Friel's blog post is a good intro for us amateurs.

For Synthesis Against A Elite athletes have been shown in a number of studies to train in a polarized manner [1][2][3] There is more than one way to skin a cat. Elite athletes adopt plans that include high-volumes of low intensity and low-volumes of high-intensity. Elite athletes have also been shown to train in a pyramidical manner
[13] B Polarized Zones are between LT1/VT1 and LT2/VT2 [1]
LT1/VT1 and LT2/VT2 can be identified using a number of field based approaches [4][5][6][7]

You can follow guidelines on mapping LT1/LT2 to cycling power to make it useful for amateur cyclists. Polarized zones are har…

W'bal optimisation by a mathematician !

So the integral computation for W'bal was expensive.

I tried to optimise from a domain and  programming perspective, where Dave Waterworth, a mathematician found a much more elegant and fast reformulation.

This means W'bal can EASILY be computed as you ride.

To explain the math here are his words;

I posted a comment on you Blog post on optimising the Wbal model. I've done some more thinking and I defn think it can be done without visiting the previous samples as the Skiba formula can be decomposed further, i.e. From your blog I believe the integral part of the equation is:

Basically this takes a weighted sum of preceding W'exp samples where the weight decays at a rate determined by tau, older samples are weighted less than newer ones. We can approximate as a sum provided tau is large compared to Ts (the sample rate):

Basic properties of exponential functions allow the for…