Once you find that point, you recover and then go to that power and hold it as long as possible. Here's what my chart looked like:
18-19 min interval:
19-20 min interval:
Okay, this doesn't look like much on its own, so let me explain. From minutes 0-17 my heart rate climbed slowly per ten watt increase, hitting 160 in the 12th minute at 240 watts. It took 290 watts to get my hr up past 170, but at 300 watts it went to 177. My attempt at holding 310 watts fell short, maxing only 306 for the 19-20 minute period. My heart rate continued to fly up, hitting at 180 during the same time.
The point where wattage flattened out and heart rate soared - right about 300 watts and 175 bpm - is a good indicator of my LT right now.
The second part of test involves holding your LT power as long as possible. This is an important piece of information as its used to calculate the length of various intervals. I was able to hold 305w for 3:06.
What does this all mean?
To quicken recovery near LT, I'll do 130 second intervals at 300-310 watts. Six per set, with 30 second recovery. (70% of max time effort at lt = interval length). I'll do this work out twice a week.
To build power I'll do intervals at 150 percent of lt power, 30 seconds x 5-8 with full recovery. Here that's 450w if my math is right. I'll do this once a week.
So there you have it, a simple plan for getting faster on the trainer with three rides a week. I'll mix in lifting and skiing and the occasional ride outside ride when weather cooperates, and by the end of February I'll do the test again. Hopefully wattage will go up compared to heart rate.
The beauty of this test is its non-invasive, in other words you don't have to over extend yourself with a massive effort like many other tests require to get decent data. Once you see your heart rate spike and power flatten out, you can stop.
If you found this interesting- great, if not, well, there are plenty of non-cycling related posts on this blog already, so scroll down and see how many monkey meters you can kick a ball.