Thursday, April 17, 2008

VO2 Max Pain

After analyzing what happened to me at Turtle Pond with Target Training elite racer Nathanial Ward we concluded that I needed to do V02 Max intervals. Nathanial is not my coach. Actually he's not even a coach. But since we both started racing at the same race (Johhny Cake Lane 1 in 2004), and he's now a cat 2 while I'm a cat 4, I think its a good idea to listen to him some times.

He proscribed five, five minute efforts to be conducted up hill at my VO2 max power. Since I'm a super professional amateur I have a power tap and WKO+. These amazing tools tell me that my VO2 power is 300-325 watts.

What does this all mean? Well, it means that I used to work at a bike shop and got hooked up with a lot of high tech gear, but for the most part have no idea what to do with it!

When I ride at that wattage its pretty hard but not super deadly hard, at least at first. So I rode out to the intersection of 85 and 85A in New Scotland, and did repeats up 85 to Thatcher Park Rd. Effort 1 = not that hard, 2 and 3 = harder, 4 and 5 = lots of suffering. My average power went up with each effort though, starting at 300 and finishing the last effort with a 330 average. I guess that means I did a good job. I rode back to Albany going about 12 miles an hour so I must have done something to myself.

The thing that made this workout really awesome was that while it didn't seem all that super hard while I was doing it, the next day I was close to crushed completely. I went down to the smackdown last night and attempted to attack the group half way up the first climb and again on the second lap. Instead I got a lesson in how to make accelerations on hills by Chuck Quackenbush, Esq. and ended up getting shelled right out the back.

This is becoming a theme for the last week or so - I go from the front of the race to the back of the race in the course of 30 seconds. Supposedly riding up 85 five times and then resting will stop this.

We'll see.

Check back tomorrow for a more interesting post (ie: less related to actual training and racing and more related to the fact that I'm taking today off to recover and its also Pete's birthday) .


Anonymous said...

Eric - I am not coach but my coach has be doing 4x1 AWP intervals (all out) one day a week and then 5x4 minute VO2max intervals one day a week. The rest is recovery rides, light tempo and hard tempo. All designed to get the power up. When you race in the Pro1-3s, what you see is that everyone can do 600plus watt bursts repeatedly througout the race. The constant 350 watts effort is not what gets you. Its the surges and guys with big power. I bet you see the VO2max intervals help you alot. Just make sure to ride lots of recovery miles as well. Too many guys hammer all day every day.

Best of luck -

Slowish Cat 3

James said...

last year on some of the Tuesday and Thursday evening group rides I remember trying to keep the wheel of some of the faster people while going up Rt 85 and Thatcher, I doubt they were hammering, but we were going up at 300-330 watts, I didn't get dropped

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout on to my Blog (the Bell Lap). I have yours flagged on my site as well. BTW - I see you are in Law School? Albany I assume? I am a class of 02 grad. My riding was seriously put on hold during my 3 years at Albany. All that beer and studying took a toll on me.

Jesse G

eric said...

thanks for the input guys. 600 watt bursts will be my next issue, right now its making it to the top of the 5 minute power climb at the front of the cat 4s.

Jesse - I am in fact a 2L at ALS. I'm glad to see there's some alumni in the peloton/bicycle blogosphere. You're right about school putting a hit on riding. I got smoked basically all last year and this past cross season too. This spring I got a little more orgnaized with my training and seem to be making some progress finally. rock on.

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