Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Path to Power-Performance Series #6

Ride #6 is the type of ride that I consider to be the premier ride of the Series, and it's essence characterizes what makes PowerCycling such a unique and dynamic training system.  This is the first time that Jeremy will have been faced with Vo2 Max or Level 5 intervals, and unless you are totally psycho, these are the type of intervals that you would probably never do on your own.

The benefits of these intervals will be appreciated when you climb a short hill outdoors and as you go over the top of the hill you are able to engage your Tempo riding style immediately, where as your riding buddies need a minute to catch their breath and they beg you to slow down so they can try to stay on your wheel.

I have a saying that I like to remind my athletes of  every time they get on the bike, and that is "Respect the Ride".  Going into a Performance Series ride, if you are not 100% prepared physically and mentally to give everything you've got and then some, you may walk away disappointed with your performance. 

This ride more than any other PowerCycling type of training ride requires you to budget your energy and ride within your individual Power ranges.  Most people don't have a problem cranking up the intensity necessary to complete the Level 5 interval, but what seems to be the bigger challenge is the ability to recover while riding Tempo (Level 3).  You will know that you are getting stronger when you can handle this training combination of Level 5/3 more confidently.  These intervals will take you Anaerobic quickly and when you stay in the Anaerobic zone even while riding your Tempo segment, it will make each successive Level 5 interval that much tougher to achieve.  Jeremy learned these PowerCycling truths the hard way, he suffered.

Jeremy came up against a ride for the first time in the Series where his incredible power was not enough without also having the necessary nutritional and mental components to go along with his power.  These intervals are designed to challenge even the most talented of riders and more than any other type of training ride these intervals tend to immediately raise a cyclists level of fitness.

You can see by Jeremy's Power Profile above, that the power lines (in yellow) were very strong for the Level 5 intervals, as he was getting 15-20 watts more that what he needed.  I think Jeremy was a victim of going out too hard on this ride, thru the first three Level 5 intervals he was looking to be on a pace that would establish a Personal Best for a 30 minute output, but then he really began to struggle during his Tempo segments.  Possibly he didn't have enough energy in the tank before the ride to withstand the demands of these intervals, or mentally he might not have been ready for the demands having never seen these intervals before.

He showed that he might be able to ride at a higher Power Threshold by his Level 5 outputs, but without the completion of the Tempo segments he brought his overall effort back to one of his current Power Threshold of 342.  It is comforting to us mere mortals to see Jeremy struggle every once in a while with some of the same things that we do within a ride, but my guess is when he experiences these intervals again at Ride #9 he will be ready to show that this ride was a valuable learning experience

There are no failures, just opportunities for growth- Marc

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