Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Awesome workout today!

Watching the Tour of California live on the internet – really great coverage…

Special Slalom (Vineyard)

Used the CTS (Carmichael Training System) and found it to work a treat. Decided to go for the full PI (Power Interval) workout and wow was it hard! The idea was to do two sets of 3 repetitions of 3 minutes at 100% max heart rate – with 3 minutes recovery between each repetition. Between sets there was an eight minute break. That makes 6 reps total (18 mins at max heart rate)
Used my local hill climbing terrain for the workout because it is right at the doorstep and has very little traffic – despite the fact that doing a really intense workout would probably seem even harder on a hill.
After a good 20 minute warm up I went straight into it. The first 3 minute PI saw me reach max heart rate after about 90 seconds and then stay quite close to that for the next 90 seconds. Wow! Very hard! It’s not that you want to vomit that’s so bad it’s that you can’t. It is REALLY hard. The worst part is that after the first repetition is done you know there are another five still to come and it just doesn’t seem possible. Anyway, I got through all six reps and actually felt great at the end – much better than after the normal constant pace hard slog hill climb. What a strange sensation sprinting uphill. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard on a bike in my life and I can see why this brings about improvements in overall performance.
What impressed me the most is how precisely the CTS system works. The CTS test I did a few days ago gave me the parameters to work with and I was a bit sceptical. Today – working to the absolute maximum – my max heart rate was within 1 beat of the figure measured during the test. I started a bit too fast on the first few reps because the idea was to build up power for 35 seconds, rather than go absolute maximum from the very start – it’s called an SEPI (Steady Effort Power Interval). When you start really fast it is called a PFPI (Peak and Fade Power Interval) which is probably harder – but you can’t sustain the peak that happens at the start. I got it about right and did seem to peak in the last minute for most of the reps.
I understand now why my legs were so tired after Monday’s (La Plagne (1400)) high intensity (35 mins above lactic threshold) workout – and why I couldn’t run properly the next day! Here is a “recovery table” from the CTS system: (Gives time for full recovery after workout)

Technical Information...

0-6 hours endurance intensity – 8 hrs
30-60 mins Tempo intensity -8-10 hrs
75-120 mins tempo intensity 24-36 hrs
15-45 mins at lactic threshold 24 hrs
60-90 mins at lactic threshold 24-36 hrs
10-30 mins above lactic threshold 24-36 hrs
45 mins or more above lactic threshold 36-48 hrs.

EM (Endurance Miles) 50% to 91% of ave CTS test Heart Rate (allowing terrain to dictate variation of effort)
T (Tempo) 88% to 90% of ave CTS HR.
SS (Steady State) 92% to 94% of ave CTS HR
CR (Climbing repeats) 95% to 97% of ave CTS HR
PI (Power Intervals) 100% Max Heart Rate

PI has two versions - SEPI, Steady Effort PI and PFPI, Peak and Fade PI - explained in blog text.

OU (Over, Under) is when an interval fluctuates between CR and SS for a few minutes.

My ave from the CTS test is 163 and max is 173.

This computes as follows for the workouts:
EM 82 to 148 bpm
T 114 to 122 bpm
SS 150 to 153 bpm
CR 155 to 158 bpm
PI 173

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