Friday, May 14, 2010

CTS Test (Carmichael training Systems)

Carried out my first CTS test for cycling this evening. It was very tough!

The test is to establish training zones for heart rate. It should also be for power metering, but as such equipment is ridiculously expensive I plan to just make do with heart rate monitoring. The test requires a warm up then a Power Interval , “PI”, at maximum power output for 8 minutes, followed by a cool down and then a repeat PI for another 8 minutes. Going as hard as possible for 8 minutes is very difficult, and the last minute of each PI has to be pushed really as hard as possible. Carmichael points out that “you can do anything for 1 minute” and he is right about that. You think you are already at your maximum and somehow you ramp it up for another level as if your brain enters into a contract with you, accepting that it is for just one minute.

The key figure to extract from the test is the average heart rate for whichever interval gives the highest reading. In this case it was 163 bpm. From this figure I can now calculate 5 different training zones to use for specific training exercises tailored towards specific goals.

The two peaks in the data are the PIs and the enlarged image (click on image) shows the slpit time markers for the start and end of each PI. The Garmin Forerunner 305 is an excellent tool for this sort of measurement and the SportTracks free software is perfect for extracting the precise data. (The graph here is a print out from SportTracks.)

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