Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another shot at 5' bike intervals

It would be a lie to say that it did not send some shudders down my spine when I saw the 5x5’ MAX intervals on my schedule again AND a little note on a side saying that I was going to do this four weeks in a row. It is a very hard workout! But I suppose that cruising around on a beach bike won’t cut it if I want to do that race in 2014.

So I did the intervals yesterday. I did not go to the gym on Monday and I did not do them at 6am. Instead I did them at 7pm and I ate one whole pizza for lunch as fuel (actually I started eating it at noon and ate the last 2 slices at 5pm. At first I thought that eating that late might jeopardize my intervals or that I might throw up but it did not stop me from eating it and at the end I was).

Here is how I did this week, compared to the last week and the week before (I decided to track my progress here because it is easy to find and see everything together):

Average power, cadence, HR
Dec 18
261, 85, 170 I had the instructions to stay at 260 for the first one
270, 86, 176
271, 87, 178
269, 87, 179
269, 86, 178
(It is quite good that my cadence is increasing compared to last two weeks. But wow, my HR was high compared to week 1. Might be because I did 4x1’ at 260+ this week as part of a warm up so it got my heart pumping. This is how those intervals go: I start quite hard for the first minute, then settle for the next 2 minutes, then start picking it up little bit and then go hard the last minute. I do not pay attention to the power until the last 2 minutes. I go hard by feel but then it gets really hard and it helps me to go harder when I have a friendly competition with my powermeter in the last 60-90seconds.)

Dec  12 (epic fail)
252, 84, 165
246, 83, 167
240, 83, 168
236, 84, 169
231, 84, 167

Dec 6 (had only 4x5’)
261, 85, 164
257, 84, 166
261, 92, 172
260, 85, 173

So I am making the progress. Last week was just a bad day. From now on I am always doing these in the afternoon and eating pizza (or better yet cookies) for lunch.

I wonder whether it is reasonable to think that I will be able to do one or two (can I even hope for maybe 2 and a half) 5’ intervals at 300Watts one year from now. That would be super great.

I followed the bike with an easy 40min run on a road. Then did another 40min easy this morning before my PT appointment in the evening. ITB ok. The next step is to try strides on a road. I am too scared to do them because faster running is harder on joints then easy running, right?

By the way. Maybe it was not sex (yes, I used a word sex again) sounds coming from the neighbors that woke me up last week. Maybe someone was doing 5’ MAX intervals on a trainer. Because for a few seconds after the 4th and the 5th interval I sounded just like that.


  1. sex. hee hee hee.
    ok, i think i am starting to understand the bike interval stats. cadence is the same as RPM. heart rate is... RPM for the heart. power is?? this is where i get lost. is it the Kilowatts you generate? a product of the RPM by the tension? it must be some measure of work that takes into account cadence and tension... right?

  2. You are totally right. It is power I generate (in Watts) and I use powermeter on my freehub so it is basically a product of cadence and tension (torque). It is hard to have a proper measure of how hard you are working in biking. In running you can use pace pretty much because you do not move that fast and do not cover that much ground so inclines/wind etc does not affect it that much but in biking using speed would be useless. One can use the heart rate but there are too many variables in there too.

    I also record my HR because apparently the fitter you are the faster you can go with lower HR. It is the same as in running. Like for example you can run at 5min/km pace with HR 140, I can run at that pace with HR 165 and Ana-Maria can probably run it at HR 120:)

    I also care about my cadence (RPM) because I tend to mash on the pedals, which is very muscularly taxing and I do not want to kill my legs already before the run starts. But I do not pay attention to cadence when I do intervals, but I do pay attention during a warm-up, trying to keep cadence higher to get used to it. Because it takes some time to getting used to a higher cadence. Last year I was able to do intervals like these (with similar power) at 90+ cadence but then my bike training went all downhill when I was in Germany so now again I need to get to used to higher cadence. I track the cadence for intervals to see whether I am getting used to it.

    By the way. I just read a story in a newspaper about an eagle trying to carry away a baby at Mont Royal this week. Is it true or is that story made up?

  3. Fwiw, there's a debate about high vs lower cadence for endurance triathletes... on which is better... You would likely find that you could push 200W at cadence of 70 and your HR would be lower than it would be pushing 200W at cadence 90. Lower HR spares glycogen which sets you up for a better run... but only IF your legs are strong enough to handle the load on the bike. So. There's that. For you, this is something we've avoided to some degree b/c lower cadence riding also puts more pressure on your connective tissues (IT band) so we're trying to avoid injury.