Indoor Base Training Part II

No time to ride, even less to blog.  I know I am overdue for a blog post.  Despite what you may think, the last few weeks have been very good training-wise.  My rapid weight gain that saw me pack on twenty pounds in little over two months is back in check.  The training has been even better.  In a little over seven weeks, I have seen an increase of approximately 12% in my functional threshold wattage.

 So what I have been doing for the last seven weeks?  Well, in truth, I haven’t been doing anything special or extraordinary.  When you are starting from square one, you have a lot of room for initial improvement.  It will be interesting to see what the next four to eight weeks produce.

The workouts that I have been doing are best described as foundation/preparation in the context of The Time-Crunched Cyclist.  As mentioned in a prior post, The Time-Crunched Cyclist doesn’t really describe or provide a program for this period.  It is purposefully unstructured training period with occasional intervals at intensities of 60-85% of the CTS field test power. 

Since I was starting back at square one due to lengthy lay off from riding (my prior field test results made that quite apparent), I figured I needed to give my preparation a bit of structure.  On Tuesdays, I would do the workout I featured in this post.  On Wednesdays, I would do speed work with three sets of 4×2 minute fast pedal exercises witha two-minute recovery between the intervals and five minutes between the sets.  These workouts, while certainly not the most intense, were very challenging due to the fact that I am riding Power Cranks which adds another dimension to training.  On Thursdays, I did my strength workout previously discussed in this post

Saturdays and Sundays were my long days on the bike.  Time permitting, I did anywhere from two to three hours on both days.  These were endurance rides and, for the most part, I stayed in Zone 2 for the duration of the ride.   On Saturdays, I’d add a bit of intensity with 4×15 minute tempo efforts (80-85% of my CTS field test wattage).

Over the course of the last seven weeks, the workouts were becoming easier as I adapted to training and to using Power Cranks (again).  This week was a much-needed recovery week.  On Thursday, I performed another CTS field test followed by a rest day and, on Saturday, I did a functional threshold power test as described in Training and Racing with a Power Meter (2nd Edition) by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan, PhD.  The results of the field tests are as follows:

CTS Field Test #1

Duration: 08:00

Average Wattage: 297 watts

Average Heart Rate: 179 bpm

Average Cadence: 76 rpm

CTS Field Test #2

Duration: 08:00

Average Wattage: 281 watts

Average Heart Rate: 177 bpm

Average Cadence: 69 rpm

First effort was better than the second.

20 Minute Functional Threshold Field Test

Duration: 20:00

Average Wattage: 263 watts

Average Heart Rate: 178 bpm

Average Cadence: 66 rpm

20 minute function threshold field test.

In sum, my CTS field test wattage (the average of the two field tests) improved almost 10% over my prior field test.  My functional threshold power (95% of my 20 minute average wattage) improved over 12% from my prior field test of seven weeks ago!  Not a bad improvement over the last seven weeks.  I hope the next eight will be equally effective.

~ by notime2ride on February 19, 2011.

4 Responses to “Indoor Base Training Part II”

  1. Hi,

    I’d be interested to hear how successful you are at staying within the power ranges as defined by the CTS program. I’ve just started it (also doing it indoors with a PT) and find it quite difficult to keep the power output normalised. I use the 3 sec average. If I consider the Steady State zone there is only 4% variance between min/max so its not surprising. But just wanted to hear from someone else whether this is a ‘normal’ problem. Not sure I want to spend my entire training session just trying to keep the power within the zone!


    • Hi Craig. Excellent question. I would suggest that you change the sampling rate from 3 seconds to 1 second. This will give you a truer average wattage output. On an indoor trainer, normalized power should be the same as average power (so long as you don’t stop pedaling). I think once you change the sampling rate, you will find it easier to maintain a set average wattage. It does take some getting use to. After awhile you will come to figure our the appropriate gearing and cadence that will work well for you. I find that it is easier to stay within the appropriate wattage for Steady State and Over Under intervals on the indoor trainer due to the absence of the variables you need to deal with outdoors (wind, hills, traffic). Good luck and keep at it. It will become second nature before you know it.

  2. Hi, me again! I’m into my 3rd week of the programme and must say its harder than I thought it would be – but I am managing to stick to it.

    I see that you did both the Carmichael 8 min test as well as the 20 min test which Coggan and Joe Friel use. For the 20 min test you X by .95 to get to functional/threshold power. Do you know what factor you should use to convert the 8 min test to threshold power?


    • Hi Craig. I never calculated my functional threshold power from a CTS field test. That being said, there is a strong correlation between the Tempo power zone and your functional threshold power. Given the intensity, I find that the lower end of the power range (CTS field test power multiplied by .8) is probably a good indication of funtional threshold power (FTP = CP60 or in other words the maximum wattage you can maintain for approximately one hour).

      Hope the training is going better than mine. I really need to find some motivation and get going again.

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