Friday, December 14, 2007

December T-Max Test

I did not sleep very well last night for a few different reasons, one of which was the Tmax test that I had planned for 5:00am. When I woke up I lay in bed for awhile deciding whether or not I wanted to actually try the test.

At 5:45 I finally got up and prepared to do the test. I couldn't find my heart rate chest strap, looking back I think that was a good thing(I always ride harder if I don't know what my heart is doing). I new that I wasn't going to last real long on the test so I set up a course of 5 miles with a 0.7% grade, climbing 185 feet in 5 miles. I did this to add a little more resistance to the wheel and reduce the speed of the test but still have minimal resistance during the warm up/cool down. I could have set up a flat approach and a 10% grade, but I didn't know how long it would take me to get to exhaustion and I didn't want to have to stop in the middle of a too long hill. (One of the peculiarities of the Axiom Powertrain software is that you have to finish/complete the miles of the ride plan in order to be able to save the data.)

With everything ready I started the test. My throat was dry, I reached down and my water bottle was almost empty, it will have to do, I don't want stop now. I'm spinning slowly at 100 watts as I watch the 12th stage of the '05 TDF. I spin easily for 10 minutes throwing three 400 watt accelerations in to wake up the legs. At 10 minutes I start the test. Accelerating I reach 400 watts, this doesn't seem so hard. I concentrate on the stage race trying to breath smoothly. At the 1:00 minute mark I feel pretty good, breathing rhythmic and steady, focused on 400 watts and trying to maintain the pace. My throat is starting to burn, grab some water. At 2:00 minutes I am breathing like a steam train blowing air just as fast as it comes in, man this is hard! At 2:30 I force myself to maintain the pace, my legs are screaming, I think I can make it to 3:00. At 3:00 minutes I'm still moving at 400 watts and holding, I'm on the edge and I know it, I surge and hold on until 3:16. I feel sick. I need water. I spin down dropping to below 100 watts and finish the 5 miles trying to recover from my insanity.

With all the numbers in I can now generate my Tmax interval plan.

With a Tmax time of 3:16 and an Interval of .6 * Tmax I get 1:58 for the power phase and 3:55 for my rest phase. With a goal of 8 intervals my total ride time will be 47 minutes and roughly 20 miles(I don't feel I will be able to do all 8 anytime soon).

My plan for the next 6 weeks will be 2 Tmax intervals/week with easier riding(zones 1-3) the other days for recovery and growth. If I get too tired I will drop some of the in-between rides and try to maintain my Tmax plan

The following table is taken from Richard Stern's article on Power

Males [Level of Training]
Up to 15 [Untrained]
15.1-17 [Fair]
17.1-20 [Moderate]
20.1-21 [Average]
21.1-23 [Good]
23.1-24.8 [Very Good]
24.9-26 [Excellent]
26.1-27 [Extremely Fit]
27.1-29 [World Class]
29.1-35 [World Class- Pro Tour]

Using the formula, power/mass*0.67 or W/kg*0.67 gives me a rating of 18.89 (moderately fit). Dropping to my Ideal weight of 165 puts me at 22.20 (in the middle of "Good"). Dropping to my Ideal weight and Increasing my PPO to 500 puts me at 27.75 ("World Class").

I will retest PPO and Tmax after 6 weeks of training to see if this plan has done any good. I will also be watching the scales.

PS - Disclaimer - This is an extremely strenuous test that will take you to exhaustion, even after 3 hours rest I can still feel the effects of the effort. If you are unsure of your medical condition see your physician before attempting to do these tests.

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