Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Now the hurting begins, Conconi and Wingate done

11am Tuesday.....stroll into Bike Authority. Sean Gilbert hooks the Dale into the Computrainer and I warm up and my tire warms up. After calibration were off at 100 watts to start the Conconi test to determine Lactate Threshold Heart Rate and Threshold power.

Every minute Sean records heart rate and asks for my Perceived Exertion (PE)from 1 to 10. Up to 220 or so its easy and I call PE as 2 or 3. As we break 220 I realize I am not shifting up as I go up 20 watts per minute, but keep pedaling faster and I am at 116 rpm. A bit high so I finally shift to the big ring, down a few cogs to an easier gear, but am still above 100 cadence. Its no big deal, but I'd say it probably made a small difference at the end.

Once past 300 I am calling a PE of 6 and its starting to get Hot, hot hot with no fan. I drink a little and keep toweling off and strip my sleeveless jersey and hope I dont scare any children with my skinny bones sticking out. 320 rolls by and its not that hard to hold that wattage, but it is getting painful. 340, 360 and now its getting hard to hold and I am feeling myself hitting the wall-PE is now an 8. 380 watts and I upshift to lower cadence and that helps for 2 or 3 seconds and then i am done. I cannot hold 380 for anything and Sean records the last heart rate and PE of 10 and were done as I flounder to hold 330 watts for the last 30 seconds going all out.

Because of being heat soaked I spin for a long, long time and my heart rate comes down, but I feel whipped. The meat of the test took only 15 minutes.

Next up was the Wingate test which is a measure of the power you can put out with your lower body. Sounds funny, but thats what it is. It is a measure of anaerobic power and only lasts 30 seconds. The idea is to pedal with no resistance, then a set resistance is applied (best done on a Monark Cycle Ergometer) and then you go as hard as you can for 30 seconds. We dont have a Monark so we again used the Computrainer.

I am sure the data is all useable, but the Wingate data has an asterisk because I didnt trust my left knee in an all out effort so I did the whole test seated. I peaked out at 700 watts and averaged 585 I think. I'll recheck that when I get home. I was going so hard I was right on the tip of the saddle and could feel the power fading away as the final 10 seconds wound down. It always amazes me how you can ride for 5 hours or 30 seconds and in both cases can be flat out cooked afterwards.

As I cooled down again Sean crunched the data and we now have a current and accurate picture of where my training zones are going forward. I feel like the Threshold power is a bit optimistic for this part of the season, but it certainly bodes well for the summer and fall time trials. My threshold is 320 watts and thats quite an improvement over last summers best in 40k of 274. Though by the end of the summer I was time trialing (20k and less) at close to 300 and possibly more than that at the last practice TT's at Vrooman road and at Presque Isle. I didnt use my Power tap that race as Rudy loaned me the Bike Authority shop Zipp disc. But in the spring on a faster day I went 28:05 at 290 watts (raod bike with clip-ons mind you) and in the fall I went 27:24 so I'd have to say there was an increase in watts as well as the big reduction in drag of being on the P2SL TT bike.

Some more interesting tidbits is that Mark Lopresto had read and also felt that Powertaps read 10 to 20 watts low when locked into a trainer. I'll need to research why that is, but if you've ever wondered why what power you feel is easy on the road is harder on the trainer, maybe this partially explains why. My Powertap averaged 310 watts when the Computrainer said 320 watts at threshold and during the Wingate it was a whopping 40 watts lower in average power.

Hopefully were done testing till the end of the road season!! But as I was leaving I told Sean to not be afraid to kill me to get me ready for the State Time trial and he said "dont worry-its coming"!! I can honestly say I am a bit scared!!


Feel It: The Factory Rider said...

dude Ray,
way to man up. I've been keeping that off for a while now. Your numbers are fantastic for this early. Keep it up.
hope the knee holds up well.

Ray Huang said...

Thanks Robert. I made some mistakes in my blog. Ave power for Wingate was 558 watts so that puts it 13 watts higher than the Power tap, which is right in line with what Mark said.

Solo Goat said...

ray -

sologoat here - email me at would be possibly interested in some sort of trade on the wheels...

are they 130 or 135 rear spaced?


Ray Huang said...

I tried to send you an email, but it failed. 130mm spaced.

Tommy Lee said...

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