Plans for any training down on the Cape this weekend were disrupted by other priorities. We had all kinds of appointments on Saturday morning, and the main mission for the day was to prepare the deck around the house for a coat of wood sealer. This took much longer than I was hoping because I vastly underestimated how much deck there was to prepare. (1400 SQ FT!) Anyway, by the time that was done, I was not in the mood to do much of anything beside hang out with my wife and drink a couple of beers.
I was thinking I could go for a row on Sunday morning, but when I woke up, it was blowing like crazy. The peak gust was 50mph (80km/h) and sustained winds were around 35mph (55km/h). I didn’t even like the thought of trying to pedal a bike into that kind of a headwind, so I decided to wait until the afternoon and just do an erg session.
But what session to do? I was planning on an early morning row in the Double with Joe on Monday morning, so I didn’t want anything too intense. And there was a fresh new box of lactate test strips that had just arrived. So, I quickly decided to do the same 10 minute step test that Sander did last week.
- No warmup
- 10 minute steps
- 1:30 rests
- start at 160W and increment by 5W to 200W
- Measure HR throughout and lactate at the end of each step
The purpose of the test is to help define an appropriate steady state intensity for endurance training. I suspect that it would be around 180-185W or so.
When yo put the data into a plot, it looks a bit weird. The test did not go entirely smoothly. I suspect the lactate test for 170 was contaminated with sweat, leading to a high reading. The one at 175 had to be redone due to an “E-4” (insufficient sample size). At 180, I also suspect contamination. The rest of the readings I think were good. I had my method down pretty smoothly by then and I was doing a good job cleaning my hands. I suspect that the inflection above 190W is totally legit. Based on this data, I could try to train at 190W, but I suspect that this would be a bit too intense. I did this test after a full rest day, and late in the afternoon (my best time of day). The temp was warm, but cooling down during the session.
I had plenty of time to think, and one of the things that occurred to me is that it is entirely plausible that it takes me 30 minutes to really warmup for a steady state session. Some of my best results a couple of seasons ago were when I eased into the first 20 minute session by starting at a lower power and then hitting target power for the second 20 minute piece. When I did that, I think I was able to hold higher “watts at 2.0 lactate”. I think I might make that my standard procedure over the winter.
So, 185W will be my training power for now. Next weekend, I think I will do a 90 minute session at 185W and do lactate tests every 10 minutes to see what happens. The hypothesis I am testing is that my lactate will initially rise toward 2.0, then fall back toward 1.0, hitting a trough around 40 minutes, and then start to rise again after 60 minutes.