Feb 11, 2009

Tortured Cyclist

I'm feeling pretty tired right now as I've just finished three days of tests for Christa at Stellenbosch Uni's Sport Performance Institute.

The first day involved the VO2max test and a Wingate Test (very unpleasant!) to test anaerobic capacity, followed by a 40k time trial. On Tue & Wed I again did the Wingate test (they don't get easier) and after a rest, completed 100k time trials. During each of these time trials I had to sprint 8 times at set markers. Four sprints were for 1km and the other four were for 4km's each and they were alternated. Preceding all of this was a trip each morning to the pathology lab' at Stellenbosch Medi-Clinic to have blood samples taken. Never a nice experience but at 4am even less enjoyable than normal!!

After all the exertion on Monday & Tuesday I then got to sit in a warm swimming pool for 20 minutes which was great. There were three recovery options and I think I was lucky and picked the best. The other options were ice bath for 20 mins or active recovery on the bike for 20 mins. I would have loved to go in the pool again this morning but Christa didn't need me to as she won't be testing me tomorrow. Instead she talked me through my results and what they mean for my Cape Epic training.

Generally the picture is looking quite good, but I now need to concentrate on power training to increase my lactate threshold. To this end I received a revised heart rate schedule which gives me my optimum target zones to achieve my goals.

I still need to do at least one long slow MTB ride a week to maintain the base fitness but I really need to start upping my intensity work, so I'll start with some interval training on Thursdays as well as starting to push a bit harder on the climbs with a view to sprinting (or as near as) up the last third of each hill. A little closer to the Epic Christa will redo my VO2max test so hopefully I'll see some big changes in the values.

It has actually been a lot of fun (but I refuse to get up at 3am again for a long long time!) and I've learnt quite a lot. I now know I am not a sprinter by any stretch of the imagination! Christa was always very encouraging and sprinting to Led Zeppelin & Pink Floyd was always going to be a pleasure!

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1 comment:

Roons said...

This is really interesting. I am glad to hear the part about lactate threshold as I was a little worried about that will all the base training I have been doing. I am trying to spike some interval training into my schedule for the next couple of weeks. The one thing about increasing your intensity is that it makes the weeks very long - it is Wednesday only today and I am feeling quiet tired. Can you share what intensity your interval training is at as a % of your HRmax? Very cool post - would some to have had some science added to my training! Lucky! Enjoy your sleep! ;)