If you read my previous article on VO2max training, you understood the way I am thinking about too much specialising. I started using multi-sport protocols as to build a highly functional aerobic system. I recently finished this latest microcycle of training and the results are very positive, meaning the system is working out just as predicted. Unfortunately, I have a lot of work going on in the meantime, so the lack of sleep doesn’t allow me to tap out adaptations to their max, but still clearly visible, that I am getting better at those high intensities.
This last 5 weeks contained 8 attempted VO2Max sessions with 7 successful ones. Actually I went out for a flat bike ride a couple of days ago, and I was not able to push myself. I was mentally ready, my body functioned really well, I had a max score on morning HRV measurement, but my heart rate was not willing to rise. I was pedalling like a mad-man, getting out from the saddle every 30seconds , but my heart rate was staying well under 150 all the time.
Here are the Strava sheets:
My last bike session was just EPIC. I was flying and getting it done. I use a 1km all up-hill dead-end street to do these VO2Max rides. It is 1km in length and all climbing. It varies a lot in degrees of steepness, like every 50 to 100m it becomes very different. This makes the knowledge of each section very important to determine effort levels.
Focused, determined with perfect form. I use my line of thought about specialisation, while doing intervals of the same sport. The first interval I was hammering all the steep parts out of the saddle, the 2nd one I was all seated, the 3rd one I was seated till mid-climbs, then attacked at the end of each and in the final repeat, I attacked the climbs in the beginning, settled back in the middle and re-attacked the end.
Finally, I cut off over 10seconds from each climb’s time, comparing this last effort to the first one, 4 weeks ago. Without a power meter you cannot know, however, that you had backwind, you were 2 kilograms lighter or your tire pressure was lower.
For this reason I use a power meter and I can clearly show that I generated 30 to 40watts more on each climb, than did previously ! 4.85Watts/kg – 395Watts during each interval for my 81.5kg of current weight ! In just 4 weeks, completing 8 interval sessions, I gained physically shown fitness ! No guesswork !
A small explanation is needed here for some runners, not exactly knowing what power is. Work divided by Time or Force multiplied by Speed or Force multiplied by Distance divided by Time ! You must understand that, as physics goes, nothing can change this. This is the truest measurement of fitness.
For example: You run up a hill, you feel good, you think that you are way ahead of your last stop-watch time breaking a record, but as you arrive on top after 35minutes of suffocating for air, you look at your watch and see that You are 2minutes back. Damn ! Without power, you cannot tell, that actually you were really worse than last time or not. You might not felt, but in 5 corners, there were some light head-wind and you might have worn little heavier and softer shoes what absorbed just a little of each stride, instead of giving you propulsion. So in reality your finish time maybe is 2minutes slower, but looking at your power-file, you can say, that actually you generated 20watts more than previously, for 2 minutes longer !
Power is like VO2max. You must correlate it to weight. Why ? A 50kg athlete with a 6kg bike generating 200wats, will advance uphill the same way as a 100kg athlete on a 6kg bike generating 400watts ! You must know your weight each time you go out and work on a special skill to see, that you really generated more watts/kilo or you were just lighter. Power is measured by the force applied to the pedals, not force generated by muscles. A 120kg athlete will get out from the saddle and break the chain stays, while giving out a sudden 1200watts, what equals to short burst of 10watt per kilogram. A 60kg athlete need to generate only 601watt to be a little bit better. You must know, that you were better, because of lack of breakfast and slight dehydration, therefor lower weight, or because of real fitness gains !
Chris Froome's Stage 10 - La Pierre - St Martin Climb 41:30min You can see here, that I am only 18watts away from Chris Froome's performance, however he has 5.78W/kg, compared to my 4.85W/kg and of course he held that for 41minutes not for 4 x 4 min with breaks, with a lot higher average cadence used on 39x28 while I ride a compact 34 x 28 gear ratio! “For that 41:30, Chris had an average power of 414 watts, which gives a 1602 VAM. We know power Osymetric chainrings (used by Froome) over estimate power by about 6 per cent. That’s why it has to be considered when interpreting Chris’ power. With his weight hovering around 67.5kg that gives a correct power of 5.78 watts per kilo.” “Chris had a gearing of 52x39 and 11x28, which allows a lowest gear of 38x28 and allows for the high cadence that he does. He averaged 97rpm. His average heart rate was 158. His max heart rate was 174. http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/team-sky-reveal-froomes-tour-de-france-data-from-stage-10/
Stage 2 comes into action after 2 weeks of pause from high intensities with a race taper, a race and 1 week of post race recovery included. All on MAF / MAF-5 !
I used cycling to double up VO2Max sessions in a single day, together with running. I completed one road, one long track, one uphill with tracking poles and one short 10 x 60/60 running VO2 workout, an 11km road running race and 3 cycling outings.
The next period will still include cycling and running, but with 2multisport sessions dedicated with rowing, kettlebells and sledge pushing, 1 circuit training workout and certainly one or two bike and run interval trainings.