Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Testing Times #2

In November 2006 in this post I wrote about one method used for testing my current level of aerobic fitness - the time trial power test. It is a test to see how hard you can ride for a given distance. As a test for fitness, it's not the time taken for the course that matters so much as the average power you can sustain during the effort.

Time taken to complete the course isn't a great indicator of changes in fitness, since time can be readily affected by conditions on the day (wind conditions as an example). But power is power, provided you are conducting the test in a reasonably similar environment (altitude, terrain and it's not hideously hot or cold). It also helps to make sure you are not overly fatigued on the day of the test.

The length of the test is typically 10-miles or 16-kilometres. Doesn't need to be exact as it's power we are interested in, not the precise distance or time taken. Of course, if you ride 10-mile TTs regularly, then they are perfect opportunities to use as tests.

Today I was scheduled to do my first such test since returning to the bike.

So what happened?

Well of course today it decided to be a stormy rainy yukky sorta day, didn't it. And right now I don't need the hassle or riding in the rain.

So that left me with the other alternative - to get on the ergo bike and go for it. So that's what I did. Only trick is I have no speed/distance data on the indoor ergo bike, so I opted for a 25-minute long test.

Unsure of how hard to start with, I decided on starting at 220+ watts and then to go by feel from there. Here is the power chart from my effort (yellow = power, green = cadence):


Overall, for the 25 minutes I had an average power of 248 watts and a peak 20-minute average power of 252 watts.

So that's not too bad all things considered.

Testing continues later in week, with a Maximal Aerobic Power test.

2 comments:

Greg said...

Nice progress Alex!!

I recently did a MAP test and went to Ric's site to enter the value into his MAP zone calculator but couldn't find it. Is it now only available to RST members?

Thanks,
Greg

Alex Simmons said...

Good question! I'm not sure where it's gone, so I'll ask Ric.

The zone ranges are still shown in the table under the section called "The Zones" shown about 2/3rds the way down the item here:

http://www.cyclecoach.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=112

So you'll at least be able to calculate them. Not as slick as having the online calc do it but better than nothing!