Wednesday, October 06, 2004

CTS Update : 10/6/2004

Over the past few weeks my training program has progressively gotten more difficult. Both in terms of overall hours per week and activities performed during workouts. Last weekend seemed to be a peak. Saturday's scheduled called for a overall workout of 2 hours (not bad), but incorporated 3 climbing repeats into the time. For the climbing repeats I had to find a hill that could provide 12 minutes of climbing at my climbing lactate threshold (approx 166 bpm). 12 minutes up, rest for 8, repeat 3 times.

I chose the notoriously challenging Cougar Mountain (Jim thinks highly of it too) for the task. Climbing it probably takes 15-18 minutes at a good pace and it kicks up to something like 17% in parts. Overall, the workout was really tough, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hill climbing leaves you with a certain sense of accomplishment. Take a look at the elevation plot.

That was Saturday. Sunday called for 3:15 of endurance riding. Because of the hills around here, my elevation gain on Sunday was about as much as Saturday... just not as intense. The good news is that it looks like my schedule is easing up a bit in the coming weeks.

I figured a tour of the CTS website would give a better idea of what you get for your money, in addition to someone telling you what to do. :) The website was just completely revamped, so now seems like a good time for a review.

As you can see in the schedule view below, exact workouts are prescribed for each day of the week. An overall workout is given (such as "endurance miles") and is usually accompanied by a specific task such as intervals. Days are color coded to indicate how your did compared to your planned workout.

After a workout, your results are recorded in the calendar:

That's pretty much all there is to the coaching tool. The rest of the site contains lots of articles about training and nutrition, as well as members forums. Pretty standard stuff and nothing worth taking screenshots of.


At 10:46 PM, Blogger Jim Carson said...

You have a very respectable average speed considering you're doing Cougar Mountain three times and going back up the Sammamish plateau. When you ride CM, do you typically stay in the saddle? (There's a particularly nasty right hairpin turn whose elevation is easily above 15%...)

Will you be doing any indoor training once the icky weather kicks in?

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Doug W said...

Well, I think the 3 descents of CM help the average speed. :)

I stay seated the whole time except for that one hairpin. I find I'm more suited to seated climbing and can't control my heartrate as carefully when standing. With a 39/26 gearing I can get up just about anything seated and keep a reasonable cadence.

I will be doing indoor work and have already started. My "recovery ride" heart rate limit is 120 so I tend to do those indoors. They also don't last over an hour, so it is just easier to sit on a trainer for a while. That said, I can't imagine doing over an hour on a trainer so I'll be out in the nasty weather quite a bit.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Jim Carson said...

An hour is about my limit on trainers, and even then, I have to do something to keep my brain engaged like read a book or watch headline news. I do need music...

For trainer work this winter, I'm going to use Arnie Baker's "Smart Cycling." I've found that I have a hard time getting my heart rate up too high since the trainer doesn't provide any of the visceral stimulus.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Doug W said...

I've also found that having specific tasks to do during the indoor workout helps keep things interesting. For example, the other day I did an hour on the trainer but that included a couple intervals of fast pedaling. The task was engaging enough that it really helped pass the time.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Jim Carson said...

By the way, there's an option buried within the Polar Software that lets you display the graphs where the X-axis is miles, not time. The visual effect is the downhill section won't be as steep-looking.


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