TCTP – Intervals, some if not all..

Posted: December 4, 2014 in cycling
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Back to the intervals

Back on the agenda for last night were the Steady Effort Power Intervals (SEPI) but this time with a slightly shorter recovery after the first set, 6 minutes instead of 8. This session was actually scheduled in for Tuesday night but my legs felt a little achy from Sunday’s ride so I decided to give myself an extra day of recovery. The last couple of day’s (thanks to my little boy thinking 4am is an acceptable wake up time!!) I’ve felt a little jaded and after a less than pleasant commute home last night I was lacking a little motivation.

Getting on the turbo and doing 90 minutes at endurance pace doesn’t take much motivating, you know while you’ll still be sweating you won’t have to go too deep physically and mentally, getting on the turbo knowing you’re going to have to work at your maximum is another kettle of fish altogether. But having arrived home I was determined to get myself in the right frame of mind so I prepared tea then spent time with my family as I began to focus on the session ahead.

The workout

As winter starts to bite it was pretty cold outside in the turbo room so I applied a bit of tiger balm on the back of my knees to loosen things up a bit, I also had my woolly hat and fleece top on but they came off pretty quickly as I began my 10 minute warm up. I’d normally jump straight on and start doing 140W plus to get myself going but I focussed on bringing up the pace a little more slowly, throwing in a couple of high cadence efforts to alert my legs to the pain that was to come.

Garmin Connect Summary

Set 1

As I approached the last few seconds of the warm up, I changed up a few gears and began the first 3 minute SEPI. I spent the first 45 seconds bringing the power up to around 280W average as I focussed on my goal of achieving 300W+ for all 6 intervals. Last time I had kept to around 280W for the first 3 before pushing to over 300W for the final 3. The first one passed pretty quickly as I hit a 307W average, this was 14% above my field test power so pretty good. As I began my recovery I made sure that I really did keep the power low and recovered properly, I hoped this would pay off and be beneficial later on. The second interval felt noticeably harder towards the end but happy to report my average wattage improved to 309W. After another recovery I started the final interval of the first set, this felt really tough as my legs were no doubt still carrying lactic acid from the first 2, there were a few dark moments where I wanted to quit but with 6 minutes recovery coming up I dug very deep and got it done. At the end of the interval I was completely smashed, I’d perhaps gone off a little slower at the start and then worked harder for longer at the end but that’s kind of the aim here.

Set 2

Even after 6 minutes of recovery at 99W, the thought of 3 more intervals was none too pleasing, this was going to be a struggle. I told myself to just focus on the next interval and after bringing up the power slowly I eventually hit 301W for the 3 minutes which I was pretty pleased with, recovery done onto interval 2. As I began I was struggling to get the power up to my target of 280W for the first 45-60 seconds and I knew that 300W would perhaps be beyond me this time. After hitting the lap button on my Garmin the display showed 286W which was only 6% above my field test power, so at this point with the same session to come tomorrow I made the decision to skip the final interval and cool down.

Interval Data

Power Distribution

Heart Rate Data


Did I feel like I’d quit? Not really, some days I’ll be better than others, doing another interval felt pretty much impossible, maybe I could have done a minute but I was pretty much spent so focussing on the positives I’d done a solid 45 minutes on the turbo trainer and given myself added motivation to complete tonight’s repeats session, this time in full. Legs feel pretty good today, so things are looking good.


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