TCTP – Always read the instructions

Posted: December 18, 2014 in cycling
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It did not go well…

Although initially planning to do back to back sessions this week I took a rest on Tuesday as my legs were still feeling the effects of the over / under session I did on Monday, I figured that a workout requiring all out efforts might benefit from the day off. My concern was I knew I would have to start my workout quite a bit later than normal and in the past this has not always been the most productive. But at 8.15pm I climbed aboard my bike and began my 10 minute warm up, focussed on what I needed to do.

The workout – “Peak and Fade Power Intervals” (PFPI)

Unlike the SEPI workouts where you bring the power up, the PFPI’s demand an all-out effort from the get go, naturally the power will drop off (fade) after around 45 seconds but this is fine, essentially you just try to achieve the highest power output you can over the 2 minute interval. The plan called for 3 sets, 3 intervals per set, 2 minutes recovery between intervals and 6 minutes recovery per set, this would be the hardest workout of the TCTP so far.

In the past before starting the Time Crunched Training Plan I have always had problems with maximum efforts on the turbo but I don’t recall having these thoughts in my mind as I Iaunched into the first PFPI, however those thoughts soon came flooding back after about 30 seconds. Having hit the lap button to signal the start of the interval I quickly moved through the gears as I gave it my absolute maximum, my legs spinning like crazy up to 128RPM, I glanced at my Garmin and the numbers did not look encouraging as my legs began to fade under the volume of lactic acid being produced. At the end of 2 minutes I hit the lap button which showed an average power of 376W, which is a lot lower than I have done on the road but as I have mentioned before, my turbo trainer power is always some way below.

I was pretty demoralised and thought that there was no way I could manage another effort trying to hit 400W so I pretty much aborted the workout.


Having read back through the plan again today it appears I made a rather large mistake in my thinking and it was no wonder I felt like giving up. I was aiming for something like 400W (I have no idea why!!!) for EVERY ONE of the 2 minute intervals when in reality I only needed to ensure it was 10% over my field test power of 271W (the same target as the SEPI workouts), therefore 300W would be fine. So although fatigued after that first 376W interval (Not surprising as it was 40% above field test power), I’m pretty sure I could have hit over 300W for the last 2 of the set before the longer recovery. I also think that for this workout I’d benefit from doing a couple of efforts in my warm up, I may add those in.

Although feeling a bit of an idiot today, my confidence has returned and I feel motivated for the next two PFPI sessions. A wasted evening, but a learning curve all the same and to be honest that is what this plan is about, to make mistakes now and not next year when I have specific targets in mind.


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