Today was framed with endurance workouts. First this morning I had spin class and we did an endurance workout that pushed to our anaerobic threshold. Each set would increase effort and each set lasted longer. By the end I felt I had a good ride. Since I have been attending spin class I have been paying attention to the bike computer. It measures watts, or power output. The higher the watts, the more power per unit time. Lately I have been averaging 20 to 22 miles in an hour to hour and five minute class. My watts range from 180 to over 350, usually averaging in the 250 area.
After seeing how I have done in class, I became curious how to keep track of this and translate it to the road, my speed has not been this fast. I also don’t think I have worked this hard on the road usually. Both my Garmin Edge 500 for my bike and my Garmin 910XT watch measure watts. Finding a power meter is another issue. They are not hard to find, but they are expensive! A decent power meter for a bike runs at least $1,000. I have a good tri bike, racing wheels, and several gadgets, but I draw the line at spending that much for a power meter. Just before giving up on the idea, I called my bike shop and they told me about the Cyclepos Powercal Heart Rate strap. In short it uses heart rate and other data to translate heart rate effort to power output. The margin of error is about 10%, but the cost is also only 10% of the power meter – about $99. I am going to give it a try and see how it works. Hopefully it will be a good training tool to improve my speed on the road.
This evening I had a speed/endurance run – after a mile warm up I ran 4 sets of 6 minutes at half marathon pace followed by 3 minutes of recovery run. My run went well – it was powerful. I was very happy with the pace I was able to sustain, about 10:20 mile pace, and my heart rate stayed in my high zone three. By the time I finished, I was ready to go home, eat dinner and go to bed. The only thing stopping me now from going to bed is the publish button on this blog.
My workouts today were challenging, but I was ready for them. Getting adequate rest is important and so is proper training. Today was hard. Tomorrow is scheduled to be lighter and I am listening. I had considered running a 5K race tomorrow, but I have decided to pass. Sticking with my training plan and working toward the goal of running a strong marathon in December is my top priority. Power – the power measured to know how hard I am working and the power to exercise control. Both are hard – working at maximum power as well as refraining and minimizing power. Both also will help me improve. The key is knowing when to go strong and when to refrain.