Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why I love my Computrainer

Today I completed another interval workout.  It was a tough workout, but that is what intervals are all about.  I did it on my computrainer – using the coaching software.  This allows me to specify the precise power that I need to generate for the whole session. 
Today’s session looked like this:-

  • Warm-up – 10 minutes
    • start slow and increase power for 7 minutes
    • hold 172 watts for 2 minutes
    • rest for 1 minute
  • Initial Set – 5 minutes - to get ready for the main course
    • 30 seconds @ 230 watts
    • 30 seconds @ 123 watts
    • repeat 5 times
  • Main Set – 45 minutes
    • 6 minutes @ 240 watts
    • 3 minutes @ 123 – recovery between sets
    • repeat 5 times
  • Cool down – 10 minutes
    • reducing watts to around 125

1hr 10mins total – the actual watts were calculated based on power from previous workouts.  The great thing about this is that it really helps to keep your focus when all you have to do is ride, the computrainer dishes out the power/pain – so there really is no cheating.  I’d find it hard to do this workout on the road or a regular trainer.  Most of the time I listen to music or podcasts whilst riding in the basement.

The cool thing is that once the workout is over (and actually even during the workout) you can see what you have done (or are about to do) – check this out…

CT-interval-session-screenprint

you can easily see the green line at the bottom represents the workout power, as described above.  The yellow line is RPM and the pink line is my heart rate.  I switched off other measurements to make it easier to view.  The view at the very top is the plan for the workout – a visual representation of the description above.  You get to see all of this during the session.

It is interesting to see the curve on the HR lagging behind the watts, which is expected.  This good thing here is that the HR/watts/cadence for each interval are all taking on the same shape (except for the first part of the first 6min interval). I  guess this means that my endurance is decent, meaning that I am not really struggling to complete the last 6 minute interval, it felt about the same as the 4th and 5th.

The blue vertical line just right of middle is where my mouse is positioned, it tells me that at that instant, my power output is 255w and the HR is 166 @ 99 rpm.

I had a look at as similar workout from a few months ago.  Back then my cadence and HR were at similar levels but my power during the intervals was much lower @200w.  That is some pretty good progress.  I still have a long way to go, but

Even though my CT is around 10yrs old – it still seems to work very well.  I am looking forward to the updated software which should be available in the next few weeks.

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