Every end of the training cycle, about every 6 weeks, I do some tests on running, cycling and swimming to measure progress and set the baseline for the daily trainings.
By calculating the functional thresholds in every sport, the trainings are adjusted so I can do them at the right intensity. This is useful both the hard ones with sprints or intervals, and the softer ones more focused on long endurance sessions – having found my fitness level helps me adjust and do the trainings as they’re intended.
The tests are always the same, and have to be kept as consistent as possible, to be able to compare.
For cycling, the drill is: 20 min as hard as possible, after some series to get tired and simulate race condition. It’s the most complex test, as the pre-test intervals are really important to properly simulate the fatigue of a race.
The idea is to find the max power I would be able to hold for 1h – and usually the challenge is to sustain the effort when the legs start to be tired.
Indoor the difficulty lies usually in dealing with the concentration, and the heat that builds up – while outdoors the most important thing is finding a place where it’s possible to ride for 20 min at max speed without interruptions (cars, pedestrians, traffic lights…). But at this stage of the season, the test has been still indoor.
Swimming the test consists on 1000m, swimming as fast as I can – and also keeping the pace as constant as possible. The difficult side of this one is getting a pool where I can swim comfortable – I prefer the 50m one in Sloterparkbad because there’s usually more space.
And running is also simple – 30 min running as fast as possible. Again as with the ride, it’s important to find a good course to not get traffic lights, cars, etc – but running it’s so much easier.
And now, with that explained… the results:
- Cycling test: the results were not bad: 234W, 3.4 W/kg. I did the test while riding in the London scenario in Zwift, and although the target was a bit higher, it’s not bad considering it’s still indoor season.
- Swimming test: the watch did something weird with the measurement, but the result was around 19:20min for the interval. Again not unhappy, and I see so many improvements I need to work on!
- Running test: the watch says 4:40, although according to my timing it was 4:48 min/km. In any case, I know I can run fast, but as that’s not being the focus right now, also satisfied with the result.
Something funny is that I had not had sore legs since a long while (I think since the Half Ironman in Cascais), but the running test left quite depleted. Still on Sunday after two rides I feel them – must be a sign of a test well done.
Over the weekend it was time for a couple of not too intense rides – focused on aerobic training. One of the rides had to be indoors, as this weekend Netherlands was hit by another storm, Dennis.