Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Watts per...Pound

We signed up for some coaching for the last months before the race.  Mostly this gets us access to a lot of good group workouts which we have found really helpful, but one "perk" you get at sign up is an included lactate threshold test.  Lactate threshold is basically a measure of what heart rate or power output correlates to the beginning of accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles - ie, the pace where it starts to hurt more and more until you at one point have to stop.

The results:

Matt - Lactate threshold at 165 BPM, or 210 Watts  (3.19 W/kg)
Caroline - Lactate threshold at 155 BPM or 155 Watts (2.84 W/kg)

I remember reading once that to win the Tour de France, an athlete needed to have a threshold of about 6.5 W/kg.  So you could interpret this result as meaning that Lance Armstrong is quite literally twice as strong as me on a bike.  This is both impressive and disheartening.  I see three options:

a) put a lot more effort and dedication into training
b) lose 74 pounds
c) assume that the machine we used today was calibrated in Watts/pound and simply mislabelled, in which case I am already at 7 W/kg. So I can safely assume I will win the tour next year. And should probably train less.

Both (b) and (c) seem pretty reasonable.  Thoughts?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

102 Days

... Left until worlds. Uniforms arrived this week, which makes it feel a lot more real. Everything fits, which was nice. Now we just have to be fast enough.