Saturday: 4×20’/1′ rest with lactates

I got home from California around 6pm, and then my wife and I headed straight out to meet my sons for dinner in Cambridge.  We were home early though, apparently they had an party to go to.  The life of a 22 year old can be so challenging at times.

I rescheduled my hard row from this morning to Sunday so I could accept delivery of a new couch at home this morning.  Instead, I did an easy 80′ endurance session.  Another edition in the lactate experiment series.

The session was done mid-afternoon.  The temperature was lovely, mid 60s and I had a fan running.  It was nicely cool.

Today the plan was:

  1. 4 x 20′ / 1′ rest
  2. rate: 18
  3. pace: 176W
  4. lactate tests at the end of each 20′ interval

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 5.48.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 5.48.15 PM

Workout Summary – Sep 26, 2015
–_|_19217_|_80:00.0_|_02:04.9_|_179.7_|_17.8_|_129.9_|_ 61.0% _|_13.5_|_10.1
Workout Details

01_|_04773_|_20:00.0_|_02:05.7_|_176.2_|_17.8_|_127.7_|_ 59.3% _|_13.4_|_09.9_|_1.2
02_|_04786_|_20:00.0_|_02:05.4_|_177.7_|_17.7_|_131.3_|_ 61.9% _|_13.5_|_10.0_|_1.2
03_|_04812_|_20:00.0_|_02:04.7_|_180.5_|_17.8_|_131.0_|_ 61.7% _|_13.5_|_10.1_|_1.4
04_|_04846_|_20:00.0_|_02:03.8_|_184.4_|_17.8_|_129.9_|_ 60.9% _|_13.6_|_10.4_|_1.6

It was insanely easy.  My HR rose up a little faster in the first 20 minutes than last time, but stopped rising when it hit about 130.  After 20 minutes I did my first lactate test.  1.2mmol/l…That’s nicely low.

I decided to nudge the power up by 2 watts and aimed at 178.  It still felt like coasting.  My HR drifted around between 128 and 136.  It seemed I could make it rise a bit by slowing down the rate to 17, and make it drop back down by picking it back up to 18.  At the end of this 20 minutes my lactates were still 1.2mmol/l…Cool.

So, I decided to keep nudging up the power.  The next 20 minutes I did at 180W.  This felt like a little bit more work, but my HR was still locked in the 130-135 range with no discernible drift.  Lactates at the end of this one were 1.4mmol/l… Interesting, so adding a bit more power was enough to start nudging it up.

For the last 20 minutes, I added another 4 watts to see what happened.  In terms of HR, nothing happened.  I stayed right in the 130-135 range again with zero drift.  But the lactates noticed.  The test at the end were 1.6mmol/l…Still well below the threshold of 2.0, but again showing the effect of slightly higher power.

Here is this test compared to the others

4 lac table

4 lactates

So, what conclusions can I come to from this data.

  1.  I think that easing off on the steady state power for all my OTW and erg endurance training for the past couple weeks is already starting to pay off in terms of improved watts @ lactate performance.
  2. Cool weather helps a lot.
  3. Boris’s theory about older athletes needing more time to get their metabolic machinery going is making more sense to me.  I think today’s results would have been very different if I had just started at 184W.  By starting at a lower power, my theory is that I limited the ultimate rise in HR and lactate later in the workout.  I think I will start doing the first 20 minutes as a power ramp, maybe start about 15 watts down from target and bump up 5W after each 5 minutes.

Tomorrow:  Hard 5k on Quinsig.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful. Clear, sunny, calm and a chilly 44F.  I’m very psyched!