Wednesday, January 23, 2008


After Ironman Wisconsin in September I took about 3 months completely off from training. First I worked on a couple house projects that were neglected during the season and then I was busier and more sleep deprived than I ever thought possible when Jonah was born.

So I dug myself into a pretty deep fitness hole. It is good to take some time off (I usally take a full month after an Ironman), but in order to keep some of that hard-earned fitness you need to do a little maintenance work. That would be exercise-related maintenance work, not the kind I was doing!

After the New Year I am working my way back towards what will be my new "normal". In the last three weeks I've had a number of good cycling workouts with my new Vision Quest teammates as well as a few long, easy runs. Swimming will still be on the back burner for a bit.

Having the opportunity to train and race like a pro is a big part of what Team Evotri is about. If you jump over to the Evo site, you can see a video of me doing some baseline testing on the bike as well as some functional strength testing with Robbie Ventura!

In order to set precise bike workouts it is essential to have a number of data points. My first test was 40 minutes all-out on the bike to determine my functional threshold power and lactate threshold. In the test you see on the video I averaged 255 watts. Pretty good since my threshold going into Ironman Wisconsin was 275 watts. Sounds good to me, but I had to point out that this wasn't an apples to apples comparison. My 275 test was done outside, but only for 30 minutes. The test I just did was inside for 40. So bottom line, yeah I lost some power which was to be expected! Hard to quantify how much til the snow melts and I can get back on the roads.
Here's Robbie doing a true blood-lactate analysis
on my new VQ teammate, Steve.

My second baseline test was to find Vo2 max power. This is four minutes all out on the bike. Doesn't sound that bad until you try it. Actually the first two minutes aren't all that terrible. The last two more than make up for it though! The Vo2 came out at 349 watts. When this number was converted into maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight (Vo2 max) it came out at: 59 ml/kg/min. Fascinating thing is that this was precisely the same number that I got doing an official test hooked up to monitoring equipment this time last year at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Lesson learned: you can get pretty damn close to lab-quality results by doing your own field testing.

Last year's V02 max test in Boulder.
The last part of the video shows a functional strength assessment that Robbie puts everyone through. There are three main components: core stability, flexibility, and strength (upper and lower body). You get to do lots of fun stuff like hang from a chinup bar until your arms give out and balance on top of a stability ball with no hands! Even after a few months off my strength and stability were pretty good. Flexibility was not! Never been my strong suit. Something to work on maybe, but in this sport there is always something that needs work and something that is getting neglected.
So I've started my long climb out of the fitness hole. Feeling good and lots of motivation to get back after the training. I've got a cyclocross race in February then a 1/2 marathon in March that will definitely tell me where I am at fitness-wise!


Tracy said...

Awesome Chris!! Sounds like you're well on your way to tearing it up in Kona. I'm excited to cheer you all the way!

Michelle said...

Now you've done it. My bike workout will have to be put on hold a few minutes while I check out those videos!

Michelle said...

OK, next thing I've got to do before I start my bike workout is that yoga, foot up by the other ear, twister maneuver!