Sorta lurk in here every now & then, picking up a few tips & just trying to absorb some of the info I see passing through here. I have been using a PowerTap since November and have been getting some advice from a friend who has one (he also has had the services of a coach for several years and has been using the PT for a while too).
I have a question about intervals…my friend tells me that when I do them, the NP & AP should be fairly close together and that I should also try to keep my cadence high, as I’m trying to get a good aerobic workout in. I usually do my intervals on a Wednesday during my lunch hour (plus more cause I usually don’t finish within that time) and the terrain I have to work with has mostly rolling hills & some flats. Yesterday, my numbers were 196/185/98, 188/177/96, and 186/176/96 (np/ap/rpm) (or numbers similar, as I’m at work right now and can’t remember exactly, but these are ballpark). These were 8minX3 in my Level4 with 4min rest. (and, don’t laugh at my numbers…guess they’re just what they are cause I need to drop some weight & I’m a girl). My friend was pleased with my effort, as was I, but said I needed to try and get the numbers closer together. How do you do this if you can only view AP on the PT in interval mode?
The previous time I did them, I had to do them on a Saturday and the terrain was basically flat and the NP & AP were very close to one another, like within 2-3w, and the NP for those intervals were way above what we thought my threshold wattage was. Is there something I can do, as far as how I ride (or maybe where I ride), that will help me get the numbers closer? Or should I try to do them on a Saturday before my longer (3+hr) ride? Saturday’s are sometimes group rides, so if I did them on those days, I guess I would just go out to the front of the group and perform my intervals & fall back to the group during the rest period.
Also, I’ve done 2 20min-field tests for determining FTP (Nov. & Dec). The first one was a real learning experience about pacing and what happens when you start out way to fast/hard. My peak 20min for the first one was 182w. I did another one then in December, and the numbers were the same. Tho, when I finished this one, I felt like I probably could have gone much harder. I then did a group ride the following week, where over the course of 3.5hr, at the end, my NP was 186w AP was 160w and I didn’t feel as if I had worked all that hard. This ride wasn’t a fast, paceline type of ride, but more on the social, ride fairly fast but wait at the turns for the slower riders kind of ride. So, my friend thinks that my FTP might be more close to 200-210w and had me adjust my threshold watts to 195w to determine my Level1-7. I guess I need to do another 20min test and go till I practically puke….
I guess your thoughts/advice/suggestions for doing these intervals is what I'm looking for as well as any other advice you might have to offer.
Thanks - wp.