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  1. #1
    KDB
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    Carmichael 3 mile Time trial results--now what

    Inspired by the HR threads over the past few days, I went to the park and followed Carmichael and Burke's TT for 3.0 miles as described in their book: Fitness Cycling. Their instructions:

    1) find a 3 mile course (I used the local park which is a 1.7 mile loop with a hill of about 400-500 feet elevation, so not too big);

    2) Don't eat for 2 hours before doing the TT;

    3) Wind is to be fairly calm (as it was today);

    4) Warm up and stretch for 10-15 minues (I cycled slowly at about 15 mph with a HR of 110-115 bpm for 15 minutes and then got off the bike and strectched);

    I started from a dead stop, but at the top of the hill (which may have knocked of a few seconds from my time, but I also had to go up the hill the same number of times I went down, so I hope it evens out).

    My results:

    time: 8:43

    --pretty good as I was estimating more like 10:00. Carmichael states that 12+ is below average; 8-12 is moderate, and anything under 8 is highly fit. So, I guess I am "high moderate" and something similar.

    Average speed= 21 mph (actually 20.6)
    Max speed= 25 mph

    Average HR 136 (I was surprised this wasn't higher)
    Max HR 162

    Using the standard 220-48=172 MHR; 136= 79% and 162=94%

    Using Friel's formula my LT should be 136/1.04=130, which feels low to me. I was definately short of breath at the finish, but never felt any kind of muscle burn or anything.

    After doing the TT, I rode for another 10 miles at a fairly slow pace.

    These results seem to put me into Carmichael's Yellow and Orange workouts (for those who have his and Burke's Fitness Cycyling, the book has workouts based on level of fitness divided into colored categories of green (low) to orange (high) and red (TT).

    So, I guess my next step is to begin using these workouts as described and see what happens.

    In terms of feedback; I am wondering: how accurate do the results seem? Based on these numbers, what kind of a program would enable me to lose more weight, increase my speed, and increase my abilty to maintain higher speeds for longer distances?
    Quotes I Like:
    By convention, indicators should have pattern coefficients (factor loadings) of .7 or higher on their latent factors.
    Statnotes from NCSC

  2. #2
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    Your results seem pretty fast. A few thoughts:

    1) The current carmichael approach has you doing the 3 mile TT followed by 10 minute of recovery followed by another 3 mile TT. Look at the speed across the two efforts can tell you interesting things.
    2) Your warmup needs to be harder. You need about 15 minutes of moderate intensity, followed by a couple of 2 minute effort 10 intervals with a couple minutes recovery between. If you don't do that, you won't be able to make a full effort during the TT. That shows up in your low average HR. If you had done a second effort and/or warmed up properly, you get a higher average.
    3) Don't get too caught up in the average/max. The average is used to set your training ranges, and the max can tell you how well you are able to continue your effort. The last TT I did (a few months ago) I pegged my HR at 171 for about 5 minutes of the TT, which is pretty close to my max.
    4) Carmichael says, "it should be very difficult to maintain your speed". If you didn't feel muscle burn and out of breath, you weren't working hard enough. It will take a few of these for you to figure out what it feels like to go all out. For reference, on my last TT, my first effort was 163 BPM average 170 max (at 108 RPM), while my second effort was 166 BPM average 171 max (at 111 RPM). That second one was really, really painful. My times were 8:55 for the first, 8:20 for the second (the hills are easier on the second one).

    As for your goals:

    Lose more weight - implies riding under 87% of your average (85% if you're old like me), and actually in the middle of the range. Start with that, and when you redo your TT the range might go up. This will seem *slow*, but stay with it. Aerobic base work will feel very easy - it's supposed to.

    Increase my speed - look at interval and tempo workouts. Note that doing these will compromise the improvement you see in aerobic base, which is why most training programs separate aerobic work from speed work.

    Higher speeds for longer distances requires both aerobic base and tempo workouts near your LT.

    Hope that helps.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  3. #3
    KDB
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    Thanks Eric! I think 8:43 is pretty fast given where I think I am fitness wise; so your thoughts make sense to me. The book I have was published in 1997 (I think, it's in one room and I am in another); so there could be a lot of changes since then. In addition, I think the book is geared towards newer riders looking to start getting fit, where as I have been at it for almost three years (the last year or so on the bike as my knees wouldn't take the running anymore).

    I just turned 48 this week, so I am not young anymore, but still a good distance to go before I'll admit to being old

    The more intense warm up is interesting. I have been taught that a warm up should accomplish a few goals, namely: raise body temp 2-3 degrees (enough to break a sweat) and make stretching more effective (I used to jump rope before tennis matches, then stretch, but have moved onto the dynamic stretching recommended by the USTA), secondly to get the muscles moving as they will during the actual effort (muscle memory is the phrase we use in tennis), and third to clear your mind and get ready and focused on the task at hand.

    Just looking to make sure I understand, You seem to be suggesting that goal two (muscle prep and memeory) needs more than the low intensity 15 minute warm up I used? There also seems to be some goals for the warm up related to cardio/repertory systems?

    So, If I understand accurately, next week sometime I will do the following:

    1) Cycle at a moderate intensity for about 15 minutes (raising body temp, breaking a sweat) and then stretch;
    2) Do 10 2 minute sprints at moderate intensity with 2-3 minutes recovery between them? (I think I am following what you have described?) So, all total with the full warm up, it will be about an hour before I can do the 3 mile TT.
    3) Do the first TT, record results;
    4) Wait 10 minutes or so (should I be looking at a specific HR %?) and do a second 3 mile TT.

    The better warm up and doing the test twice should provide more accurate results and a better assessment of my cycling fitness?

    As for staying at >87% If I use the standard method (220-48=172) 87% = >149

    If I use Karvonen's then [172-58=114)* .87= 99 +58 = >157

    So, If I stay under 149 I should be in the correct zone and burning fat regardless?

    Thanks again for your feedback and help.
    Quotes I Like:
    By convention, indicators should have pattern coefficients (factor loadings) of .7 or higher on their latent factors.
    Statnotes from NCSC

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDB
    Thanks Eric! I think 8:43 is pretty fast given where I think I am fitness wise; so your thoughts make sense to me. The book I have was published in 1997 (I think, it's in one room and I am in another); so there could be a lot of changes since then. In addition, I think the book is geared towards newer riders looking to start getting fit, where as I have been at it for almost three years (the last year or so on the bike as my knees wouldn't take the running anymore).

    I just turned 48 this week, so I am not young anymore, but still a good distance to go before I'll admit to being old

    The more intense warm up is interesting. I have been taught that a warm up should accomplish a few goals, namely: raise body temp 2-3 degrees (enough to break a sweat) and make stretching more effective (I used to jump rope before tennis matches, then stretch, but have moved onto the dynamic stretching recommended by the USTA), secondly to get the muscles moving as they will during the actual effort (muscle memory is the phrase we use in tennis), and third to clear your mind and get ready and focused on the task at hand.

    Just looking to make sure I understand, You seem to be suggesting that goal two (muscle prep and memeory) needs more than the low intensity 15 minute warm up I used? There also seems to be some goals for the warm up related to cardio/repertory systems?

    So, If I understand accurately, next week sometime I will do the following:

    1) Cycle at a moderate intensity for about 15 minutes (raising body temp, breaking a sweat) and then stretch;
    2) Do 10 2 minute sprints at moderate intensity with 2-3 minutes recovery between them? (I think I am following what you have described?) So, all total with the full warm up, it will be about an hour before I can do the 3 mile TT.
    3) Do the first TT, record results;
    4) Wait 10 minutes or so (should I be looking at a specific HR %?) and do a second 3 mile TT.

    The better warm up and doing the test twice should provide more accurate results and a better assessment of my cycling fitness?

    As for staying at >87% If I use the standard method (220-48=172) 87% = >149

    If I use Karvonen's then [172-58=114)* .87= 99 +58 = >157

    So, If I stay under 149 I should be in the correct zone and burning fat regardless?

    Thanks again for your feedback and help.
    The low-intensity warmup is the first step, but it doesn't get your body ready to work hard for the whole TT. If you don't do the high intensity stuff, it will take a couple minutes of the TT to get your body ready for that kind of exertion, which will both slow you down and make it harder to ramp up the effort quickly.

    For those two efforts, you need to slowly ramp up your HR over about a minute, then you should be trying to hit your expected average TT HR in the second minute. Then a recovery back to where you feel good (ie around 120 BPM), and then do it again.

    Oh, and it's two 2-minute intervals, with a couple of minutes between them.

    For the recovery period, you're looking to get back to your "riding comfortably" range. For me, that's back to around 120 BPM, but it's more of a feeling than a specific range. I wouldn't want to drop below 100 as then I would find it hard to ramp up again.

    The zone is based on the average HR during the TT, so you'd be looking at 85% of that average. For my initial TT, the range that I got was 82 BPM - 142 BPM, and the carmichael guideline is to spend 95% of endurance workouts in that range.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

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