Saturday, March 14, 2009

Z3, part 2

Wed I blew it. But Thursday I was serious. Coach Dan again said Z3, so it'd be Z3. The goal: ride segments of Z3 approximately 10 to 20 minutes long.

But first, I'd just "warm up" with the start of the Noon Ride. Nothing hard. Just "sit in". Nice and easy. Trust me. Really.

Fortunately, I finished patching my GoldenCheetah command line utilities, so I'm awash in data once again:

Thursday ride data
Ride data
from Thursday, with power zones (estimated from Menlo Park normalized power) indicated on right

Okay, so much for "nice and easy". I tried, really I did. When the group got strung out turning onto Albion due to a pesky car (who's the guy responsible for getting the road closure?), I cashed in what position chips I had to drift to the back of the pack, reducing the compression interval. A bit later, the crew turned off for some Z6 action on the Canada College loop. I split off, going out and back on Canada Road instead.

power histogram
Histogram
of data, showing a much tighter, bimodal distribution when riding solo. Note the logarithmic axis.

Nevertheless, you can see the Nooner involved plenty of time well above the Z3 target zone. And, for that matter, plenty of time in Z1 and Z2. Not even close to the "sweet spot training" which followed. At least the best approximation I could achieve of steady Z3 on rolling Canada Road (Z3 is a small target).

The Noon Ride is a great catalyst. Without that very hard deadline I have difficulty getting myself out of the office. Deadlines can be quite useful. And, of course, the social aspect of the group ride is a wonderful thing. Everyone united by their love of riding, a love not necessarily appreciated by others.

But I probably should have split off on my own sooner.

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