Well, this was supposed to be a rest day… however, it’s also the Victoria Day holiday here in NS, so it seemed a wasted opportunity of using a day off to fit in a session or two to ease the pressure later in the week. Miserable day though, wet and not especially warm.
Still feel like I’m fighting a cold, so what else is there to do but to go throw myself in a cold lake. The last few nights have been down to 0deg or thereabouts and with the recent rain the lake temperature has really dropped. I managed about 2700m before calling it enough – I was getting properly chilled, which is a bit dangerous when swimming across a lake by yourself.
Then decided to try out the new Sufferfest video, Rubber Glove. This is a Sufferfest examination! And it hurts. The first 30min or so is an extended warmup, followed by a 20min eyeballs-out effort whilst tracking either wattage, or heart rate, depending on what pieces of equipment you have to hand. The resulting average heart rate is a single figure known as Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and can be used to calculate effort zones etc. Now, I have flirted with HR training in the past and still own a heart rate monitor, I hardly ever bother with it. I think I know my Perceived Rate of Exertion (RPE) irrespective of what my heart rate is doing, and I think it’s a much better measure of how much effort to put in biking or running. FTP can also be tracked over time though as a measure of relative fitness, and I can see the benefit of this, for sure.
I started off maybe a little timidly, because pacing for a hard 20min interval is tricky, and I wasn’t sure in advance what the relationship was between heart rate and FTP. Now that I know it’s a straight average HR, subsequent attempts at this test will probably yield higher figures. However getting towards the end of the test, my heart rate maxed at 156bpm and I could have imagined getting it any higher. I’m an old fart, remember. That doesn’t sound like a wattage equivalent to any numbers I’ve heard other people bandying around. So, am I missing something, is the test wrong, or do I simply suck? Answers on a postcard… It will be interesting to see if this FTP goes up, theoretically approaching my 156 max, but if it does, is it because of being fitter?
Bear in mind also that this was supposed to have been my rest day, and I’m knackered and potentially ill. How was the video? It was a really good workout in any case!