Run Power Zones

Last Wednesday I completed a critical power tests (FTP) so I can work out my power zones and start structuring my training around my power meter.

The test is 15min warm up with 4x 50m efforts throughout.  3min maximum effort followed by 20min easy recovery followed by 10min maximum effort with a cool down at the end.

To find the FTP, you find the average from the 3min and 10min efforts and take 90% of this number and this will be the FTP.

My results were:

  • 3min: 297 watts
  • 10min: 284 watts
  • FTP: 278 watts

There are a number of ways to test and find your FTP, I personally am subscribing to the Steve Palladino method not only to find my FTP but also his zone list (below are my power zones).  Typically zone lists will have a simple zone 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 but with Steve’s zone lists have more greater details and takes more of the guess work out of it.

Tim's rFTP numbers

Power to weight:

I am really overweight at the moment. I was weighing 85kg when I did this and traditionally my weight would normally be around 81kg this time of year and my race weight would be somewhere around 78kg.  Also as mentioned in my past blog, I am really unfit at the moment but having said that, lets play around with these numbers for shits and giggles.

Only taking into account power to weight and my Ironman power being 85% of my FTP (race power today would be 236 watts) and also comparing it to my goal time of a 3:30 marathon time.

Now I expect these numbers to really change as I get closer to my Ironman in May next year, hell, I would expect these numbers to change by January when I do a marathon down in Hobart.  While my race weight is around 78kg, I also looked at 77kg and 76kg.  I don’t think going under 76kg would be a healthy option for myself as I would be all prick and ribs.

Race watts today: 236

Power to weight

As mentioned I have a marathon in thirteen weeks that I really should start training for. I plan to run this marathon at my Ironman power number (85% of FTP).  While my current FTP is 278 watts, if I was to increase my FTP to 286 watts (8 watt increase) with a body weight of 78kg, this would give me a race power of 243 watts and this should result into a 3:30 marathon…….. on paper anyway.

Love all this shit.

 

First run with power

Following on from my past blog, I am keen to document running with a power meter and eventually coaching with a power meter.  I received my Stryd power meter on Monday and connected it to my Garmin and went for a run.

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Current Fitness:

To start putting things into context, my training has taken a back seat in the past five weeks, so with this my fitness has taken a rather sharp nose dive and my weight has been climbing like a mountain goat. In the past five weeks, I have only ran 9 times with a total of 47km with the longest run being 11.6km.

To give a bigger overview of my training, a combination of swim, bike, run & strength training comes to a total of just over 26 hours for the past five weeks. This is the lowest I have seen this in years.

 

First run with power:

I wanted to jump in head first.  I decided to do a 12km loop with a combination on sharp and gradual climbs, sharp and gradual declines and some flats.  This will be my longest run in seven weeks.  I wanted to run this all at my Ironman effort (not pace, heart rate, etc but as I think it should “feel”).

I would be careful when I looked at my power numbers, I wanted to check my watch at set parts of the run and see what the numbers were doing. The times I would check are:

  • Half way down a hill
  • Half way up a hill
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Coming from a cycling power background, you need to forget a lot of what you already know about power meters.  When I would look at my watts during this run, I would see

  • No major spikes of power going uphill. When cycling with power and riding on feel, you will normally see a rather big spike in power when riding hills.  Yes the power increased but nothing really over 50 watts at the steepest hill and the longer gradual climbs the increase of power was only around 20-30 watts.
  • No major drop in power running downhill, again when riding downhill, it is common to see a major drop in power but with running, you are still producing power with every run step.  Yes power would drop but only around 20-30 watts.
  • Power stayed really consistent throughout the run and I can see that it would be a lot easier to control than a bike power meter.

 

Run Data

Below is some data taken off my Final Surge account. I will deep dive in the data from sessions in coming blogs but the things that stick out are my GCT balance (I seem to favour the left leg slightly as I guess I have had past injuries in my right legs). My leg spring number seems low but with current fitness that is to be expected.

Some items not listed in the data files are

  • Temperature: 13 degrees
  • Water consumed: zero
  • Weight lost: 1.2kg

 

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You can see below I stopped five times during this run due to traffic. Each stop was between 5 seconds and the longest being around 20 seconds.

 

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I ran this at my Ironman effort but this is over 2 minutes slower than I would expect to see the run at the same effort in the lead up to an Ironman.

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And of course, I listened to Metallica during this run

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Running with power

Late last year, I began learning about power meters for runners, I have read countless books and articles, viewed athlete’s data files, listened to podcasts and watched videos on YouTube.  I must have hundreds of hours clocked up in learning about this topic.

I even went as far as creating mock programs for runners at different levels (FTP) for different races (5km, marathons, Ironman, etc) as part of learning more about running, training and racing with a power meter.  I did old fashion spread sheet programs, programs on Final Surge and programs on Today’s Plan

I feel like I have the theory part at a level I am comfortable to talk about, I need to now start learning the practical side so I can have a greater understanding on training, racing and coaching with a power meter.

This week I finally got around to purchasing a Stryd power meter that I hope to receive in the next week or two.  I thought it would be cool if I started blogging about what I have learned already, what I will learn in the coming months and see if we can all learn as much as possible while having fun and see what I believe will be a valuable performance tool.

 

Weekly Training Report (2nd – 8th July 2018)

This week is the last week of school before the kids are on a two week break.  I hit every session and every number up until Friday then I became a little restricted with avlable training times so I cut the hell out of the volume and increased the intensity greatly.

Races on the list

  • 9 Weeks till Ross Half Marathon
  • 12 Weeks till Launceston Half Marathon
  • 28 Weeks till Cadbury Marathon
  • 34 Weeks till Coles Bay Half
  • 44 Weeks till Ironman Australia

 

Training Week Overview

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Other Training Data

  • I produced a 40min power personal best on Monday of 248 watts
  • PI:  433 (the highest it has been since March)
  • CTL: 64.8
  • ATL: 47.8
  • TSB: 17
  • TScore: 372
  • Target Score: 20/21
  • Work 60hrs
  • Diet score: 19
  • Motivation Score: 27
  • Steps: 84,984 (the lowest since I started tracking my steps six months ago)

 

Vital Overview

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Weekly Round Up (25th – 1st July)

Summary of my training week

It was a very up and down week with regards to training as I had Jack’s All Schools Cross Country race to attend and Anara had her 13th birthday and a group of her friends had a sleep over

 

Here is my training week:

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On tops of this, I also completed 

  • 2x Oxygen deprivation sessions
  • Meditated once for 20min
  • 3x Mobility sessions
  • 3x Foam Roller

 

Target 

I have started playing around with a new metric that I am calling “Target” that I give each day a score.  The idea with this (this is week two of developing this so I may change it as I go) I score each day on if I am moving closer to my target goal or away.

The score numbers are:

1 – Step backwards

2 – Neutral

3 – Step Forward

The idea is to get a 3 in each day and to have a weekly score of 21 out of 21.  Depending on a number of things, will depend greatly on the score.  In this past what would

I might go into more information on a blog post just about this concept.  Anyway I get myself a 18 out of 21 this week.

 

 

Book I am currently reading

I finished reading “Mark Cavendish – At Speed” this week.  Not a bad book… Not a good book either.

I find in the past few years, the only books I enjoy reading are pro cycling books and American mafia books.  A few years at it and I am running out of things to read.  I am not a big fan of Cavendish but was keen to read something

 

 

The next training block

Before Ironman Cairns, I came up with the plan that would see me cut the hell out of my bike volume to maybe only riding once a week as part of a recovery day and increase my run volume to almost double of my current volume.  The idea was to increase my weekly runs from 3-4 times a week to 6-7 times a week for around three months then switch to more of my normal Ironman training program.

Out of the 6-7 runs a week, there would be two key sessions and the rest would be a combination on easy and moderate runs.

Since I had what alcoholics refer to as a ‘moment of clarity’ after Ironman Cairns, I have changed my mindset from doing a few months of a marathon focused training blocks to now going to do a few months of faster Olympic distance type training blocks. So basically I chopped the volume, increased the intensity and also increased the recovery.

In September I am going on a family holiday so I want to go into this holiday needing rest.  I will use the down time to reflect on my next steps but till then, I will work on speed and power.

This is going to be completely new to the body as all it really has know is Ironman training. The hardest part I think will come when I have free time, In the past I would put more miles in the body but for the next few months I will put more miles on the couch.

Where was my drive?

I have been thinking over and over about the past twelve months of training and my performance at Ironman Cairns and just trying to make sense of everything.

I have come to the belief that my drive to get better and nudge that sub ten hours in an Ironman hadn’t been there for most of the past year.  I was very disciplined with my training, I would go out and train even if I didn’t want too but that drive for success, that hunger to see what my body could actually do has been lacking.

This conclusion was really highlighted last weekend when I was writing my program for the coming training block and I could feel something I really haven’t experienced for over a year or longer.  The drive to get better.

It showed in training today.  I couldn’t wait to get to the pool to nail my swim session, I couldn’t wait to get on the bike and nail my Zwift race and I can’t wait to get to the track tomorrow and make the run session my bitch.

I really have spent the last year just going from training session to training session and the discipline has taken me through but there really hasn’t been any real improvements within my performance and this shows in my power files and other data.

Allan Pitman who is a mentor of mine, wrote “It’s a long apprenticeship – it’s not an easy thing to get right – the more times you do this the greater chance that you’ll have a tough day – but then on the other hand the more times you do this the more experience you gain – you can’t buy that experience – you have to earn it – enjoy this moment – you’ll look back on this week and be happy with what you’ve learned”.

While I am not dwelling on Ironman Cairns, I do admit it has lit a candle under my arse so I am truly happy Cairns turned to shit. I wouldn’t change it even if I could.  Over the next forty five weeks, I will become a BAD MOTHER FUCKER!

 

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