On Saturday I went over to my new coach's house for some Lactic Threshold testing and to ice my contract. He, being my coach, gets 1/3 of my winnings...and groupies.
He started off by doing a skin-fold test to see what percentage body fat I have. Turns out I am at 9%, including all the not riding/eating/sleeping/graduating I've done recently. This means the 142 lbs of lean muscle mass is pulling an extra 14 lbs of fat up all the hills. Looks like there's room for improvement.
Then, it was time for the LT test. I got on the bike and warmed up for about 15 minutes at 100 watts or so. By the time I had a good sweat going the test began. I think he started me out at 160 watts or something like that. Every four minutes the wattage would increase by 30 watts.
At the end of the first segment I was feeling fine. He pricked my ear for some blood so he could measure the lactic acid. Then he bumped it up to 190 watts. I was doing fine still but making it to 300-something was seeming very far off.
220 watts. By this point I'm beginning to feel it a bit. I've averaged more than this for a long time before but for some reason it was taking a toll. I think the sample after this interval showed I was starting to release (or produce?) lactic acid at a greater rate.
250 watts. Really this is a guesstimate since I don't remember much from the actual test. I remember my heart rate was around 190 though. I kept pedaling although I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it to 300.
280 watts. I think this was about the last one I did. It really was starting to hurt. A week ago I had averaged 353 watts for 10 minutes so it seemed like this was really weak for me. Nonetheless, I was really starting to hurt. The pedals weren't turning as quick and my heart rate was over 200.
At one point my heart rate reached 207. He assured me I was almost done. There was no way I could do another interval.
My feet almost froze mid stroke. He braced me while he took the last blood sample from my ear. I sat straight up and tried to breath.
"Clark, I need a trash can" I told him. He handed me a bucket and I held on tight. I had eaten five eggs and two pieces of french toast for breakfast. Big mistake. It was the closest I had ever come to spewing while riding.
Finally, I was able to catch my breath. Forget the cool-down, I just wanted off the bike. I sat down in a chair and he gave me some tips.
Lesson 1: even if you walk like a ballerina, you shouldn't ride like one. I walk on my toes and so I'm wont to pedal with my toes down. He said I just keep my heals down and my toes level.
He told me he'd come up with a training plan but in the meantime I should ride at an endurance pace around 200 watts.
I woke up at 6 and headed out for a ride. I thought of riding up the coast since it's flat and would allow me to stay at 200 and spin well. However, I hate being around cars so I headed for Tunitas Creek.
Riding steep hills is really slow at 200 watts. My cadence dropped to almost nothing and I worked on staying in the saddle.
About halfway up Tunitas creek I looked down to see a spider web forming on my handlebars.