Triathlon training is in full swing. For this training cycle, I have decided to follow the training plan from Chris Carmichael’s “The Time Crunched Triathlete”. I chose this plan not so much because I am time crunched, but because I want to be competitive yet still have more time to do other things, like enjoy that beer I mentioned. The intermediate Olympic plan as three (or more) days off each week, and I find that I am liking it.
After the Georgia Half Marathon, I had exactly 12 weeks until the West Point Olympic Triathlon. For the first four weeks, I executed the transition plan, also available in the book. At the end of the four weeks, I wanted to take the fitness tests. The swim test went off fine. Not much to say about that. On that final weekend, I went to Columns Drive to take the bike/run test, only to find that I had left my heart rate strap on my laptop at home. MINOR FAIL! I made it an easy workout instead.
Those of you on Facebook know that I have been on staycation all week till Friday. I got a bunch of stuff done around the house and really enjoyed being able to get my workouts in when and where I wanted. I thought it would be a good idea to make up the test on Thursday, my last day of staycation. I brought Dee Dee along to make sure I didn’t screw up again.
You could not have asked for a more beautiful day to take the fitness test. It was sunny, a little windy, and seventy perfect degrees. The CTS field test is no secret. You execute a warm up, then the test itself is 2x8 minute all out efforts with a 10 minute recovery period between tests. After the last test, you have 10 minutes to recover and get ready to run, then its an 8 minute all out run effort.
All you have to do is bring it…
The warm up consisted of a couple of 1 minute high spins followed by 1 minute recovery, then a couple of power intervals in the same vein. When the charge sounded, I took off. It helped that the wind was at my back, but I was pretty sure I would give a “max effort” going in either direction.
If you know anything about me, I do not like to test, but I do them. I worked hard, huffing and puffing, and kept an eye on my speed, to make sure my effort was consistent. I intentionally ignored HR in order to optimize my chances for an accurate measurement. After the first test, I spun lightly for the 10 minutes, and was delighted that my course took me back to the parking lot at columns drive, just in time to start the second test with the wind at my back. That test was more of the same, except I felt like (and later proved) that is was slightly lower than my first test.
Unfortunately, the end of the second bike test found me at the far end of Columns Drive. It took me about 8 minutes to pedal lightly back to the car. I took a little longer getting ready for my run than the requisite 10 minutes, but I felt like my effort was good. I started out the run by warming up for 7 minutes or so, including 5x15 seconds of striders.
At the bell, I started out at the recommended pace (5K), which for me is about a 7:45 mile. One thing I have learned in this process (and you think I would know this already), running after riding is not the same as just running. It was hard to hold my 5K pace, and my effort suffered as time elapsed. When the final bell tolled, I ran slightly over a mile at a 7:53 pace.
I couldn’t wait to get home and upload my data and analyze the tests. The results were surprising but not unexpected. My max HR on both bike tests approached my LT threshold from last year, but the average for both was 160 and 158 respectively, 5 points below last years test. My run test was spot on with the results from my 5K in February.
Despite some concerns, I’m happy with those numbers. They will guide me through this training cycle, and I can retake the tests after my race(s) in June, if I so choose.
With that out of the way, we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming :-)