TempoTempoTempoTempo…

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

I’m on the last leg of Antibiotics. Usually, taking this (*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*)(*censored*) leaves me feeling toxically empty, but this time around, it brought me to life. I was so out of it, just downright flatlined with an abhorrent sinus infection, that when the drugs kicked in, my heart jumped to life.

Tempo on the TT bike today, really steady stuff, nothing harsh, gradually getting back into the swing. Great day for it. Saw 44 degrees on the thermometer and immediately out I went. If I have one strength as a rider, it would be Tempo. I think I could even rival Goldman in this regard. I just love this type of riding. On a good day, I can Tempo forever. Tempo is a wattage most riders avoid — they go too hard or too easy. I prescribe a TON of it for the athletes with whom I work, because it’s vitally important… At first tempo is a weird zone for the guys, uncomfortable for them, but after weeks and months the numbers look solid, their aerobic engine absolutely primed, stupid strong, ready to carry them confidently into deeper war trenches down the road…

I did almost two hours over rolling terrain on the TT rig, just cruising, churning a high, aerobic cadence, around 108 rpms. On the climbs, at this time of year, I kept it slightly overgeared, 85 rpms. This loop I have, through Wyckoff Franklin Lakes Midland Park Hawthorne is surprisingly awesome, everything up and down, one longer climb, 4m at 87 rpms, 12.2 mph…

The key to doing Tempo is keeping it in the zone at all times. You may feel great and want to rip 500-600w up the rollers, but that is not what we want. Keep it Tempo pace, keep it tempo pace… I am so much faster on this bike. I mean, I am certified packmeat right now, but I was going faster on these roads than when I’m going full-metal on the Madone. This is reassuring!

Tempo pace all day, and now as a more “mature” rider, the data was great. Previously, I’d do just that, tempo around and stomp full blast up some rollers. Today, however, the data was superior to those “perceived” harder rides, 2 hours, 45 miles, 279 watts, 22.1 mph, HR 150-165 all day, just cruising, steady effort throughout. The engine felt good, really good, the legs lively. I think part of this was because I was more disciplined and really nailed the effort.

I should mention HR. In the winter, I follow it more than power. I feel following HR in the winter is important for a number of reasons, but mainly it helps me concentrate more on watts when I really need to — during the heavy Builds and crucial peak sessions. If I stress over the watts all year, I can lose some motivation. If it’s only 1%, that’s 1% I can’t afford to lose. When it comes time to turn it up, you need to be 1000% focused. When it’s Watts Time, I’m hungry to nail every pedal rep…

My HR is always pretty accurate. My diet and rest is always consistently solid during race season. Last year at Readington, one of my “best” days sensation-wise, my HR was 185 and I was flying. My LTHR is 181, so this makes sense — riding over threshold for 12m is what I did and the data shows that. At States last year, my HR was 175. I struggled mightily not feeling good, very mightily to say the least!!! At Kingwood, during first TT my HR was 178 and just couldn’t get it going. During the second TT with Mike, my HR was 170 — someone was ready to drop and it wasn’t Mike! Tells me I revved engine too hard first session, when there was nothing there, and on a bad day I had absolutely nothing for that second effort…

I mention this because it’s always important to cross-reference the watts and HR. I make sure each athlete I work with gives me both HR and power — always. My HR was there all day today and when I compare my HR tempo zones to my current FT tempo zones, it matches up, telling me I’m on track. I looked at my power data, and my 5m max was 311w, 10m 300w, and 20m 294w… When I see these numbers close together, I know I accomplished the day’s goal…

These rides will get me ready for the fearsome work to come. I am very much looking forward to the TTs. My girlfriend doesn’t get it. “It’s just you out there, suffering by yourself?” I can only smile. I am not willing to tell her that “suffering” on my TT bike during a TT is what I enjoy most… I mean, at the turnaround of a time trial, I’m cross-eyed and dizzy but I’m wildly possessed to whomp out a violent effort to that finish line. In these moments, I never feel so alive.

Don’t tell my girlfriend that!

Ride Time: 2h 3m
Distance: 44.8 miles
Power: 279w
Speed: 22.1 mph
Cadence: 101 rpms
HR: 151 bpm MHR: 168 bpm

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Sunday, February 24th, 2008 | | |