Thank you for your last blogpost & YouTube about training on focus. As I don’t have an indoor trainer I am always doing outdoor freestyle workouts, so the video is of particular interest to me. I tried to follow your suggestions, but questions arise - maybe due to the fact that I am not a native listener to English videos (maybe I missed something essential!).
In my situation, the adaptive fitness adviser suggests to do an endurance training, with a focus of 02:00:00 and interval targets of 230W. The workout goal is 137 XSS. My current threshold power is 239W, my 2 hour power is 230W.
If I look at “recommended workout” it is suggested that I do the “Smart - Closer 170”, with an XSS of 138 (which seems ok), with 5 main intervals that start at 350W (much higher than 239W), descending to 240W (still higher than 230W) in 5 minutes.
- How should I deal with the given focus of 2 hours while my Garmin cannot display a focus of more than 00:59:59?
- Given my current values, I can sustain the interval targets for quite a long time, but on a regular workout of 90 min I will exceed the 137 XSS target if I try. So how to decide about the lenghts of the intervals?
- In the video the TTR is set to 100W without further comment. What is the rationale? What to do in my situation?
- Why is the suggested workout prescribing me intervals with a higher-than-advised intensity?
Thank you in advance!
Update: I tried to execute what the fitness adviser suggests. Conclusion: on an outdoor ride this is impossible. What I did: a ride to the office (appr. 90 minutes). My heartrate ended up on an average of 127 bpm, which means “very easy” in my situation, and the corresponding average power of 159W - way below my LTP. I tried to perform some short intervals of 230W, which is very hard, mostly because in outdoor situations you end up on a higher level. Key issue for the exercise is that as a result of all this it is IMPOSSIBLE to end with a focus of more than 59:59. I actually ended with a focus of a bit more than 5 minutes, mostly because I have one big bridge to cross which you can’t do without some power.
Thanks for your questions here.
How should I deal with the given focus of 2 hours while my Garmin cannot display a focus of more than 00:59:59?
Remember, a focus duration of 2:00:00 doesn’t mean ride AT your 2 hour power the whole time, but that your “on” intervals should be at that intensity. Practically speaking, focus durations beyond 20:00 are all roughly the same, given that they are all powered almost exclusively through low energy system. In your example of Focus: 2:00:00 and XSS: 137, your goal should be to simply accumulate as much time below LTP as possible, try and keep your focus duration as close to 59:59 (or --:–) as possible. As you noted, this becomes difficult when high/peak strain is added during the ride.
Given my current values, I can sustain the interval targets for quite a long time, but on a regular workout of 90 min I will exceed the 137 XSS target if I try. So how to decide about the lenghts of the intervals?
The way the math works out, the actual length of the intervals doesn’t always matter. But try playing with the w orkout designer and try manipulating the intensity and duration of intervals to see how that affects the difficulty and XSS of the workout. You can always exceed the XSS recommendations of XATA, but feel free to start cooling down once you’ve accumulated your suggested XSS.
In the video the TTR is set to 100W without further comment. What is the rationale? What to do in my situation?
In your situation, this is somewhat irrelevant since your intervals are being performed below TP, not above. You can recover at any intensity that you choose, it doesn’t have to be 100W. But you want to choose a low intensity to allow MPA to recover before starting the next set.
Why is the suggested workout prescribing me intervals with a higher-than-advised intensity?
The XATA considers several factors when suggesting workouts, including focus, time to train, difficulty level, training phase, etc. You can always select any one of the recommended workouts, it doesn’t necessarily need to be the top workout.
Hope this helps!
Thanks Scott, this helps.
I understand that if I do the workout freestyle / outdoors the key message is: meet the XSS target of 137 while keeping the focus as close to 59:59 as you can. I tried to achieve that in a second exercise (actually my ride back from work to home) and I ended up with better figures: XSS 111 (was 97) and focus 18:08 (was 5:19). I don’t think a higher focus time is not realistic, given the traffic & terrain situation (start/stops due to traffic lights, bridges, strong wind, etc.).
One last question: given the fixed distance of the workout, what has priority: meet the XSS target of 137 (which will further lower the focus) OR keeping the focus as high as possible (which will lower the XSS)????
As you’ve noticed, the Focus data field is rather sensitive at the start of a ride. Any efforts above TP are going to drop the focus duration rather quickly. As the ride gets longer, the focus duration becomes less sensitive to efforts above TP. It depends on the suggested prescription…on a HIIT dat (Focus duration less than 20:00), I’d suggest aiming to finish at the correct Focus duration. If the ride is meant to be an endurance/aerobic ride (focus duration greater than 20:00), I usually aim to hit the XSS target. Cheers!