Rolling along with the VTWinterPlan and all seems to going pretty well at present, long may it continue! Today's session was a couple of 20 minute efforts at 85% of FTP, good bread and butter aerobic conditioning which I put great faith in. Planned to continue with my blood lactate data gathering to determine the current picture of this measure of the physiological strain, or otherwise, that is being applied by my training sessions.
The session again went well in spite of yesterday's exertions and the blood lactate data was very encouraging. It doesn't matter which way I look at it I am currently producing lower levels of blood lactate for a given level of exertion than used to be the case.
I did my blood test at the end of the second 20 minute effort and each effort was ridden at almost exactly 260W, so a solid L3 intensity. I was again very pleasantly surprised by the result of the test, my blood lactate concentration was 1.7mmol/l, so I was certainly riding, in lactate terms, in a steady state with lactate being removed from my blood stream at least as quickly as it was being produced, good news. Some while ago I recorded a blood lactate reading of 2.6mmol/l at the end of a 20 minute effort ridden at 245W, so I'm now producing less lactate at a higher wattage. My highest wattages may not have changed a great deal but there is no doubt that I can now ride harder for longer and it looks very much as if this shift is one of the reasons.
It is interesting to note that during yesterday's 45 minutes of power, in between the higher wattage surges, I was riding at only a slightly higher wattage than during this session but the wattage was variable. So, the variable wattage between the surges coupled with the 30 second surges themselves resulted in a blood lactate level by the end of the session which was exactly double the level at the end of today's second effort.
The above is quite a good illustration of the "damage" that constantly varying pace does in terms of performance potential simply by elevating blood lactate levels, a steady pace avoiding extremes of effort is much kinder to the physiology. Clearly in events and races pace changes are very much part of the territory but if the worst of the extremes can be avoided the overall performance is likely to be far better.
ATL: 64.2 CTL: 65 TSB: 1.3