Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pre-Intervals MSPO test

It is snowing today. Would have been a good ride most likely, but I didn't want to deal with the cleanup. Used to be I'd clean my bike after every ride. These days there isn't the time, so it would sit there for weeks.

So I decided to do a MSPO (Maximum Sustainable Power Output)benchmark test on the trainer. This is a protocol out of the Morris book that I follow. Usually I will do this early in the year to see where I am at and get an estimate on what the power levels I should shoot for in the next phase intervals. I will also do this towards to end of the season to get an indication of how I am finishing up.

The protocol might not be the most scientific, but it is easy to do in my basement alone without any tools other than a HRM and my Tacx Flow ergo trainer. It is as follows:

-Put trainer in Ergo mode
-Make sure to calibrate trainer after 5 mins
-Warm up 20 mins or so
-Bump up power to a decent level
-Every 3 minutes bump up power by 20W
-Until you reach an intensity that is difficult but that you think you can maintain for a significant amount of time.
-Sustain for 3 more minutes
-Record HR
-Ride for 3 more minutes
-Record HR at end of Min 4, min 5 and min 6

If you HR at Min 6 is more than 8bpm than it was a min 3 then you have probably over shot MSPO.

***NOTE*** I really didn't do the below tests properly. Specifically, I was at a much higher power than I could realistically sustain for a long time when I started the ramp up documenting HR. I don't think the HR rose above that 8bpm because I don't think I had 8bpm to spare. So the estimate of MSPO power is really high. I'd imagine that it probably 20-40watts lower.

The results of last years early season MSPO was 270W

The results of last years end of season test was 290W

This year's early season test came out to 280W
mspo 2-06

The HR was higher for today's test than the end of season on last year. I wasn't totally fresh for today's test. But I think it was a good one, and I think I am in a great place right now.

I still have the SMSP phase and MSP phase to do. The ENTIRE goal of these two phases is to increase MSPO. I've also got a week long bike trip in there that will be like a sweet training camp.

I will redo this test sometime in April to see what the results of the SMSP, MSP and the trip have been. I am hopeful for a significant jump. Combine that with the desire to lose a couple pounds (of which I am not doing that great at) and we have the makings for something good.


At 2:59 AM, Anonymous Alan said...

Have you tried doing a MSP time trial? I think going a full hour would be a bit brutal, but 30min seems reasonable.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger ashwinearl said...

A 1 hr time trial is considered to be the best estimate of sustainable power. But to me that is like doing 1 rep maxes. Pretty hard. I'd rather estimate it like I do with extrapolating 1 rep maxes.

Dave's MSPO protocol that I use isn't perfect but it's fine for a regular benchmark.

Ideally, I'd get blood taken and measure lactate.

2x20 min intervals is all the rage on the power forum at Delphi. 20min at your 'threshold'


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