So I am starting a new training program on Monday and tonight I went in to visit my trainer, Dirk, for a baseline Anaerobic Threshold test. This test tells us what kind of shape I am in so we can design a training program to fit my needs. Specifically this test tells us my heart rate and pedaling efficiency at different stages of exertion. Now we can design my training program to target certain heart rate zones to work in.
So we set my new trike up on a stationary trainer. This trainer was hooked up to a computer and told us my power output in watts. We also hooked up a little magnet on my crank that told us how fast I am turning the crank. The combination of these two mechanisms told us my pedaling efficiency and the distribution of power between my two legs. The last component was the heart rate monitor that was hooked up to my chest. This allowed us to set the five heart rate zones for an optimized training plan.
So all of this stuff is hooked up to me and my bike and all the data is being displayed on the screen in front of me. Also on this screen are two cyclists. One represents me and one represents the guy I am trying to keep up with. During the test, this other guy kept getting faster and faster and the resistance against my pedaling kept increasing. All the while Dirk is asking me to tell him how hard I am working on a scale of 1-20...In the end the other guy took off and I was left in the dust at a 19 effort level...I have lots of work to do.
During the first stage of the training I will work on building a strong BASE (leg and core muscles) which will allow me to train more aggressively without threat of injury. So we went over some strength building exercises to be done with the aid of an exercise ball.
The threshold test felt like a Gatorade commercial which was pretty cool and I am stoked to have some direction in my training and to be able to measure the results. Now I just gotta make it happen!