Uhl in Eagle, ID – Since the colder weather looks like it's here to stay, I've slowly been getting used to riding indoors. I've got a pretty good setup where I ride my rollers; I have a computer set up in front of me with a wireless keyboard and mouse. I'll typically listen to a podcast, watch some shows or do some light surfing, during warm-up and cool-downs and tempo work. But then switch to music with cycling videos during harder efforts. This past weekend I was able to get in a couple 2+ hour rides back-to-back, and it wasn't so bad. I used to have a 1-hour limit, but with distractions and changing up my workouts, two hours isn't that bad.
So now that I've got a pretty consistent training schedule, I decided to get a baseline of my fitness level with a MAP test. To avoid math while riding I just use Ric Stern's MAP test application to display the target wattage on my computer. It's a little HTML applet you can download and run in a browser. You set the starting watts, wattage increment and time interval, then when you run it, your target wattage will continuously update on-screen, in a large, easy-to-read, font. I did my standard protocol of starting with 200 watts and incrementing 5 watts every 15 seconds or 20 watts/minute.
The test went better than I expected. I looked at my results from last year and at my lowest fitness I only did 368 watts. So as long as I beat that I would have been happy. I was thrilled that I achieved 390 watts today. That's only 21 watts off of my best of 411 watts back in May. After the test, I spun for a few minutes then did a 15-minute LT interval to give me a solid 1:05 minute workout. I've typically been riding 1–1.5 hours a day on the rollers with a couple "off" days here and there. But since I'm doing Level 3–5 work during those rides, I've been keeping my CTL in the 60's whereas past years I've let it drop much more. We'll see how long I can keep this going, but so far it's going well.