New Personal Record (PR) on Newport Coast Drive – 7:21

My training this year has been going quite well.  I’ve reduced the amount of miles or hours and I’m training with more intensity.  On Friday I went on a solo two-hour training ride.  I rode the Friday loop with the a training goal of holding a minimum of 3.5 w/kg or 238 watts.  I achieved my training goal. I held 3.47 w/kg for the two-hour training session. On the return, I went up Newport Coast Drive.  Below you will find charts of the complete ride, my best 60 minutes, and finally my new PR on Newport Coast Dr (1.5 mile 460 elevation gain average grade of 6%).  All data collected on an 7900 SRM Wireless Crankset Power Meter with PowerControl 7 head unit.

Training Peaks power chart for the entire two-hour workout Normalized Power of 233 watts or 3.47 w/kg

Best 60 minutes Normalized Power 252 watts or 3.7 w/kg

George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas sets new PR on Newport Coast Drive in Newport Beach, California


11 thoughts on “New Personal Record (PR) on Newport Coast Drive – 7:21

  1. Wow, wow, wow. OK, congrats on your time.

    40 miles, 1700 feet, in 2 hours and 15 minutes!? Peak 1 minute is 541 watts!? That’s impressive. No need to even point out the average 200 watts over the entire length. I’m lucky to get 150 average out of 40 miles (I have a 40 mile training loop with 1/2 the elevation gain). I have 40 lbs on you too.. thats if memory serves and your 150.

    If I can ask;

    – how do you handle stop lights as for the power meter measurements? I know if I have to pee, or get caught at a few redlights (I’m no saint, I blow through many), my power numbers are off (I just look at the peak time brackets). Would normalized power provide a better way to measure my progress over long training rides?

    I really enjoy your blog, you know that. But I have some requests! (crazy that you take the time to do this, and now I’m making requests).

    I would love to know more about how you use WKO to evaluate rides – like as in your workflow. Nothing too specific, no “secrets” requested; just the numbers you look at and why? Per ride and per athlete if you don’t mind. I have a powertap and I’m irked to no end how heavy my backwheel is – it’s gotta be helping my power numbers.

    Finally, I have a problem stopping to pee every other ride, it drives me nuts because I’m occasionally scouting big bushes, etc. I recall that this isn’t much of an issue for you. Is this because you’re God-like? (ha!), or do you ride somewhat dehydrated? Or, and more likely, are you just an experienced bad-ass who knows when to drink pre-ride to avoid flashing cars? I know people have seen my bits.. embarrassing.

    What the heck, while I’m typing. I’m upgrading my bike. My current ride is a Cannondale 6-5 which is a really heavy alloy/carbon hybrid. Cannondale really blew it on this bike, it’s 20 pounds with peddles because the fork is 2 pounds. No wonder I got a deal! Also, I knew nothing when I bought it, so the bike shop sold me a 56cm when I’m a 54 or possible a 52, so I have this tiny stem on it now so I can reach the drops. Whatever.

    I was thinking about the Cannondale Super6 with the Rival components (maybe the best value bike in the industry) or a Scott CR1 Pro. Two totally different geometries, two grossly lightweight bikes. I ask because I enjoy longer rides and just started dabbling in races. Since my current bike is totally wrong for me, I don’t know if the ‘racing’ geometry is actually just fine for longer rides. Couldn’t I just flip the stem up for long rides?

    Lots here, I know. If time is short, as I’m sure it is. I would most like the input on your WKO workflow.

    Thanks George! Sorry I missed you at Death Valley. And congratulations to your constant, consistent, and obnoxious physical achievments.


    • Ben,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Allow me to answer your questions as best I can.

      My peak of one minute (541 watts) would have been more if the hill had not run out. I thought the hill was going to be long enough to get one full minute of effort. I held 629 watts for 43 seconds 614 watts for 48 secs and then the hill gave way to more level terrain.

      When looking at the entire workout my Normalized Power was 233 watts. For longer intervals or entire workouts it’s important to look at Normalized Power because that takes into account the calculated stress your body really felt. Your memory is quite good. I am about 148 lately.

      – We live in the 7th most populated metro area in the country. You just have to deal with your data being skewed with traffic, redlights and so on. Use NORMALIZED POWER.

      – I love requests. I write this blog to educate and interact with my readers.

      – I look at 60 minute peak NORMALIZED POWER (NP) and compare it to my FUNCTIONAL THRESHOLD POWER (FTP). I currently have my FTP at 275 watts. As the season progresses I will monitor and adjust accordingly.

      – I look at my INTENSITY FACTOR (IF) and compare that to my perceived effort. For example on this ride it reads (.916) which is really 91.6% of my FTP. So if I feel that I didn’t ride at almost 92% of my max (which I didn’t) then I will make an adjustment to my FTP. This ride felt really hard but not 92%. I am going to try a few more rides of this intensity to see if it was just a fluke great day on the bike.

      – I look at Kjs I want to see based on the kj per hour how hard I’m working compared to other rides. over 700 kj per hour for 148 lb or 67 kg is A lot of work for me. I also look at total Kjs to for weight management.

      – I look at my 5 sec, 1 min, 5 min and 60 min numbers and compare to the Power Profile Chart to see if I’m moving from one bracket to the next. More importantly if I’m trending one way or another.

      – I look at Pw HR: I try to keep that number less than 5%. It is a ratio of Power to Heart Rate. If it is more than 5% then my Power and Heart Rate are said to have decoupled. Imagine you doing a split. One leg is Power the other leg is Heart Rate as your legs split and go in different directions they are decoupling. At some point you will feel a very significant pain in your groin area 😉 When doing an interval if you Power and Heart Rate decouple your Power goes south and your Heart Rate soars North. In ann exteme case of decoupling your “blow-up” :p

      – Your Power Tap isn’t that heavy if you weigh 40 lbs more than me that is your bigger issue. However, if you are 6′ 4″ then you are just right 😉

      – At what distance do you HAVE to stop and pee? You should be able to ride 2-3 hours without having to pee. I do drink less than the average rider. I use gels and other means of fueling myself so I don’t have to pee on most of my training rides. Are you drinking water when you ride? Plain water is the biggest culprit of the “I gotta pee during my ride” problem. Drink a sports drink so your body has something to digest and you shouldn’t have to pee as much. I use Infinit Nutrition. It is customizable and IT WORKS to keep me fuel for hours and hours without any solid fuel.

      While you are considering a Cannondale SuperSix with Rival you should also consider the Cervelo RS (taller headtube) with Rival. Two great bikes at the same price point. Ride them both and decide. By the way, I sell Cervelo and Cannondale in my store come and see me. I have both in 54cm right now. I also sell Scott but I don’t have a CR1 in stock.

      I hope I was able to answer your questions. Let me know if you have any more. If you like my blog please pass it on to your friends.

      george “Red-Eyed Vireo”

      • Awesome – thanks George. I appreciate that.

        Oh yes, good point on the powertap weight.. I let gear go to my head once in awhile. I have a lot more weight on my gut than anywhere on my bike.

        I’m no where near Bike Religion, but I’ll make my way there sometime on my next road trip.. and just maybe leave with a new bike.

  2. George, good job. Just wondering what section of Newport Coast Drive you did your 1.5 mile PR. From PCH to San Joaquin Hills Road it’s 2.6 miles.

    • Aaron,

      Hey there my friend. How are you?

      My time starts at the cross walk at the bottom and stops at the cross walk at Pelican Hill (traffic signal). 1.5 miles


  3. nice PR up newport coast, esp considering it came at the end of a pretty hard ride. no doubt you can get to 7 minutes even if you made the effort earlier in your ride. my PR is 7.08 @ 295W, but i remember there was a nice tailwind that day that blew me up to the pelican hill cross walk. still chasing that time a year later but 6 lbs heavier isn’t going to help the cause. keep up the good work.

  4. Tony,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I am targeting 7 minutes well I guess you can say sub 7 minutes 😉

    295W is how many w/kg for you?

    You went up 6lbs and I have gone down about 4lbs in the last 2 months. Another couple of pounds and more training should really help.

    I also just started CVAC sessions at Lunar Health & Wellness. I should see some improvements in my sleeping patterns. An athlete needs good sleep so that his body recuperates. I have not been sleeping well for years. Stay tuned…

    • at the time i was a lithe 136 lbs so that was about 4.8 w/kg. i was doing a lot more 5 min max intervals back then so my power up newport coast was always pretty decent. my last time a couple weeks ago was 7.36 at 267W so i’m slowly getting back to my old form. i’m trying to focus more on the raw power data for my PR b/c i know there are a lot more variables with time. but a sub 7 minute time would be sweet, even if that meant drafting a slow moving trash truck towards the top of the climb (which i’ve done before.)

  5. Pingback: Newport Coast Drive PR (6:50 Normalized Power 321 watts 4.8 w/kg) & May Month End « George's Epic Adventures

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