Personal Record on Torrey Pines 6:03

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I’m very happy with my latest hard effort up Torrey Pines.  I set a Personal Record of 6:03 It is a 1.45 mile hill with an average grade of 5.1% and gains 387 feet (your data may vary)

The first 1:19 seconds I ramped up the power to see how I felt.  Avg wattage was 309 or 4.6 w/kg.  I felt good so I surged on.

The next 1:20- Goal was to hold  6 w/kg actual 6.2 w/kg or 411 watts.  I was trying to hold for 90 seconds but couldn’t.  I just exploded.  Next time I will try just 6 w/kg and see if I can make it 90 seconds.

Last section 3:16 – Goal was to hold over 4.5 w/kg actual 4.4 w/kg or 294 watts.  I couldn’t squeak out 4.5 w/kg 😦

For the Heart Rate people out there notice that once reaches 187 bpm it remains pegged there regardless of my power output.

Average Speed was 14.5 mph

Normalized Power for the entire climb was 333 watts or 5 w/kg

My best 5 minute power was 342 watts or 5.21 w/kg

I guess my next goal would be to go sub 6 minutes!

Almost Strava KOM

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Today I went out for a tempo ride with hard efforts on the rollers.  There is a Strava segment on the way home.  It’s actually the last hill of the ride for me.  I felt pretty good so I went for it.  My previous best on this hill was 1:38 so when I looked at my Garmin and saw 1:26 I knew I had set a PR and thought I had actually scored a KOM as well.  The time I had been chasing was 1:33 and I knew I had beat it.  But wouldn’t you know it on the same day that I set the KOM another rider beat it.

Since I have blog followers who train with power I thought I would put up a graph and just highlight a few things.  I’m proud of my little PR moment especially since it came a day after a 5 hour century effort yesterday on the tandem.

1.  Total Time of Effort — 1:25

2.  Average watts for the effort — 457 watts or 6.38 w/kg

3.  The two yellow dotted lines– 500 watts and 600 watts

4.  Average Cadence- 91 RPM

5. Max Cadence- 104 RPM

6. Breaking the effort in 3 parts

A. 1st 28 seconds Average Power — 396 watts or 5.53 w/kg

B.  2nd 28 Seconds Average Power — 491 watts or 6.85 w/kg

C. 3rd 28 seconds Average Power — 552 watts or 7.70 w/kg

All for now

Newport Coast Personal Records Comparison

What follows is a graphical comparison of my personal records on Newport Coast Dr.  It should be self-explanatory but feel free to make comments on this blog post to open a discussion.  I will tell you that I strongly believe that the CVAC sessions in Newport Beach have made an improvement in my training and subsequent field tests.

George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas progression to current personal record of 6:43 on Newport Coast Drive.

A few points to consider:

1.  Time is an absolute — less time represents faster ascents

2.  Normalized Power increased for each Personal Record. Faster times not a product of environmental factors such as tailwinds

3.  Watts per Kg increased for each Personal Record.  Regardless of my weight I increased  w/kg ratio

4.  Crank Torque increased for each Personal Record. More powerful legs pushing harder and pushing harder gears.  Last effort on 6/28 was done in “Big Ring” (53×21).

5. Intensity Factor- 6/28/11 represents 122% of effort compared to my FTP (1 hour of power) of 285watts.  So either I need to adjust up my FTP or I’m becoming a specialist at 5 minute efforts 😉 I will adjust my FTP regardless to 295 watts.

6.  Weather consistent.  Early morning efforts no winds, no heat. Allowing repeatable Field Tests.

New Personal Record on Newport Coast – (6:43 Normalized Power 348 watts 5.11 w/kg)

Yep folks another PR today.  I took 7 seconds off my previous PR of 6:50 from May 31, 2011.  Today I climbed Newport Coast with a time of 6:43.  My gearing was 53 x 24, with 53 x 21 when I stood up.  I stood up twice towards the end of the effort.  For years I have been climbing this hill month after month and never have I had such significant gains in performance.

I am now certain the CVAC sessions are paying off.  I owe a huge thank you to my good friends at Lunar Health and Wellness in Newport Beach.  Not only has my performance improved but the exercise-induced asthma has disappeared!! My heart rate reached 192 bpm on this effort.  In the past when I would come off of a hard effort like this I would cough uncontrollably for several minutes afterwards.  I didn’t cough at all today!  Additionally, my sleep is REALLY deep.  I can’t explain it but it’s very different.

George “Red-Eyed Vireo” sets new Personal Record on Newport Coast 6:43

Newport Coast Drive PR (6:50 Normalized Power 321 watts 4.8 w/kg) & May Month End

On the last day of a 75 hour, 1274 mile month, I set a new PR on Newport Coast Dr.  My new time of 6:50 is 12 seconds faster than my previous PR from earlier in the month of 7:02 and 31 seconds faster than the PR before that of 7:21.  I held 321 watts for almost seven minutes.  My weight was 147.4 and my 4.8 w/kg was the highest and longest time frame I have ever held for that w/kg.  Keep in mind, the pros hold 6 w/kg for 30 minutes or more once again proving I’m just your average working stiff that enjoys riding a bike.  And speaking of working, that 1274 mile month was done by riding 2-2.5 hours in the morning and 1.5- 2 hours at night after work.  I often see Crow going in the opposite direction. ONCE last month we were going the same direction and chatted a few minutes.  I had a few centuries thrown in as well.  You may not know but I can’t ride on weekends because I am either working or I have my six year-old son.

George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas sets new PR on Newport Coast Dr of 6:50

New Power Profile after PR

Month End numbers for May.

As you can see above, May was my first thousand mile month in a long time. I’m fortunate to have a good base from my first years of Ultras where I would do 12,000 – 15,000 miles a year. Why the big ramp up this month? Well because every May I start my preparation in earnest for the Furnace Creek 508 I now have to put in four months of solid training.  By September, I am doing more speedwork (intensity) so the mileage (duration) is shorter.  I would like to do Everest Challenge just before Furnace Creek 508- just like last year with one week apart. AND there is also Interbike in September so basically September is a wash.  Hence, May through August is when I really need to focus on my 508 training.

Stay tuned for more Furnace Creek 508 specific training….

For those that wonder where I am timing my Newport Coast PR’s here is a graph.  1.55 miles 450 feet of gain about 6ish% grade.


New Personal Record on Newport Coast Drive 7:02

On the tail-end of today’s 3 hour hill workout I PR’d on Newport Coast Drive– 7:02.  I started my climb at 4.5 w/kg and held it.  I’m quite happy with a 19 second improvement from April 22nd time of 7:21.  The other climbs today were Pacific Island Drive (9:25)  in Dana Point and Temple Hills (11:42) in Laguna both seated climbs in my 39×23. On Newport I climbed in my 39×21 and felt fine.  So now the question is are the CVAC sessions at Luna Health and Welness in Newport Beach paying off?  Next goal sub 7 minutes!

Note the 300 watt doted line – all climbs were done at 300 watts (4.5 w/kg) or above

Also note the hard efforts on rollers prior to the first climb 

Normalized Power for the 3 hours was 232 or 3.5 w/kg

George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas sets new PR on Newport Coast Drive – 7:02 

Normalized Power 308 watts or 4.7 w/kg

Timer starts at the crosswalk at Pacific Coast Hwy and ends at Pelican Hill/Morning View traffic signal

1.5 miles 450 feet of gain avg 5.7% grade

1038 Peak Power for 5 Seconds

As an Ultra Cyclist it’s rare that I will ever win a race by sprinting 😉 My greatest strength in Ultras is my ability to hold medium range wattage for long periods of time.  But I often wonder if all the long miles at a steady state is enabling my fast twitch muscle fiber to die on the vine.  So to prevent that I will do random sprints and surges during my ride.  Yesterday, while “chasing cars” as I call it, I hit a max of 1099 watts and held 1038 watts for five seconds.  As far as I can tell that is a Personal Record.

On my second ride of the day, later that evening, I actually hit 1023, 1049 and 1001 watts from standing starts.  It’s been a long time since I have been able to hit 1000 watts repeatedly during a ride– not since I was 10-15lbs heavier.  I was also concerned that my recent weight loss included the loss of muscle mass or power.  I have come down from 150 lbs to about 146 lbs in the last two months.  It is nice to see that I can still produce max power numbers the same as when I weighed 160 lbs.

I have included charts from Training Peaks WKO.  Below you will see the graph for the entire ride, the detail of the 5 second peak power and the Power Profile Chart.  The Power Profile Chart shows that even with a 1038 watts  5 second peak power yesterday I’m  still only mid-way into Cat 4 potential.


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


2010 Fall Death Valley Double Century- Quick Post

October 30, 2010 I completed the Fall edition of the Death Valley Double Century.  Unofficially my time is 11 hours 39 minutes.  Unofficially, I came in 3rd place.  It is my Personal Record for the northern route.  My previous best was 12:11 back in 2006.  I am happy with my result.  After the Furnace Creek  508 I hung up Felicia and I haven’t ridden her since.  Basically I have been off the bike for a month.

I will post a race report soon.  In the meantime you can check the AdventureCorps  site for the official results.