Day twenty-six: Matt Wilper's 30 min Power Zone Ride 7.24.17
To ride a bike inside is critically different than riding a bike outside. But, as the density of our country becomes urban density and as bike riding in the cities (especially one as un-bike-friendly as New York) feels dangerous, biking indoors becomes more and more of an option.
When I trained for the Ironman, I drove up to the Hudson Valley north of New York City to get in my long bike rides. There I was able to focus on my ride and not the traffic. My coach instructed me focus on different power zone numbers. The idea is that you can bring a certain amount of science to your muscular adaptation by making sure you spend a certain amount of time in generating different amounts of power. Think of it as choosing the amount of weight you are going to use for your bicep curl at the gym. You wouldn't just pick up a weight randomly and do a random number of reps with it and expect change would you? If you chose too heavy of a weight, you might pull something or might not be able to do enough reps to see the maximum amount of adaptation.
Power zone training brings that kind of specific number focus to the bike. This is where indoor riding can be superior. Matt Wilpers, a triathlon coach outside of Peloton, brings this kind of specificity to his workouts. He has you test your strength and gives you a formula on the peloton blog for how to calculate certain zones. You then hit those zones in terms of output (the middle number on your bike screen).
This ride is a great introduction to power zone training, even if you haven't done his test (called the 20 min FTP test in the on demand rides). He takes you though a quick overview of the zones for those new to it all and then gives you some intermediate and advanced options for which output numbers to hit in the intervals.
He also shares a few small personal stories and groves out to some music. What' s not to like?