"Third Hour Power"

Hi, I'm looking for guidance on which workouts to focus on. I'm pretty comfortable with my power over 1-2hrs (ie up to ~65km), but I really fade in the 3rd hour (I'm training for half-ironmans, so the last 25km). I can't regularly spend 3hrs on the bike to work on it, are there some workouts that are best suited to building this sustained power toward the end of a long ride, wrapped up in a shorter workout?

Thanks!

 

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    To best answer this depends on what your sensations when you hit that wall. If it an overall feeling a fatigue/exhaustion, or is it strictly muscular fatigue in your legs, where you feel you still have the energy, but your legs don't want to cooperate?

    Often people struggle to fuel appropriately on longer sessions (and races), especially if those sessions aren't a regular part of their training. Once you start riding above endurance pace (65% of FTP), carbohydrates become the main fuel source for your muscles. While your body can store more than 2 hours worth of carbs in the form of glycogen, if you are under fueled, it can be less than 2 hours. Under-fueling is incredibly common for people training hard who are also restricting caloric intake to lose weight. You can still keep calories restricted and train hard as long as you are eating enough on the bike (and run). The aim should be 60grams of carbohydrates per hour. If you are not hitting that amount, they would be my first recommendation for your next long session. While this might cause some GI distress at first, but your gut can be trained to handle that load (theoretically, most people can train their gut to handle up to 90g of carbs per hour).

    Now, if it is just your legs going out or you know for sure you are already properly fueling, then what you need to improve is your muscular strength endurance. The best example of this in our library is G.O.A.T with its repeated low RPM efforts, which help build that strength endurance. The cadence targets in this session are designed for people who usually ride at 85-90 RPM. If you are someone who naturally rids at a lower RPM, like 75-80, then you will need to subtract about 10rpm from the interval cadence targets to get the same benefit. You can get some extra benefit out of GOAT if you complete it after a shorter higher intensity session like Half is Easy. We would not recommend adding in GOAT more than once per week if you are using it in this context, though, and you might need to remove that extra ride time from other sessions.

    Hopefully, that is enough info for you to explore for now!

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