Fast Twitch

Ten thousand kilometre’s came up on the Power Tap today*. Despite taking it easy this year, I’ve still made a habit of collecting data from my rides just out of curiosity. One thing I have noticed though is that because they are just rides, where a training goal is largely absent, there’s been a change in my physical capability. Fewer miles, reduced training load, more cake and a “just-out-for-the-fun-of-it” mentality has, by and large, lead to reduced fitness. But, because I’m struggling to hang on to the back wheel of Alan, Neil or whoever, the actual intensity of some rides can be quite high, the result of which is interesting, albeit perhaps unsurprising.

The graph above shows you how the riding I’ve done this year has affected my power curve. The yellow line is 2005-2007, where my training goals were focused towards 24 hour solos. The result was a pretty good power output for endurance at the expense of all-out power over short durations. While my long distance endurance has dropped this year (the dashed line), I can now put out 20% more power in a sprint. I might not be the first to the top of the climbs any more, but those fast-twitch muscle fibres that I’ve been quietly developing all year means I’m well up for the sprint back into town at the end of a ride.

* since November 2005

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