Training Report: Wisconsin Riding

72 Days Until Ironman Wisconsin

Key Metrics and Takeaways

Distance: 112 miles

Average Speed: 17.9 mph

Normalized Power: 184

Variability Index: 1.24

Elevation Gain: 6007 ft.

Barlow Hill: 2 x through

Notes: Ouch. We are roughly 10 weeks away from Ironman Wisconsin and entering our specific preparation phase where we focus on getting ready for race day course and conditions. Ironman Wisconsin bike course is a lollipop course, the first part is considered the "stick" and then two gigantic 40ish mile loops starting in Verona. 

The first loop we stuck together to make sure we knew the course, and the second loop we broke into groups based on cycling ability. I was fairly pleased with my average pace, and felt strong up the hills which is credit to the massive amount of intervals I did in winter on my Cyclops Indoor Trainer. 

My normalized power was solid, coming in in the middle of the range that I want for Ironman (65-75% FTP). I focus on normalized power because it is a weighted average of intensity instead of a normal average. That means that it weights the time spent on a hill pushing 300-400 watts because I would slide backwards if I didn't is weighted higher than the time spent flying down a hill and only being able to push 100 watts because your already going 40 miles an hour and you don't want to crash. 

My variability index was scary high, at 1.24. This number is how much your power fluctuates, and is typically higher on a hilly course but is supposed to be as close to 1 as possible. If you know statistics, think of it as your standard deviation, the amount of time spent over or under your average. The closer to 1 it is, the more smooth and controlled your ride is. While my legs felt strong up the hills, this is a sign that I need to work on powering up them in a smooth manner, even if it means going up a little slower. 

An elevation gain of 6007 ft is no joke. Again, ouch. The rest of the training will be focused on getting in long rides with similar elevation changes. This is semi-difficult to find in a flat area like Des Moines, but not impossible if you are willing to spend more time driving to start the rides. 

The infamous Barlow hill was a formidable opponent, I clocked a max power of 575 ( almost 200% of FTP) going up and was only going 3 mph. The good thing was the course will only have Barlow once, if that (they are debating on taking it out altogether) so at least we know that theres no way the course we bike on race day can be harder. Confidence is key. 

Other than that, one last takeaway is that I am excited to go back to Wisconsin simply to drink a few more Spotted Cow's from New Glarus Brewing. 

10 weeks away!