I'm excited to announce that my coached client, Dr. Kyle Keeter, has gotten to Five Stars Training Status on Xert! A Five Star Training Status is the result of A LOT of work on the bike!
This means that his training volume, per his daily and accumulated "XSS" (Xert Strain Scores) values, has surpassed 150 points!
I'm going to show you several images to show you how he got to five stars, what his goals are, and how we will handle a taper for mid-October.
Dr. Keeter is an Ultra Cyclist, and is training for the "No Country for Old Men" event, being held in and around Alpine, Texas. The event he has chosen is a 383-mile race, and is expected to take 22-25 hours. He has competed here before, and finished 3rd overall. The goal is to get closer to 24 hours, and improve upon his personal previous record, which was 26 hours, 33 minutes.
It Starts Back In March of 2017...
Dr. Keeter approached me in March of 2017, and we laid out his objectives, and his requirements. The goals were as such:
- Raise Threshold Power to a high level through appropriate interval Frequencies, Intensities and Times.
- Raise HIE (High Intensity Energy) for those periods of time when it may be impossible to generate power on slopes or in headwinds without approaching or pedaling above Threshold Power.
- Raise the LTP (Lower Threshold Power) to the highest value possible, so that he can cycle longer using more calories from fat, and not carbs.
- Increase volume to a level that he would become incredibly efficient, and improve his stamina for sustained efforts of 10-12 hours between breaks.
We looked at everything; bike fit, equipment, power meters, head units, tire pressure, hydration, food intake.... everything.
Then, we got to work.
BUILDING FITNESS AND CAPACITY TO GET TO FIVE STARS.
Let's start with the "Stress" Chart in Xert.
Dr. Keeter basically began from scratch, with a low fitness level, and few hours per week in his legs. He was certainly not UNFIT, but he was far from TRULY FIT. We began by testing him for his Xert Signature, which was established on March 5th.
Maximum Power Available: 1017 watts.
Threshold Power: 226 watts.
HIE (High Intensity Energy): 18.7 Kilo Joules.
LTP (Lower Threshold Power): 179 watts.
The numbers mean this:
Kyle could ride at a power output below 179 watts, and a majority of his energy systems would come from fat.
Between 179 and 226 watts, energy is drawn equally from fat and carbohydrates.
Above 226 watts, Kyle would be relying mostly on Carbs, and would be dipping into his HIE reserves.
If his MPA dropped below his power, he would either be completely spent, or he would have achieved a breakthrough, and thus set a new Fitness Signature.
You can see Fitness Breakthroughs on the chart with the Bronze, Silver, and Gold circles. He also improved his Threshold Power, seen through the dashed yellow line. You can see all of the gains in his Fitness Signature, as he increased both the intensity of some workouts, and the aerobic volume of other workouts. We used these new signatures to help him train for intensity when necessary, and for aerobic conditioning as well. Almost 95% of his training was Aerobic, at power outputs below his LIE.
As We Get to Five Stars, The Fitness Signature Is Also Improving...
Yet the signature kept changing. This meant he needed to spend MORE time out on the bike, at ever-so-slight higher levels of intensity, so that he could continue to adapt and become a more efficient fat-burner. Take a look at the chart. The vertical columns represent a ROLLING 42-day average of ENERGY EXPENDITURE.
In March, he was averaging just 267 KiloJoules of work on a rolling six-week average.
By June, that value had increased to 640 KiloJoules of work for that rolling six-week average.
In July, he hit 985 KiloJoules of work.
August 1st, he hit 1065 KiloJoules of rolling average work....
And on September 1st, he was at an astounding 1340 KiloJoules of rolling six-week average!
Finally, as of this writing, to get to five stars, he averaged 1492 KiloJoules of energy expenditure ON A ROLLING SIX-WEEK AVERAGE. Almost 98% of that was at AEROBIC intensity.
Now, for comparison, my average 2 hour ride is roughly 1500 KiloJoules. Dr. Keeter is cycling at a lower intensity, so it takes longer to get to 1500 Kj's. Basically, assume that he's getting to 1500 KiloJoules in 3 hours. So that's THREE HOURS, ON AVERAGE, EVERY DAY, FOR SIX WEEKS STRAIGHT.
Not only did he earn his Five Stars, he also improved his Fitness Signature significantly. It is now:
Maximum Power Available: 1112 Watts.
Threshold Power: 280 Watts.
High Intensity Energy: 28.8 KiloJoules.
Lower Threshold Power: 208 Watts.
In the effort to prepare for this Ultra-Cycling event, Dr. Keeter has raised his Maximum Power Available by 8.5%, raised his Threshold Power by 19%, raised his HIE by 35%, and raised his LTP by 14%.
It's Not Always About Five Stars. Volume Isn't Everything.
This is absolutely incredible, but what it perhaps most significant is the fact that, as an UltraCyclist, his goal is to be as fast as possible while burning fat as much as possible, and not diving into his carbs all that much. At 208 watts of LTP, he can figuratively "Ride Forever", at power outputs below that. On September 1st, he rode 157 miles, averaging 17.5 miles per hour, with over 6100' of climbing. His average power on that day? His XEP was 195 watts, and his actual average was 194 watts. For reference, the average speed for this race is about 15-16mph, at altitude and in terrain.
Over the next several weeks, we are actually going to LOWER his training load slightly, and bring him back down to 4 stars on the Fitness Profile. I'm not going to try and raise his Threshold, HIE, or LTP at all, and we will instead ride several 10-14 hour rides non-stop, to simulate the demands of the race. He will be eating, drinking, even making pit stops, on a schedule. We will keep some quality intervals, but I do not expect any records. The record we want to break is his previous effort; and let the others race their own event as well. We want him Fit, Fresh, and Prepared. I think this is VERY achievable.
For you, think about your goals, your FOCUS, and your volume. Not many people have the ability, income, or time to ride 21+ hours per week. Think about Specific goals that are Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART). Dr. Keeter is achieving his goals. Let me help you achieve yours.
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