Post-Ironman Power Test

Today I did another power test, 6 days after Ironman Switzerland. The purpose of this test is to compare it to my pre-Ironman power tests and gauge my recovery. The test is a standard power threshold test, where I warm up for 10-15 mins then ride as hard as I can for 30 mins, taking the average watts for the 30 mins as my threshold at power. For more info on testing protocols check out Joe Friel’s blog post on setting zones.

I started training with a power meter in June, so I only have 2 previous power tests to work with:

June 18th:  261 watts – after a heavy week and not recovered
July 2nd: 272 watts – after 2 weeks taper & 1 week before IM CH, fully recovered

So the goal today was to see if I was anywhere close to the 272 watts, that would tell me if my state of recovery was similar to what it was 1 week before IM (272 watts). Surprisingly, I managed 282 watts, which implies that I was a complete slacker during the Ironman race and should have raced harder… or it could mean that the IM race somehow made me fitter in one week and that my recovery plan is working well. Perhaps an alternative explanation is that I need to practice doing these tests, and they will get more accurate over time. However I have been doing this type of test for many years to get my heart rate zones, it’s just the power measurement that’s new.

date avg power avg HR distance
June 18, 2011 261 – splits 155 17.97
July 2, 2011 272 – splits 155 19.98
July 16, 2011 282 – splits 156 19.55


You’ll notice that my average speed was higher during my July 2nd test. This is probably due to it being slightly more windy today, plus I was wearing my normal helmet and not my aero helmet.

Either way, the good news is that it means I’ll be ok to race Vineman (Ironman distance) on July 30th. Bring it on!