The SufferfestI’ve updated my ERG File Spreadsheet to include the newest video from The Sufferfest, Extra Shot: The Long Scream. The video is a 30 minute time trial effort that is designed to be added to one of the other videos, as if they aren’t tough enough one at a time.

This is a good time to talk about the challenge of taking something completely subjective, like perceived exertion and matching it up with something completely objective, like watts.  The 2 latest Extra Shot videos have pointed out that if you aren’t careful about how you set the limits of your power in the spreadsheet, you’ll be left with a workout that is next to impossible to complete.

Since RPE is dynamic, it’s completely acceptable to have long stretches of a workout at 8, 9 or even 10 out of 10, as long as you realize that what constitutes a 9 at the beginning of a workout may not be anywhere close to what constitutes a 9 at the end of the workout.  But, with ERG files that assign an absolute value to each RPE level, a 9 is a 9, not matter how tired you are.

If you set the spreadsheet up so that your FTP falls at say 7/10 then, by definition, you should be able to sustain that for an hour or so.  But, if the RPEs for that time are in the 8,9 and 10 range, you will either not be able to complete the workout or you are starting with an incorrect FTP value.

If you look at the RPE numbers for the latest video, almost all of the 30 minute effort is between 7 and 8.5.  Keep that in mind when you plug in your power numbers to generate the ERG files.  Pick a maximum power percentage that puts your FTP in the correct range to allow you to ride at the 7-8.5 level for 30 minutes.

Filed under: FitnessTechnology