Over the last two years I have had the opportunity to ride and hang out with Team BMC Pro rider John Murphy. John is a strong sprinter and all around great guy. We have the same coach, CTS Tucson General Manager and Head Coach Jason Tullous.

Coach Jason currently has me doing a lot of long power intervals (PIs). Power intervals are efforts above lactate threshold (pretty much all out efforts) or for my friends with power meters about 330 to 340 watts. My coach has also prescribed short recovery time to ensure I do not fully recover in between intervals . As an example, this week I had to do two days – back to back – of five times three minutes power intervals with three minutes of recovery. As John wrote to me in an email yesterday: “My god these are painful”.

I had just given John an update on my training. I am now doing a big training block focused on power intervals before heading into a lot of steady state work in January. The theory is that the power intervals will give me a quick boost of power on which to then do the steady state work. Steady states intervals are done at just below lactate threshold or around 304 watts for me.

From John’s response it looks like we have a pretty similar program.:

“About to start my own set of those after Christmas. For sure you will get a big boost of power after the PI’s. I’ve seen my best performances ever after 2-3 weeks of power intervals followed by some solid steady states. U will see power you never thought u could do. Make sure you complete all of the PI’s. They are as good as gold.”

Pretty inspiring wouldn’t you say?

I read John’s email as I was getting on the bike yesterday. Here’s my response to John after the workout: “Thanks for message, it truly inspired me. I had 5 X 3 PIs today (two days in a row) and I would certainly have quit on the fifth interval and most likely have quit on the fourth had it not been for your recommendation: “Make sure you complete all of the PI’s. Your message made all the difference.”

And yes, God these are painful.

Easier 2:30 hours ride today with four times ten minutes tempo.

Merry Christmas to all.