January 22, 2018

Marker Sets

Ron Saetermoe

Any good goal has several elements to it: it’s measurable, achievable and has a timeframe. Marker sets include all of these elements.

A marker set is a very precise workout you can repeat over time to track your performance improvement. Precision is very important because if you don’t have a controlled environment there may be other influences at work that skew the results. For example, if you use a three-mile course around your neighborhood to test your cycling performance there may be factors that impact it beyond your performance.

For example, some of the factors might include temperature, humidity, wind and traffic. Each time you do your course the conditions will be different, sometimes dramatically so. As a result, you’re not really getting a good gauge of your performance.

For that reason alone I’m harping on the benefits of training with watts. When you come to Triathica for a CompuTrainer session, we can duplicate the workout you did a month ago quite precisely.

So what’s an example of a marker set? Here’s one for cycling. The cadence stays at 90 throughout.

In this example, the second marker set was performed six months later and the athlete shows a considerable performance improvement in terms of rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and heart rate. This is what you would expect to see from an athlete that was actively training and getting the proper rest.

Believe me, besides your races, there’s little more motivation than to see your performance improve in this way. Last night for example, I tested myself on the treadmill and found that my average heart rate dropped from 170 to 162 at a 7:00 sustained pace on the treadmill. That’s nearly a 5% performance improvement. That’s huge.

Give us a call if you’d like to learn more about marker sets.


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