Bike Benchmark with the Computrainer and WKO+ Software 1/5/2009

At the start of the season, I took a bike benchmark test to set a baseline from which training levels would be calculated. We used a Computrainer hooked up to a PC to record the results. The course I used was a flat 10 mile course so that I did not get distracted by hills. WKO+ by Trainingpeaks software pulled up the data to produce the results shown below. The test was:
Warmup for about 15 minutes
10 minutes at highest maintainable, even intensity, knowing that I would have to do another 10 minutes afterwards at comparable intensity
Rest 3 minutes
10 minutes at highest maintainable, even intensity, comparable to the first 10 minute block.
If I did this right, the average watts and effort should be similar to the first 10 minute block. If I overdid it on the first 10 minute interval, I would show a marked drop in watts on the second interval, potentially meaning I should do this test again and with better pacing.
The results of the 10 minute intervals are below:

Larger WKO+ graph screenshot here
Time 0:00-10:00
Average wattage 203
Average HR 173
Baseline HR 168, but then rose to 180 as i neared end of 10 min
Highest HR 189
RPE 8->10
Time 13:00-23:00
Average wattage 192
Average HR 174
Baseline HR 174, but then went to 180 as i redlined
Highest HR 184
RPE 9->10
I used the heart rate ear clip, which got super flaky on me clipped to my ear which got sweaty during the warmup and caused the readings to fluctuate or disappear entirely. On a whim, I clipped it to my finger and that actually worked better, although I found that for best consistent results I had to keep my finger as still as possible. For the future, I ordered a HR wireless strap and adapter which should improve things dramatically. I also need to replace a chip inside the control unit – scary!
I paced myself OK, close enough that I don’t need to re-test. I did go out a bit hard on the first interval which cost me on the second interval. Making to the end of the second interval was really tough and I found myself going up and down in watts as I would lose concentration and energy and need a small recovery.
My lactate threshold HR is probably around 173-174 or so and seemed to have drifted upwards from 172 which was from a benchmark test many years ago. My 100% effort workout wattage is around 195-200, which was what I suspected as I did many of my coach’s workouts computing workout watts from a 100% level of 200. This seemed to work well with me and getting through workouts with effort but not flaming out.
By the end of the season, I hope to do one or both of two things, which is to:
1. Raise my 100% level.
2. Increase my ability to maintain a higher watts over a longer period of time, like a race.