Lots of things have been happening in the background to prepare fort 2018… now I’m happy to say that training is now one of those things!
I finally renovated the shed to make it somewhat more comfortable during the winter months. Insulation, plaster and paint make it a lot more welcoming. I also decided to go down a road that I had previously stated that I never would – I bought a Monark 827. There is a valid reason for this… I had previously stated that I was not able to train the higher powers on the rollers. This meant that for the entire duration of winter training I was never training the types of power surges that can make or break a race. I had planned on buying an Elite Muin or the Tacx NEO. One day while looking for a used Neo I stumbled accross a stripped Monark 827 for an unbeatable price. Switching the Power2Max made it fulfil every requirement I had from the other smart trainers – I had no interest in the Ergo mode. Accuracy, stability and reliability were my requirements which the Monark fulfilled at less than 20% of the cost of the Neo.
All that being done, now it was time to do some consistent training. I’ve started out with a block of high Sweet Spot efforts: ?x9’/1, 2 x 20′ and 1 x 30′. The plan is to stick with these until I stop seeing gains, then gradually add some Vo2 Max intervals. 4×4′ primarily, then 1×5′ max efforts and the special 30′ (2′ @ 120% FTP, 1′ RI, 27′ High SS). Mix in a few max 20’s and I’ll be good to go come April.
The most immediate goal for the moment is to make myself tired before christmas and get myself into a state where I need part of the 1 week break that the skiing holiday will impose on me. Then pick it up hard once I return. Probably in the form of a 30 day challenge… lets see.
Season 2018 starts here.
After many weeks of putting things on the long finger I got off my arse and trained.
My excuse list was empty after I renovated and insulated the shed – now the pain-cave is not only painful when I’m pushing it on the bike!
Today I had actually intended to do a kick-start workout but once I sat on teh bike and did my warm-up I decided to do a max 20. I had absoulutly no idea what my FTP was so I decided to test taht.
My hastily made plan was to ‘coast’ at 275w for 5 minutes, lift it up to 280-285w for the middle 10 minutes and then go all out for the last 5 minutes.
It turned out that my starting 276w was pretty close to my max and I actually faded in the middle before I kicked hard in the last 5 minutes to get an average of 275w.
I expected 285w but am quite happy with the 276w I got – it’s 21w higher than my first max 20′ last year.
Now I start my serious training.
Well rested and on the back of a pretty low volume but intense week, I headed out on Sunday for a planned 3:30 ride. The duration was the only plan – where, when and what intensity were not planned.
I headed north and just turned the pedals. After a while I looked down at the computer and saw that I was holding an average of 215w. That became the plan… hold that average power for the ride. It required a lot of checking but was pretty easy until the last 40 minutes. I was rationing fluid for the last 90 minutes and was adamant that I was not going to stop.
Made it home, drank water all night and am still thirsty as I type this post a day later.
Recovery day today and an elimination race tomorrow.
I missed the first two races of Stockholm 4-days because of family commitments but managed to make it to the start line for the last two races.
First up was Arlanda Test Track GP. It was to be my first time this year racing H40. I expected it to be a level down from both Senior and Stockholm Cup A level racing and those expectations were correct.
It was fast, furious and fun but I (and all members of HRT) was able to somewhat animate the race. I attacked off the front and was away on my own for one lap… unfortunately my attack was done in the hope that someone would follow and we could do something together. It being a solo effort made it futile. Later in the race I bridged across to a break that looked interesting. Unfortunately it also looked interesting to the main group and they wasted no time in chasing us down.
I held my position well during the race, made a few attacks and finished somewhere in the middle of the pack…
Less than 12 hours I was on the start line of Nationaldagsloppet – Markim. This is always a fun course. A few small hills, winding narrow roads and some really fast sections. I was active in this race too, covered a few attacks and made one joke of an attack myself.
I’ve overdone it this week. After a good race performance last week and two consecutive 500+ TSS weeks I thought I’d be due a step-up in performance this week.
I started the week with a return to the gym after three consecutive days on the bike. Weight and reps were kept low but I still got pretty sore the next day.
I then took Tuesday off and hit the bike
Wednesday: Solo Morning Spins – three evenly paces laps.
Thursday: Just under two hours steady cycling with a few hard efforts.
Friday: Up early for morning spins. Absolutely shattered. Had nothing to give.
I’ve now got a forced day or two off the bike – perhaps I’ll bounce back strong… perhaps not. Time will tell.
The plan for next week is:
Monday: Arlanda Test Track
Lets see how I feel after that. The build for the national championships begins after these three races.
Today was fun! I did a recon of the course the day before and came home worried. Racing with the elites on a 1.3km loop with a 20m climb each loop didn’t seem like a task I was up to. Those doubts nearly became a reality after just three laps. I was hanging off the back and a gap appeared in front of me. I say my race end there and then but somehow I managed to catch back on at the top of the climb and nestle back into the group. Once that scare was over I still found if difficult for a couple more laps but by lap six it seemed to settle. No incidents to report though a couple of times some very experienced cyclists dive bombed my line into a corner. I wonder do they do this on purpose or is it a genuine mistake on their part?
Finished the race strong – I felt more comfortable as the race progressed and crossed the line in 25th of 39 finishers (59 starters).
When I analysed the data I was surprised to see that the first five laps weren’t the fastest. It appears that my struggle in those laps wasn’t to do with the speed – just that I wasn’t warmed up. For GPs I’m afraid to war up too hard for fear of becoming tired. From this race I can see that I was feeling stronger as the race progressed so hopefully I can put that worry aside in the future and do a proper warm up.
Went out yesterday with no plan – just ride my bike. I ended up doing 100.4km @ 32.2km/h. Not a bad session. During the ride I never went hard and never went easy and by the end of it I was not too tired at all. The racing was a good measure of fitness and this ride just confirms it. THe plan is three hard weeks training before the taper for Swedish Age Group Championships.
Keep doing what I’m doing.
New idea – I’m about to go out to the trainer and try it.
Work on the deflection point of my CP curve.
X marks the spot. My idea is to work on the deflection point, thus raising the power curve on each side of it – or moving the deflection point. I’m going to do 8 x 2:00 on 3:00 max power. my 3:00 max power is only 25w lower than my 2:00 max power – so this will probably be a tough set… let’s see how it goes. I’ll report back in an hour or so.
Targeting the circle… The idea is if I bring up that point then it will ‘pull up’ the graph on either side of it.
I’ll comment later.
Race number 4 of the season… mixed feelings. My pre-race goals were not to be humiliated. I suppose I reached those goals. The race was on a 2.2km circuit with a steep 400m hill every lap. I worried about that hill during the week… the images above show that the hill wasn’t my weak point, it was a downhill cobbled section that proved to be my Achilles heel. I could not for the life of me find the line (or the balls) to take that 90 degree turn at speed. The two Uppsala guys in the picture above took 10m out of me every single time we did that section of the course. I’d catch them on the hill and lead the entire way up and then they’d do the same thing again on the next cobbled section… I’m jumping ahead of myself though. The images above are of a distant chasing group. There was another main group up the road. I lost them on the first lap; the first gap grew out of the cobbles, then I couldn’t catch back on the hill. From there it just stretched out for with every lap.
Of the 40 starters only 16 finished – I was 18th if they count back the DNFs – which I think they will do for the league table. I’m not entirely happy with my performance but now that a few hours have passed I’m not disgusted either. If I make the same gains next year as I did this year then I think I’m there or thereabouts in the money. Keep working, keep enjoying the racing and keep improving.
Time crushed, so I crushed it. 48,5 TSS in 30 minutes.
5 x 1:00 @ 135% FTP on 0:40 RI + 5 x 0:30 @ 140% FTP on 0:20 RI + 12:00 @ 95% FTP
I planned to do more tonight but instead I’ll do morning spins tomorrow. Up at 05:20.