The 30 day challenge is done.
The figures are as follows:
30 rides – no doubles, no skipped days.
TSS: 1787 (59/day)
What did I learn?
For a start, this is a valid way to build CTL (and possibly FTP) quickly and safely.
The FTP part remains to be seen; I have to do an FTP test very soon but today I feel a little off – It’s not a day to measure greatness ;-/
I also learned that a warm-up can solve a lot. There were times that I thought my legs were dead and had no hope for anything but suffering on the bike only for them to come good, if not very good, after a good warm up. My magic formula seems to be some minutes SS, then easy, then 130% FTP followed by easy.
I need to come up with a plan to take me through to April. The goal is to improve FTP and Vo2 max until then. Once April comes it’s into maintenance and sharpening skills and fitness.
3 trainer rides / week of 75 TSS + 1 outside ride of 150 TSS = 425/week
That will take me to a CTL of 60. Once I get there I’ll have more sunlight and time to train during lunch, before and after work.
I need to sit down an plan properly.
To be continued…
Nearly finished the 30 day challenge. I have just three days to go and then I will need to come up with a new plan.
Before I come up with a plan, I need to be clear about what I learned. So far I learned that I am able to put out a reasonably good quality workout while sitting on a TSB of -19. I also learned that the minimum prescribed dose of 1×30 minutes at Sweet Spot is not an easy session. Finally, I learned that I am able to absorb a lot more training than I once thought – so as a starting point, I will now aim to hit a TSS of 450 per week; probably split up into four or five rides per week.
It’s important now to be hitting 100+ TSS in my roller sessions and 150 in my outdoor rides. Managing to sustain that load and managing a high level of intensity should give me a breakthrough this year. The goal for the year? Shape a race. Maybe get seen up near the front at the finish?
Worth noting, those 400 TSS points a week are done at an average IF of over 0.85. That’s intense stuff.
Rest, recover and reach for more.
Ten days to go in this challenge. What I now know that I didn’t know then was that I am going to be able to absorb this training load. With that knowledge there is only one strategy to follow – change it up!
The 30′ SS daily minimum is not adding to my CTL any longer and the 30 minutes with FTP and Vo2 components are barely adding to it; this won’t do. So I now have to commit to doing more.
So the countdown now is to become a balancing act. How much load can I add and still be able to repeat it the next day? How do I start?
I start tomorrow morning. Before breakfast. 45 minutes. 5′ w/u then 4×8/2 @ FTP
Yesterday’s low motivation eventually turned into high performance. My legs were sore from the gym on Monday (they still are now actually) and I really didn’t feel capable of doing anything of any quality yesterday. I think it was past 21:00 when I finally made it out to the shed to stamp my card. I knew I would be going through the motions and getting the very minimum done. After a warm-up I started to feel ok so I decided to start an FTP effort. During the first effort I still hadn’t decided what I would do… 4×6/2, 3×7/2 or 3x 8/2. I passed the first 6 minutes, then 7 and finished at 8. That had me committed to 3×8/2. I did that and felt good so kept going for a solid 4×8/2 @ FTP. The first proper trainer effort of the 30 day challenge. Feeling positive about my form and my potential. All that remains is to get through the next 10 days and then make a plan. How to manage my fitness from there?
If I fall back to four rids per week then I take the current weekly TSS, add 10% and divide by four. Use that as a starting point.
I’m 19 days in and am feeling a bit tender today. The plan was to do a double day either yesterday or today; that didn’t work out because of time pressure last night and laziness this morning. The alarm was set for 06:00 this morning. I was to start the heating then and be on the bike at 06:20. Lying in the bed the plan was adjusted several times until I eventually scrapped it. Yesterday’s weight training is causing pain so I used that as the excuse – I definitely wasn’t going to get a double done today.
So where does that leave me for the next 11 days?
Today: 30-40 minutes (FTP)
Wed: 30-40 minutes (FTP)
Thursday: Double? 2 x 30:00 SS
Friday: 40:00 (Vo2)
Half way point is now reached.
See the challenge page for more info.
Above is my performance curve. What I’ve learned is the following. Going down to -19 TSB was a concern at first. When my TSB reached -19 my ATL was at 49. I discovered that as long as my daily load didn’t exceed a TSS of 50 then my TSB would sink no lower – it actually is rising very slightly every day now.
The key learning is that the prescribed daily dose seemed to be right on the money. I’m now doing slightly more every day now, aiming for at least 50 TSS every session. Today I managed to do 50 TSS in 30 minutes – this tells me that my FTP has risen since the start of the challenge. I assumed that I would need to rest and recover before I saw any gains.
Today I payed for my sins. Yesterday’s and the previous days training caught up on me today. Every chance I had to train during the day I postponed it… That was a sign of things to come. Eventually when the family went to bed and nothing remained to stop me fron train, what did I do? I chatted on Slack for about an hour. Eventually I went out to the cave and climbed on the bike ready to do the planned 20:00 @ FTP.
This was not happening.
There was nothing in the legs. That’s a lie. There was nothing but pain in the legs.
With that, I decided to re-plan on the fly. I ´made a decision to do 3×7:00 FTP on 2:00 RI.
I got it done but it was far from pleasant. There was no training this morning. I think I’ll leave it until as late as possible tonight, do the minimum 30:00 SS and then hopefully I’ll have some zip in my legs tomorrow.
Today is the start of the second third of my challenge. There was no fatigue this morning so I decided that it was now time to add back in my weight training sessions. It’s been 5 weeks since I somehow stopped my twice weekly strength training sessions so I took an extremely cautions approach.
Squats: 3×8 @ 40kg
Press: 3×8 @ 20kg
Deadlift: 3×5 @ 50kg
This is MUCH less than I was doing regularly five weeks ago but I still expect pain tomorrow. As long as I can put in my 30:00 SS Trainer Session I don’t mind.
Today was the 10th day of the challenge. And it was a challenging day that started with a TSB of -9,8! Bosön with Fredrikshof and CRT. The usual 8 x 8:00/2:00 was the order of the day and today I managed to hold the fast group for four of the eight sets. I then jumped over to the second fastest group that had two of my HRT team mates. It was much easier but probably a wise decision since I’m not going to be resting tomorrow.
20 days to go and I’m waiting to feel bad. My fatigue curve shows that I’m overcooking it but my legs actually felt great today – no residual tiredness whatsoever. There is a chance that it is because of the group/race effect and that I will crash tomorrow during my roller set; a set that will be the absolute minimum by ‘the rules’.
For the next 20 days, I can’t say I have a plan but I have a sketch in my head of what it might look like.
Monday: 30:00 SS
Tuesday: 30:00 SS
Wednesday: 30:00 w/ 16×00:30/00:15 310W/130W
Thursday: 30:00 w/ 20:00 FTP
Friday: 30:00 SS
Sunday: 30:00 SS
Should come in @ 410 TSS and take me to day 18 – a measly 12 to go.
Today is day 9 and I did the minimum of 30 minutes Steady State. Even thought I did a longer ride yesterday I felt great. Rather than slog through to the end I actually had to hold back the power for the entire duration. My legs felt that good.
Looking at my TSB curve I see that it is no longer dropping. I assume that if I keep the same workload it will eventually start to rise. Once it does that, it means that the current work load will not be even considered maintenance training.
Now that I see that I will be able to complete this challenge with the parameters laid down in the beginning, its time to add back in weight training to my week. I’ll start on Monday – very short, light easy session. Build from there.
Tomorrow is Bosön – that’ll be hard. 8×8:00