Category Archives: Cycling

Build it Up

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.

 

Outside on the Racer

I’ve been on the racer five times so far this year
Thursday: Fast spin with the club.
Sunday: Solo – North of Stockholm. 77km. 31,6km/h av.
Tuesday: Pre-Breakfast.  46km. 30,5km/h
Saturday: Solo . North of Stockholm. 77km. 32,6km/h
Monday: Solo. Färingsö. 78km. 32,1km/h

Because of the weather, I’ve also been inside a couple of times too.

But what I’m worried about is my inability to put out the same power on the road as I am in the rollers. On the rollers I can put out 297w for 20 minutes. On the road, so far at least, I get pain when I approach FTP. Yesterday I did an hour at an average of 220W (NP 231W) and it was by no means easy. I was pretty tired afterwards and found it difficult to hold an average of 200w on the way home.

Not time to panic but time to address the problem at least.

I will keep the long rides going but also need to build up ‘outside tolerance’ for FTP and above powers. Start by finding an 8 minute stretch of road close to home and doing hard repeats at FTP and above.

I also need to start addressing my sprint. I’m currently 300w off my best last year.

Vo2 Killer

Squat day today before work:
15 x 10 Squats w/ 50kg
6 x 5 deadlifts w/ 60kg
3 x 15 hamtring curls
3 x 10 calf raises

Then, I really don’t know what possessed me, but I decided to attempt the most intense session I have:

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-28-48

15 x (0:30 @ 486W, 2:00 @ 121.5W)

I never did hit 200% FTP – probably hovered around 193% most of the time – but assuming it wasn’t the squats that killed me, then I may have found a limiter.

What to do about that? Well I suppose I should include this workout and workouts like this in my winter program. Not to forget the easier Vo2 sets and then the slow death FTP sets.

Work to do.

FTP needs to grow a lot if I can make any impression next year.

Rollers

10 minute warm up.

20 x 0:40 @ 300+w, 0:20 @ 100+w
Averages for this was:

Duration
20:00
Work
287kJ
Average Power
240watts
Average Heart Rate
155bpm
Average Cadence
81rpm

Then after 2 minutes rest I did 5:00 as 0.10 @ 470+w, 0:10 @ 100+w
Duration
04:51
Work
70kJ
Average Power
241watts
Average Heart Rate
162bpm
Average Cadence
74rpm

Legs felt tired after lifting yesterday.

Season Coming to a Close

The season is coming to an end and my motivation is still pretty good. This is because my form dropped significantly during July so I’m happily (and stupidly?) chasing form.

There is a chance to race four times:
2016-09-06     Terrible tuesdays teamtimetrial 2016 (Ekerö)
2016-09-10     Velothon GP (Stockholm City)
2016-09-17     Sista Chansen GP (Rämnas)
2016-09-18     Anundsloppet(Västerås) or Club Champs (Stockholm South)

Terrible tuesdays teamtimetrial 2016 (Ekerö)
This is an hour of pain. 4 man TTT.

Velothon GP (Stockholm City)
GP in town – need I say more. Not a race that displays my strengths. Maybe I should do it for that reason alone.

Sista Chansen GP (Rämnas)
Probably a less intense GP than Velothon. Day before Anundsloppet/Club Champs. It’ll be one or the other here.

Anundsloppet(Västerås) or Club Champs (Stockholm South)
This decision will depend on who is doing it.

In other news, I’ve been invited to race with Hofvet Race Team.
Two consequences of this.

1/ I’m delighted to be invited. Can’t wait to get racing with a team and team tactics.

2/ When I started cycling two years ago my goal was as simple as “Do it for two years and see what happens”. That two years is up at the end of this season and ‘what happens’ was that I get invited to Hofvet Race Team.

Now I need a new plan. A new goal. Hopefully the team will guide me in this regard.
Looking forward to it.

No Updates Means…

It being my first update in quite some time means more than no writing:

PM_Oh

Yep, no training either. I did a race on Tuesday with my limited fitness. That probably would have been ok had it been a ‘normal’ race. Unfortunately for me it was far from normal. Skeppsholmen GP: an 800m course with two sharp turns and sprints every lap. 600+ W -> 0w x 2 per lap. It was extraordinarily difficult and then…

Ouch

Cycled home in a little pain and took the next day off. Did weights yesterday and found it surprisingly ok with the exception of squats – the right glute hurt a lot and today I feel a slight strain in my left knee, most likely because I was overcompensating with my left leg yesterday.

As if the weights were not enough, I then jumped on the bike last night. Just a 30 minute set of 0:30/0:15 at 320W/100W – it was actually quite ok and I’ll probably do that set more often.

Today I want to do something. Weekend I want to get out on the bike twice.

I’m still aiming for the club championships in September 18th.

Stockholm Cup – Markim

Stockholm cup race last night. I decided to give the A group a go for a change. I was told by a club member to give it a go “It’s the same speed as the B group” was his exact quote.

The B group crossed the line with an average speed of 39km/h last night.
The As did 43,1km/h. “It’s the same speed as the B group”? I think not.

Even though the speed was high, it was still easy to sit in to the group… I even got a little carried away and made a break after 17 minutes. I saw a rider rev up to launch and attack so I covered it. After a few seconds he flicked his elbow for me to come around; I did and he stopped working. A few seconds later I was back in the bunch. A few more seconds later another round of attacks started and I had to dig pretty deep to hold on. Good training. Also I got a new power record 1009W – the search for 1200W all of a sudden doesn’t seem too much of a stretch.

“Stay near the front” was my mantra all the way to the end of the race. When the sprint came I was positioned pretty well. I covered an attack with about 3km to go and believed I’d have nothing left for the final gallop… it seemed that nobody else did either. The now familiar scene of drifting backwards in the peloton didn’t happen. I held on and crossed the line in the first half of the group.

Happy with the race. Happy with my fitness.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 09.22.57

The Sprint – Stage 1

I have no sprint. This is not only true, but probably an understatement.

In Stockholm, bike races are easy. The last few I have done follow a strange tactic: gun it on the flat, not so hard up the hills. Makes the race very easy and capitalizes on my weaknesses… I suppose the average cyclist here is big and strong and doesn’t feel the wind like I do.

From all this comes one hard fact: I will never win a race.

However, I can get a top 10 placing if I get a half descent sprint. I reckon I need 1200W to make that happen. Until yesterday I hadn’t been able to get past about 850W – so only 50% extra power required to reach my goal.

Last night I reached Stage 1: Break 900W.

Stage 2 is 1000W. This will be my primary focus over the next three weeks.

Race tonight. Racing Stockholm cup in the A race.
Lets see what the difference is between A and B. The B race was very easy last year.

Good Two Weeks

I’ve gotten a good two weeks training in and also managed to do a good and enjoyable ride on the racer. I went out to do the churches loop and I believe it’s the fastest I’ve done on the road bike: 1:01.53.
I got home from that ride and met my neighbor – he told me we were going out to do a swim run in two hours.

Shower, dinner, into the wetsuit and I was out the door again:

swimrun11

We tried out a new tether system and it seemed to work better for both of us. I swam easier yet we swam all three swim legs faster. All done exactly three minutes quicker than the last attempt.

It’s now two days later and I’m a bit tired in the legs. Not an ideal situation since I’m racing Arlanda Test Track Race tonight. It’s a national race so I’ll be in with the big boys. Expected average speed is 42km/h. It’ll be good. I’m psyched. I think I’m out of the doldrums again.