From 1st Cat to Elite: A Weekly Training Diary #3

Week three of my first winter phase has been much bigger than the last two. Around 5 hours longer, topping out at nearly 15 for the week. I did some long commutes and some group rides so I knew the extra mileage was coming. For that reason I backed the intensity off. Last weeks IF was 0.82, whereas this week was 0.72.

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I did a couple of group rides this week. If your main bulk of riding is on the weekends and you’re riding without structure then you’re undoubtedly going to race up every hill. Nothing wrong with that, I love racing up hills as much as the next guy. But if you don’t have to put in a performance for the next 4 months then there’s no point in getting involved in a willy waggling contest just yet. Save your racing for races.

My rule of thumb for these rides at this time of year is just stay below your FTP at all times. It’s a bit annoying and I sometimes get asked questions like ”are you ok, Ken?”. I’m fine, I just don’t want to climb in Z7, sorry. See you in March boys!

The week began with yet another FTP test. I sometimes wonder whether i’m expecting too much of my different power meter options for them to just all be the god damn same. It seems that I am.

As suspected my FTP jumped from 357w to 365w in the 10 days since my last test. Threshold heart rate remained the same at 161bpm. The best bit for me was completing 3 further minutes of the ramp test. Last time I stopped before the 420w step, this time I completed it. Bonus. Regardless of FTP the thing that is going to win you races is your ability to go deep and keep pushing on when everybody else falls by the way side.

However, I still think my zones outdoors on the powertap P1 pedals need to be a bit higher. That 20′ test result is still nagging at me. Also, during a long climb in Sunday’s ride the numbers were a little off. I’ve set it at 370w for now and we’ll see how it goes.

My Form (TSB) is pretty low right now at -35. Experience tells me that if I spend too long below -30 then everything starts to go a bit Pete Tong. This number will be different for everyone and it’s a dangerous game trying to find your limits. Overtraining Syndrome is no fun for anybody and it takes weeks to recover from. Best to err on the side of caution.

Next week will be week 4 of my first base phase so a rest week is in order. This means backing the volume right off and freshening up before hitting it hard again for another 3 weeks. Also, i’m going to shift this blog to Sundays so that all the weekly data is in line with, well, the normal week.
Ride safe everyone! and as always, if you want any coaching help or to find out how to apply my methods to your own training then send me a message!

Ken

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