Another 30km into the training plan

Week 2 ride 1, 30km Sub Z4 said the masterplan.   30.88km and an average of z3.2 said the Garmin.   Mission Accomplished – though it was 50/50 at one point when it started raining.   But when it stopped 2 minutes later, all was well again and I managed a half decent ride.   It all seems just a little gentle to be honest, but I’m sure it’ll ramp up a bit as the weeks progress…

Strav for todays ride is here.

I’ve also got back into the whole situp and pressups routine again over last couple of days.  Still such pathetically low numbers of each I’m not about to mention them in public, but the numbers are building, little by little.  200 and 100 respectively by easter ??   Who knows.

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Training Program – Day 4 Workout 2

Intermittent rain meant I didn’t really fancy a outdoor ride today – and I DID have a nice fresh Tacx VR DVD to play with – the T1957.20 – Training with Tony Martin one.

Training with "das panzerwagen"...   Oh dear!

Now, todays ride called for base distance, at no more than Tempo if possible, so there was no way of riding this DVD at full intensity – according to Phil, the guy who filmed it, Tony was pushing something like an average of 260W for the circuit (must have been an easy day for him…) – now, co-incidentally, that’s somewhere near my FTP figure, so, I reckoned that if I rode the loop at a 60% intensity setting, and tried to match cadence, then I should theoretically get something like a sub-tempo workout. Of course, I guess that the schoolboy mistake I made was not figuring in just how much lighter Tony is than I am… hence the ride came out at more like an IF of 0.76 rather than 0.6. Arse. Still, it WAS actually a good sub-2 hour ride, and will provide a “line in the sand” to go for if I have any more 2 hour “Tempo” workouts in the plan coming up. Plus, hopefully, I can also wind up the intensity % and ride against this ride as a virtual opponent I suppose.

It’s a cracking ride though – a rolling ride in the hills around the shore of Lake Konstanz…

TrainingWithTonyMartin

shows a rough outline of the route, and the profile, where

TrainingWithTonyMartin

should give some idea of the workout I got…

Garmin Connect details for this ride are here (the Strava stuff is a bit crap for non-gps logged stuff, and if I add a GPS track to it, I end up showing up in the Strava KoM lists for that ride, which isn’t really cricket, is it ?

In other News, I actually managed to lose 0.7kg this week.  So that’s last weeks pig-out resolved – wonder how long it’ll take to remedy the Christmas Binge ??

 

Training Program Day 3 – optional ride

Decided as the weather was good, to take the option of a 2 hour low intensity ride…   and what better way to keep the thrashing down and the fun levels up but to throw a leg over the MTB for a change – anyway, the old Inbred had been feeling a little neglected…

So, time to get some mud on my tyres and grit between my teeth.   We’ll call it a combined Active recovery and Handling Skills ride, as it was EXTREMELY muddy after last nights downpours!

Ended up being out for 2 1/4 hours of gentle bimbling about, got RENDERD in mud, and amazingly, didn’t fall off once!

Strava (not that this was what it was all about really) for the ride is here

Training Program Day 2 workout 1

Yeah – strange I know, but the first day was a scheduled day off…  presumably to let you sit and read what you’re getting yourself into, then shit yourself.

Actually, it’s not THAT bad, it’s basically a fairly gentle Century Ride Builder program – the basic workouts are scheduled pretty “hard and fast” with the week commencing on a Tuesday (yes, I know,I know…) with a rest day, followed by a base session Wednesday, a gap on Thursday, and another base on Friday, gap Saturday, long ride Sunday and recovery ride Monday.   The distance and duration of these rides basically ramp up for the next 8 weeks.   Along with these static rides, there are a few “discretionary” sessions – once a month, there’s a FTP test to drop in, ideally on one of the “gap” days, and also a number of higher intensity sessions, again of rising training stress which are more specific to the Turbo – so, to make the most of outdoor riding, if it’s poor weather on a “base session” day, it’s okay to “nudge” the base onwards to the gap day, just making sure that there’s never more than 3 days consecutive of riding.    It sounds a bit messy, but it’s the only kind of plan that’ll work for me, a reactive one…

Here’s hoping the weather is relatively kind – doing some of the “base” sessions on the Turbo holds little appeal.

Anyhoo – to todays ride…     Strava for it is here – basically, just a 30km ride, trying as hard as possible to keep power at Z4 or under for the duration.    Didn’t QUITE manage it, frankly, it’s a wee bit hilly around here to be able to do that for a big lad – but less than 11 minutes of the 1h33m ride were over the cut-off point, basically just the odd short sharp rise that given how much I weigh, I simply CAN’T get over even in bottom gear without pushing more torque through the cranks than i’m allowed!.

 

2013 By The Numbers.

2013…

it’s been a tough year – after 18 months of working on lots of long steady distance stuff to get the weight down, my direction shifted a little to getting better quality mileage in. By and large, I seemed to get there, with a few exceptions…

Plan was to keep the distance target from 2012 – i.e. 10,000km but wherever possible make that 10,000km of OUTSIDE riding.

Anyway, here goes

Distance – 11,162.36km (6,935 miles)
Time – 20d 19h 23m 46s
Elevation – 92,786m (57.6 miles)
Rides – 240

Longest ride –  135.5km on a cold and windy day in april

Hilliest ride –  1396m on a mentally windy day, riding around what felt like every hill within a 20 mile radius of my home.

2013 was also the year when I revisited something I swore I’d never do again – I rode a couple of 10 mile Time Trials. Nothing “organised”, but on a “proper” course as used by my LBC (local bike club) – 27m 22s on a course that’s best described as a “sporting” rather than a “fast” route was a pleasant surprise – especially on a “normal” roadbike rather than anything low-profile or aero.

As for the goal of actually getting fitter – there’s a slight anomaly in the figures – you’d probably expect the average speed of my rides to have increased, but actually the average speed DROPPED slightly from 2012’s 23.2kph to 2013’s 22.9kph. However, that’s actually partly because the harder sessions of riding meant that I had to ride a greater proportion of very low intensity recovery sessions. In other words, the fast sessions got faster, but the slow sessions got even slower! Probably a better metric of my improvement would be found in the geekier realms of power and FTP numbers. My final FTP test of 2012 had me turning out 182w. By the end of 2013 I’d bumped that to 262w, a pretty staggering 44% improvement!

Final Line in the Sand for 2013…

Yep, it’s that time again, to drag out the indoor trainer, wire up the bike with the powermeter to it, and commit myself to 20 minutes of bloody sheer agony.

We’re talking FTP tests folks.   A proper one now, with a proper accurate strain gauge based power meter.

Ride’s straightforward – a simple warmup, 5 minutes easy spinning followed by 3 x 110 cadence for a minute, with a minutes 80 cadence between ’em, and a 3 minute “psyche yourself up” break.  Then Nail it for 21 minutes, as hard as you can go…  As an indication, if my HR gets above 170 i’m in serious danger of blacking out – so, I pretty much dialed the pain gauge up until HR hit between 160 and 165 and kept it there for just over 20 minutes, including actually “sprinting for the line” at the end of the session.  Then “blew up”…

All this is to establish the highest average power I could develop for a period of 20 minutes.   According to the plot from Garmin Connect, this came out at 276 Watts. FTP is calculated as being 95% of your Max20minPower – so a FTP of 262.2 – we’ll ignore the 0.2 though.

FTP December 2013

This then has a “knock on effect” through all my training etc. until the next test (probably in february, before the serious outdoor riding season gets into it’s swing).   The Effect is basically to change all the Training Zones a little…

Power Zones December 2013

For once, I’m actually going to link to Garmin Connect rather than Strava for this Ride – primarily because GC Doesn’t bollock about with the TSS and IF data like Strava does.   And frankly, as it’s a trainer ride, there’s no segments or other crap to worry about.

And that’s it for me today – I’m now going to collapse in a chair for the evening, and try and drink enough water that I get the metalic taste of blood at the back of my mouth and throat to disperse a little.