This week I was on holiday and used the week as a CTL ‘push week’ and would like to offer some lessons I learned.
My initial goal was to ride 400km (I have been following the intermediate program) and from the outset I think this was a mistake. Not the number of km’s as such rather aiming for a km target full stop.
I would have been better ensuring I competed each session on each day then ride zone 2 thereafter based on feel. I found I was doing some reduced sweet spot or tempo efforts in the middle of some long rides on tired legs and not completing the full session. Not #FTFP.
Would be interested in anyone else who has bumped their training up for period while time permitted.
It depends where you are starting from and how big of a push. what you are describing sounds like a “training camp.” For me, those usually require a rest week after.
I do not know about being “in the middle” of a plan, but there’s a podcast on training camps. I don’t know if this applies, but it gives a description of what it is.
Rest day today. Comparing January and February to March, April and May my average weekly Kj’s increased from 5359 to 7859; average weekly TSS increased from 474 to 601; average weekly time in the saddle increased from 7 hrs 55 min to 14 hrs 00 min. Roughly 1/3 of my rides are on dirt trails and roads on a g-bike so IMO distance isn’t a useful metric.
CTL on January 1st was 40. Today it sits at 85. I’ve done 5 twenty minute tests on the same road, similar conditions with the same bike and PM (Quarq). Average 20 minute absolute power January 1st was about 280 while mid May I pushed 344. My PD curve and all power metrics including sprint power close to all time highs and the line has just moved to the right.
Waking up naturally rather than via alarm = about an extra hour to 1.5 hours of sleep each night. But, interestingly, that extra sleep was always rich in vivid dreams. I have never in my adult life been able to sleep like this and experience this on a consistent basis. It’s shocking to think how our (my wife and I) lives were sleep deprived since college. Both have careers and two kids now 19 and 17.
Heavy focus on SST but a sh!t ton of z2. The physiology is the physiology. But, mentally knowing I can push xxx watts for xx minutes has been very helpful.
For me, mixing up the riding with riding a bike with fat squishy tires, did a couple things: First, it’s kind of like riding a trainer in that the increased Crr acts like the lack of inertia on the trainer. I think it forces a rider to pedal over the top with more conviction. And second, the trails I rode the g bike on many were very steep and rocky. This forced me to do high torque low rpm efforts. No more than maybe 5-8 minutes but, I haven’t done high torque low rpm on a road bike in over a decade.
To bad I have nowhere to go with it. Work will get busy again and our lives will return to sleep deprived states soon enough. I’m enjoying the moment just the same.
Training camps are essential, and I did the same — one reason to thank COVID??? Anyway, progression without too much detail was from 360TSS/week in February and 460TSS/week in March pre-lockdown to 740/week in April and 780/week in May. That does not count the rest week every fourth week at 67% peak TSS volume. For reference, I started training with an FTP rest on 9 February after 14 years away from the sport. So while I had an effective start point of 0 fitness, I had some old man reserves to draw from. Anyway, that two-month block with peak build weeks treated as mini-camps put my TSB at multiple times in the -35 to -50 range. I found that my training was still effective and the numbers were good in the -35 to -40 range, but lower than -45 was beyond my tolerance for fatigue. Were you able to identify any threshold for fatigue below which you felt like the session was bad?
So what’s my point? Backing down km’s or intensity (TSS), or taking a day or more off, or adding a rest week, are valid responses based off your fitness and fatigue. Maybe your legs were heavy, but the numbers were good? In those cases, embrace the suffering and ride through it and get the adaptations with a rest week to follow. If the legs were heavy and the numbers bad, take a day off and don’t force it: your body and spirit will both resent it!
During the first of my two training camps (planned 800 TSS weeks), I had a horrible ride. Mid-interval I pulled the plug, soft-pedaled home, and took two days off. That recovery let me come back and do a 3-day block of 516 TSS to close out the training camp with quality, and to slide into the planned rest week feeling content and strong. Then for my second mini-camp in May I was able to do two three-day blocks of 400+ TSS per block and 10,000+ feet of climbing per block with no problem. So the adaptations integrated. I guess I’m recommending #FTFP with daily shifts to allow you to hit your weekly goals without tanking an entire week and forcing a readjustment to the annual training plan…???
If we are “post-COVID” now, then the 20-minute FTP (raw, not normalized) numbers I have are 275 from March and 332 from May. I think that bump validates the approach… Or maybe just shows how badly I’m going to get dropped once racing resumes, haha…