What to do next if Cache Gran Fondo happens?

Good morning,

I’ll be completing 18 wks of Sweet Spot at the end of the week and would appreciate someone’s review of my training files and guidance on what to do next please.

My “A” event is Cache Gran Fondo which I believe, and hope, has about a 50/50 chance of happening. This is the first year in over 2 decades that my life schedule has allowed me to actually have and execute a training plan so consider me newbie in that regard please.

I’m assuming I’ll need to test which I’ve never really done before. The FTP I’ve been using has allowed me to hit all the marks in the plan thus far. I have struggled on the top end efforts of the recent “diabolicals”. Otherwise, all the works out have been well within my current ability. I think it’s possible my real FTP number is higher than what I have set it. My 1 to 5 minute power seems to need some work however.

I live in Montana so weather can still be a challenge. It has snowed this morning. May/June can be cold and really wet. Hopefully we’ll be able to have group rides and our local weekly, Tuesday night race series soon.

I’ve added Fascat as my coach in TP. Look forward to your feedback and help.

Thank you very much

Hey Mike!

I see your messages and actually am in your TrainingPeaks right now! But might be till the morning tillI get a quality response to you. I need to get my kids to bed here shortly!

Glad you recovered well and were able to get in todays workout. When you get deep into these training blocks its coming to have days that feel harder than others. And of course the diabolical workouts are really tough! Only made tougher by putting a second workout behind it. Ouch!! Long day in the saddle there.

You should absolutely retest next week. However with being a subscription member I may rework your plan for you based on what you are doing over the course of the next two weeks. Is the Fondo you are doing the Assault on Mt Mitchell on the 18th? If so you will not be doing any test most likely between now and then but focusing on recovering and tapering. I can’t imagine it happening, but also don’t see anything about it being canceled. I actually did that last year for the first time and finished 2nd. Super fun! Just remember to properly fuel the entire day and save some for the last 25 miles which are literally all uphill. Like at least 4 - 6% most of the way. Just two sections of brief respite. I could go on and on about this but lets leave it there for now.

So here is your performance manager chart. It is a way we track your fitness. The blue line is your Chronic Training Load (CTL - fitness). It measures how much workload (TSS) you have done. It basically is an average of TSS over the last 31 days. So you want to see this steadily increase through the base period as you build fitness. And you have done exactly that! Just a perfect build all year from January.

The yellow line is your Training Stress Balance (TSB - fatigue), well TrainingPeaks calls it Form. Basically it takes how much work you have done over the last 31 day and subtracts the amount of work in the last 7 days (Acute Training Load - ATL). You have been training harder the last couple of weeks than you have over the last several weeks, typical as you are trying to build fitness. But ideally we want this to come up to +5 - +15 before a key event. This is why we taper and rest. Now you around - 20. So next week would be about brining the workload down. But you still need some intensity to stay sharp and keep from going flat. Similar to a regeneration week.

As far as your FTP is concerned you haven’t had any really big 20 minute effort. However you highest 20 minute effort was on Tuesday. On your 8 minute efforts you were averaging close to 300 watts and 110% of your FTP. Even if you kept this up for 1 effort or relatively close it would show an increase in your FTP. This was during an effort that you were at your FTP and then riding well over. With riding an effort a bit more consistent and only once you maybe able to hold close to that for 20 minutes.

Hi Mike,

I basically gave the run down with the performance manager chart. You are on track with gaining fitness and a huge aerobic base! Nicely done.

The next thing to focus on is your power test. So I fixed up next week as a regeneration week and a test week. On Wednesday you can do 2 x 10 minute threshold efforts. These are pre test efforts. This is to help determine a target wattage you believe you can hold for your power test. So push these hard. Try to hold 300 watts on the first one. Then try to repeat that effort after 5 minutes rest. If you can maintain that for both efforts you might try to start your test around 290 - 300 watts and raise it up after 10 minutes if feeling good still. If the power drops on the second of the 10 minute efforts you might need to start a little easier like 280 - 290 watts.

From looking at your efforts I’m guessing you will be able to do at least 285 - 290 watts for your 20 minute test. The idea of these 10 minute efforts is to feel if 300 will be possible. You just don’t want to go out in the first 10 minutes of a 20 minute effort and blow up.

We just put out a podcast on this very subject! Give it a listen.

You have been doing a really good job simulating your group rides whether the sweet spot ones or the attack style ones. So the Attack style group ride on May 2nd you did fantastic! Your variable index was 1.22 which shows your power was very up and down. Norm power was 220 watts while actual average was 180 watts. Great variable there. 25 minutes of zone 4 and higher time which is pretty solid on a solo 4 hour ride. This is the type of ride to work on that 1 - 5 minute power durations. So you could probably squeeze a bit more in. But don’t need too much when training for a fondo.

Then you look at the sweet spot group ride on April 18th your average normalized power was 208 and actual average was 184 so variable index was lower at 1.13. You had 1hr and 36 minutes of zone 3/4 time which is around the sweet spot range. That is approaching half your ride time. Also your TSS was 230 for the 4 hour ride so you were close to averaging 60 per hour.

So when is your Fondo? I can help you determine what plan you should do next? Our Fondo plan should be the 6 weeks leading into the fondo.

Hi Mike,

So since it is raced like a road race you should complete our 6 week road race plan.

You still have 8 weeks till your event so we can adjust your training plan a bit to make it work. Most likely just repeat a weeks from the sweet spot plan then jump right into the 6 week road race interval plan. Will have to add a rest week as well.

You really just need to rest. Rest the next 3 days and FtFP. That is all you can do and all you need to do. Could have been fatigued still from the weekend a bit stiff from having two days off. Before the test you will have the openers. Just follow that workout description. Don’t go too hard. Stick to the prescribed efforts.

Based on yesterday efforts, for your test just start around 280 - 285 watts in that first 5 minutes and go from there. Try to ride off of feel from there. If you are feeling good go hard up to 290 - 300 watt range like you have been doing for some your 10 minute efforts. Don’t let your powermeter hold you back if you are feeling good. But you do want to watch those first few minutes as everyone feels good.

But also remember that FTP test are not the end all be all. It’s only a small piece of the pie of fitness and strength. So don’t let it stress you out and over think it.

We have shirts! They are new design from maybe the ones you were finding on the website.

That is fun you and your wife are on the same plan! :joy: Good times. She sounds experienced though.

Have a great day as well!

Hi Mike!

Sorry to hear about your crash! Man that is not good! I think most of us have stories like that ourselves. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are ok! Make sure you have no injuries that may pop up after some rest and adrenaline settles. Make sure you have no headaches, dizziness or other concussion symptoms since you obviously landed on your head hard. That is step 1.

Great job on your test and setting your best power number! Now you can set your zones to your new FTP!

So we have an awesome Grand Fondo plan. It is a 6 week plan but seems you have about 8 weeks till your event, if it happens. I would most likely just recommend repeating a couple of weeks of sweet spot training. Most likely weeks 5 and 6 of the 18 week plan, but you would also need to add a rest week, which we could do in a few weeks.

Fondo plan

So you would need to come up with some work to do for 2 weeks. We are basically at our limit of once a month with the coaching review / adjustment. We are actually headed towards actual coaching. So maybe that would be a good route! You can see what that is like and really get some personalized training as you head to your big goal of the year.

Let us know what you would like to do. But like I said first and foremost make sure you are ok before resuming any strenuous exercise. Great job on your effort before! The hard work is paying off.

Thanks Jake. I appreciate all your help.

Have a good night.