Two Great Workouts

I had two great workouts today.

Got home from work slightly earlier than usual, and with the wife still out I thought I’d hop on my bike quick and get my ride out of the way before she got home. Today was Antelope on TrainerRoad. This is a 90 minute ride consisting of 5×10 min Sweet Spot intervals. I find it hard to believe that I’m saying this,  but this is a hella fun ride. In fact, I found that yesterday’s ride – Geiger – to also be quite fun. Certainly way more fun than that FTP test from Tuesday. I had read online prior to selecting the Sweet Spot Base plan for my triathlon base training that it was generally a fun plan, and that does seem to be true (for all of the two workouts that I’ve done so far). I find that I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow’s session. I’ll post in the future about how I’m finding the plan. I’m sure that I’ll write fairly extensively about it once I’m a bit further in. For now, all smiles.

Today though, I hit 102.9 TSS on the ride in 90 mins, which is not shabby. A bit over the prescribed 96.0 as well. I’ll take it.

For my swim, I did a workout from the book that I use – Swim Workouts for Triathletes. Usually I ignore the warm up suggestions and do my own thing. So today my workout was this:

4 x (200m free, 50m kick)
3 x 400m NS, 30s rest
3 x 300m NS, 30s rest
3 x 200m NS, 30s rest
3 x 100m NS, 30s rest
200m CD

Idiot that I am miscounted, even with my Fenix tracking laps, and did one of the intervals at 450m, so I totaled 4050m. Again, not too shabby. Including WU and CD I averaged 1:39/100m, and through the sets I was pacing between 1:29 and 1:37/100m depending on the interval length. 96.7 TSS on that one.

So I racked up some work today. Just shy of 200 TSS points in a single day is a LOT of work for me this early in the season. But I’m friggin smiling and I’m friggin happy about it. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s fun.

I’m 458/930 TSS points into this week, with lots of work left to do. I skipped my Monday swim because daylight savings time is the tool of the Devil, so I’m a bit behind where I “should” be, but I’m not worried. Base 1 Week 1 is going great!

The Dreaded FTP Test, and What’s Coming this Week

Damn that was hard. Have I mentioned I hate FTP tests?

This morning I was up well before dawn to hop on the bike and crank out my FTP test. After last week’s rather successful morning workout – the first one in ages – I thought I’d start a morning routine. More on that later, but suffice it to say that it began today. Choosing TrainerRoad’s 20 Minute FTP test was the easy part. Doing it is hard.

No dogs were left outside this morning during my workout, and my legs warmed up surprisingly quickly (encouraging) so the issues noted last week were gone. All good.

As for the test itself, I received a no-change result. That’s disappointing. I was pretty sure I would need a bit of an FTP bump, but I guess I’m just not there yet. I did bump up by three watts last week, so perhaps I’m just not farther than that – my estimate was accurate. As good as it is to know that I’m training at the right intensity, it is a tough pill to swallow to actually do such a demanding test and receive that result. 2.33 W/kg with today’s weigh-in. If I can hit my target race-weight, I have about a 20% improvement as my FTP W/kg goal. I actually think that’s more than do-able this year, considering I’m starting from a hobbling, injured mess.

Interestingly, my LTHR increased. This I’m taking as a good thing. It was a pretty marginal increase, really, but I also saw some of the highest BPM on the bike that I’ve ever seen – about equal to my LTHR on the run. My max HR was ~164 through the ride, and at last test (in summer 2016) of my LTHR while running I tested at 165 BPM. I’m taking this as a good sign. Not sure exactly what it means yet, but a bump higher in LTHR on bike seems like a pretty ok thing to me. To be clear that’s sitting at 151 as of that test. 164 is just the max I achieved during the test.

So, TrainerRoad veterans probably recognize that it’s Tuesday. And Tuesday is test day for the start of a new training plan. That’s the big change for me this week. I’m starting a new plan – Sweet Spot Base High Volume 1. Should be fun. Painful, but fun.

I gave pretty careful consideration to which plan to choose. Last year I did about half of the Full Distance Triathlon Base plan before I got injured and stopped. Tempted to start here again, but without a Full Distance race on my schedule this year, I did look at the Half Distance plan as well (I’m racing two of these). It does seem like a plan that’s fairly well suited for the half-Ironman distance, but I think  I want more volume than that. At least I think I do. Being a “normal guy,” my best weapon is time. I don’t have children and my wife is a grad student, so I have lots of time to dedicate to training. The Triathlon plans seem like they’re very good, but I wish that TrainerRoad would actually worry less about the other two disciplines and focus exclusively on the needs of the bike portion of the race. It is not that I don’t trust them, it is that I have plans for the other two sections already. I just don’t need (and I don’t particularly want, if I’m being honest) their guidance on what workouts to do on the other disciplines. The other thing that worries me – I find their other discipline suggested workouts to be too easy. Has me concerned that the bike plan is also too easy – not enough volume.

So I’m going to give the Sweet Spot Base High Volume 1 a try for a few weeks. Lots of work to do. It calls for 6 rides a week and 532 TSS over 8.5 hours in week 1. I’ve already completed 82 TSS and 1.0 hours today. So only… 450 TSS points to go. Gonna have some early mornings this week.. Oh man this is going to hurt… wish me luck!