Trainer Road Referrals

Just a quick post here – I apparently have three referrals I can provide for a free month of Trainer Road. If you’re interested in giving it a try, drop me a line here or on Twitter @CBSkillz.

Obviously I have a very favourable opinion of their product. And no, I’m not paid or otherwise supported by Trainer Road.

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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!

Hard Decisions…

I just got off the turbo trainer. Stopped my workout… 55 minutes early. That was a hard decision.

Today I was scheduled to tackle Big Squaw on TrainerRoad. This is a 2.5 hour endurance/tempo session with an IF of .69. So I still managed to hit 95 minutes, which is still decent. I guess. I mean its not nothing.

When selecting today’s workout, it being Saturday naturally means a longer ride. I think I’d have been better suited for something closer to the 2 hour mark but this ride appealed to me with its long duration intervals. Looking at the power targets for the intervals, I figured I could handle a bit more than what was prescribed. So I upped the difficulty by 3%.

Surprising myself even, that 3% was fine. My legs were completely solid for this ride, even through the highest power target. One more reason why I think I’m due for an FTP test (that I really have no interest in doing…..). The problem didn’t really set in until about 1:15 into the ride. And it was, of course, my knees.

Dull, broad, but relentless, I tried resting for a minute and spinning up again, but no benefit. I had to make the choice to persist through a completely bearable amount of pain and risk further injury (like I did in November) for the fitness rewards – aka steps towards my goals. It sounds so easy. It hurts, so stop. But does it really hurt? Am I being a wuss? Should I just push through? This is an endurance workout. I’m not even really pushing a lot of power (even for me). If you don’t do it, you’ll never do it. So I should keep going.. right? Yes. No. Injury. But what if this is nothing? But what if it isn’t nothing….

There is no doubt that this is a minor setback, and I made the right choice getting off the bike. But damn, that’s a hard decision to make. The positive of it is that my fitness is building. I think I’m going to FTP test on Tuesday if I’m feeling up to it, so that’s something to look forward to. I think. Or dread. Probably mostly just dread.

Oh well. Tomorrow’s another day.