The dreaded FTP Test… I didn’t dread this workout until I was about 30 minutes into it. First off, I planned to do this workout in the morning but unfortunately I wasn’t able to hop onto the bike until 9pm. Second, it got so unbearably hot! The weather was cool but once I started my two fans were not performing their job properly. Other than those issues the workout went ok. I’ve performed a few FTP tests since January, so I knew what I was in for.
The FTP test is essentially an hour long but the actual test is only 16 minutes, there are two 8 minute time trial intervals that calculates FTP. For me, the number wasn’t incredibly important, I didn’t care if I increased. Fortunately I did! My FTP currently sits at 175; which is an increase from my previous number. So this number will dictate the intensity of every other trainer ride.
I felt strong at the end of the workout though cardio right before bed is not good. But what can ya do!
Heart Rate: 135
Avg Speed: 31km
Strava Suffer Score: 35
Song of the Workout: Survivor by Destiny’s Child.
So I was all hyped to start bike training this week but due to some delays (or rather laziness), I have pushed back my start day to Monday May 22. One of the main reasons for this, is I’m going to try to log my training and since my marathon training plan starts that same week, I thought for consistency sake I’d start both plans at the same time.
Both plans I am following are 12 weeks and the weeks will look as followed:
Bike: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Run: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
My previous post I mentioned my goals for the bike which are to increase endurance and aerobic fitness. So my running goals, I have 22 weeks until my marathon, my goal is run a sub 5hr race.
With that said, I have only a few more days of rest before the work starts…
So today, Monday May 15, is Day 0 of my 12 week journey into the Sweet Spot Base Training with TrainerRoad. I will be following the Low Volume Plan which will have me on the bike 3 days a week and roughly 3.5hrs per week.
To give an idea of what this plan is, Sweet Spot Base is a foundation training plan. It allows for an opportunity to visit form work that might get neglected during cycling season and help establish aerobic fitness.
What I am looking to get out of this plan is a some endurance and aerobic fitness. While I’m not looking to gain more speed on the bike, this will be welcomed.
I will also be training for a marathon in Oct, so this will serve as my cross training.
As the title states, I’m not too sure what I’m doing right now. When I started this I didn’t have a clear picture in my mind of what I wanted. Did I want this to be a training journal or a review site. Did I want to talk something specific, or nothing at all. I had no idea!
After sitting down and thinking about the blog, I had a general idea of what I wanted to do. I like the idea of discussing cycling related topics, the name is Cycle My Year so makes sense. But I have other things I want to talk about. Also, how much did I want to blog? Every day, once a week? There was so much to consider.
First thing I decided is everyday blogging is not for me. Right now my goal is to blog 3 days a week (give or take). Next was what I was going to talk about, I don’t want to only talk cycling. Maybe I want to write a post about the show I watched last night or my favorite band at the moment. So below are the guidelines I will be following:
This is where I will discuss a variety of topics anything from TV to Weather.
What it is Wednesday
I envision this as my review or education spot. As I learn about cycling and training, I’ll pass down what I’ve learned.
I will be discussing my training; whats working, whats not working.. Anything related to my training for the week, and goals for the next week.
So thats the plan. Will I do 3 blogs a week? Probably not, as I’m sure some posts might take longer to create than others. But overall I’m happy with what I came up with.
I haven’t been blogging… I’ve been riding but no blog for the last few days. I’ll give you a quick round up on all things fitness life.
As of last Sunday I started following TrainerRoad’s Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 1. My goal is to do all rides in the morning and as a fasted cardio session. So far I’ve been mixed on the early morning workouts, some days I can do them, some days I can’t get up. Either way I have been putting in the work and feeling good. I’m currently on Day 7. Weekly updates will be happening on Friday/Saturday.
I am slowly transitioning into a Keto Diet, so currently I am Keto for at least 2 meals a day. I’m taking this month as a learning/transitional month and then I aim to follow keto exclusively in May. I’ll post another blog on my reasons why and what I’m doing.
Starting today I will be adding some weight training into my day. I’ll be adding this as my evening workouts and will be following Body Beast as I do better following a specific program. I’ll be following my own variation of the schedule with added rest days.
Lastly, I am Marathon Training… oh geez! Currently I’ll be running 1-2 days per week (off days) and increasing in late spring/early summer. I’ll be doing lunch runs at work as well as some training on the weekend.
So pretty busy update in terms of my fitness.
Alright, so I decided to get serious about my training and I will be doing TrainerRoad Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 1&2. It might seem weird I’m starting base training in the middle of the season but since I’m not a racer, eh, its all good. I started on April 9 and will end June 30.
Sweet Spot Base is 12 Weeks of training 5 days a week and is aimed at giving you a foundation and opportunity to work on form. It also helps to establish your aerobic fitness foundation. Workouts vary from 30 mins to 120 mins.
I’d like to see my overall cycling fitness increase by the end of the 12 weeks. I’m looking to gain strength while losing weight.
Here we go!
I love Zwift, I truly do! But unfortunately for me, at this time, I had to give it up as my primary go-to trainer. Argh, I didn’t want to, but I felt that I was not improving my overall fitness while using Zwift’s workouts. I love the community, the opportunity for races and the overall fun that Zwift is, but I feel for me, I need something a bit more structured. So, I decided to jump back into TrainerRoad.
Some of the reasons for this change has to do with my set up. Zwift doesn’t seem like it is compatible with “dumb” trainers. While my trainer is compatible and they have a measure of power for it, I noticed some inconsistencies with my output. I performed two FTP tests in Zwift weeks apart. One test resulted in 298W FTP! I actually felt stronger when I took the second test, but it resulted in an 81W drop, and I was now at 217W FTP. On top of this, Zwift would not read any power over 374W, and once I hit 374W the power would decline rapidly. Zwift gave the delusion that I was a Cat 3 racer when I am nowhere close to that.
I will still use it sparingly. Some days I might use it with TR workouts for the virtual world. I might use it for an easy ride on a rest day to get the legs spinning. I might also participate in a race or 2. This is by no means a goodbye to Zwift, just a “we’re on a break”.
Alright, so there has been a lack of updates on this blog. Unfortunately I had to end my Hunter’s Challenge quest and I took a couple of days off the bike. There’s a few reasons for this;
- Fitness Level. I don’t think my level of fitness was high enough to take this on successfully. After the rides I felt burnt out and I couldn’t fully recover fast enough for the next day’s ride. This resulted in a more than 1 day off per week.
- Set Up. I definitely couldn’t hit the proper power for some of these challenges. I have a “dumb” trainer and unfortunately it was hard to overcome this obstacle. I would fail workouts/segments because I couldn’t hit the power fast enough or even hit it at all.
- Lack of Direction. Each workout has a quick description of what it was about, but I found that most of the time there wasn’t anything in the actual workout. Tractor Pulls is an example, not once was I told when I should go into the drops.
- Enjoyment. No one truly enjoys interval work but I think everything above made me feel terrible and not motivated to continue.
With all that said, I would still suggest anyone to take on this 28 day challenge. These are just my opinions and I’m relatively new to bike training so my experience will not the same as another experience. I also might embark on this challenge again when I feel fit on the bike.
So with the start of a new month, I figured I’d give an update on what Cycle My Year is about and my cycle totals so far.
So a few years ago I came across a challenge to Run Your Year and the idea was you run that year in km (or miles). I thought what a fantastic way to mark your year. You’d have over 2000km of achievements, stories and fun to end the year with. So instead of run, I set out to bike my year. The first two years I attempted (2014-2015) I failed. I didn’t come close to my goal but I did get out on my bike. I then joined a cycle club and by July 17, 2016, I hit 2016km. That was 2016km of bike commutes, sun rises and sun sets. I biked to locations I hadn’t previously; Niagara Falls (160km) and Scarborough Bluffs (30km) and many more locations.
This year, I set out the same goal to ride 2017km in 2017. Currently I am at 1422km between my outdoor commutes (its been too cold for anything else) and my indoor rides on Zwift. It’s going to be pretty easy to complete the 2017km goal in April; between indoor and outdoor rides I only have 595km left.
So my goals will be to hit 2017km cycled both indoor and outdoor which will bring the yearly total to: 4034km.
Here’s where I am so far:
I’ll admit I failed, my goal was to finish the Hunter’s Challenge in 28 days but I had to take an unexpected 2 days off so I’ll be finishing closer to 30 days… but that’s ok, things happen.
Day 6 – Tractor Pulls!
Yeehaw! The idea behind tractor pulls is to help build muscular strength and sprint. You are to keep your hands in the drops and stay seated the entire interval. You start the 30 second clock once in gear and controlled. Well I did barely any of that. So I did keep my hands in the drop, but I didn’t slowly move into gear, or set a timer. Oops. One thing I would have liked from this workout is more indication of where the interval started, was the interval the first set of over/unders or was it the 10×1 minute at 115% FTP? So because I didn’t know where to start the tractor I ended up just riding as normal but in the drops.
Day 7 – Super Peaks Pyramid
This workout is to get some short bursts of intensity in the anaerobic zone. It is as it sounds, a pyramid. You start at low power-high power-low power. It was a good workout, the highest power was 345W, and they also threw in some cadence to aim for and what gear (big/small ring) you should be using. Also, apparently I was so fast, I was was like a blur!
Overall both workouts were pretty solid and enjoyable. I do wish Zwift would take a note out of TrainerRoad’s book and add a bit more description while riding. Maybe not compose the novel TR does but maybe a little note when the interval starts.
Route: Watopia Valcano Flat + London Classique
Avg Power: 179.5
Avg Cadence: 77