Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Training and the first week of the Tour

Illness kept me away from the bike for a whole week, dragging my CTL figures (fitness) on the Perfomance Management Chart down to the level I was six or seven weeks ago. That’s the bad part, the good part is (could be) that my TSB numbers (form) have peaked to an incredible high. And, I am experiencing the lowest ATL (fatigue) number since I started training with the power meter. I should be firing like the space shuttle.

(The PMC is explained here)

I wish it worked like that. First, I will need to get on the bike and get some numbers (watts) to feed the program with so it can give me an idea of where I really am in terms of form and fitness. Second, the program doesn’t know I have been ill, it might look at my numbers and discriminately open a little message box saying: SOFT!

Because of that (illness), I now have to cancel my entry for next weekend’s open event and, again, modify my training plan for the race I have been preparing for, the Cunningham Classic in August. I will add another rest week and see how I feel before adding more intensity (TSS) into my training again .

C’est la vie! Well, shit happens I am more likely to hear from the local whizzes. It is like that but I am grateful it is only a simple illness and nothing like what we have witnessed in the pro races and in real life lately.

As crazy as it sounds, I sometimes think “one week off the bike is one more week on this planet”. However, I missed riding my bike the whole time.

So, the pros have just finished their first week of racing around France and, in my view, have delivered the goods with some bone-breaking racing and fantastic finishes. I liked all the stages (confessing here that I broke my promise and watched a few live) and most of the finishes.

I say most because stage seven's finish was a bit uninspiring, to me, with Cavendish’s easy run to the line. I wish strong-man Greipel had won the sprint with his long and amazing power burst.

And stage 9. Excuse me the win-at-any-cost-believers out there but that was the ugliest Tour stage win I have ever witnessed. For Sanchez, to ride 16 to 17% to Voeckler’s 60% plus in the break for 40 km (or longer), and sprint to the line from the 150 m mark and win was the poorest example of unfair sportsmanship. That stage belonged to Voeckler!

Back to the good moments we are witnessing this year, here are some of my favourite shots (Steephill.com):

Stage 4

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6

Stage 7

Stage 8

Stage 9

Enjoy the second week!

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