Thursday, September 29, 2011

Two different days at the office...

Yesterday's workout looks like this on WKO. I rode to the Nundah track (video), did a warm up (while I convinced myself I had to do the work) and I count from one to six, the number of intervals. Actually, I did ten but I am only showing the first six because that's what I did last week. And I can feel them this morning...

Anyhow, I decided to compare the two days to see if I could get more information on how I am travelling. Unfortunately the conditions were different, there was a much stronger wind last week, recovery in between efforts was shorter and my fatigue numbers (ATL) at the start of the sessions were also very different, 98.1 and 63.8.

Also, I looked at how much work I put into those workouts, the table below showing my stress score, intensity factor and normalised power. Last week's been a shorter but harder session.

Still, and factors aside, I think it is good to see in a simpler form how the numbers come up. Averaging the six efforts for the two days, there was an increase of 8% on the average speed and 4.6% on the average power, for longer. Wow, that reads so good. It puts me in a positive frame of mind as well, which is very important at this stage, being so close to the race.

Next, active recovery for two days and a short/hard race to really test the legs, and have fun. What else would I rather be doing?

Well, I could be on my way to Germany, to test ride a Canyon...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Smashed... but ready to go again.

Perhaps it was a bit of mismanagement from my part but I felt I should keep going with the training even if I was tired and saw some numbers going down. Isn't it about stressing the body?

And how tired?

I opened the WKO files looking for a clearer picture on my present state. The Performance Management Chart, and in particular the TSB (form) and ATL (fatigue), and the figures for the season gave me the view on how it all happened.

The chart shows the main races this season and my fatigue level at the time. The Tour de Tablelands and Cunningham Classic were my "A" events and that's where I had my best results, having trained and tapered to arrive at the start line in good form and rested. The other events were just part of my training plan.

It also tells why I felt sloppy on the bike and didn't reach my goal on the club ITT (I think). Again, starting the club road race championship with the highest ATL so far, made it for a hard day on the bike. Add a Sunday Zupps ride when my ATL reached 111.3, another week of training, some World Championship viewing and a crit, this Sunday came and I felt... SMASHED!

But it is all good, with my next "A" event in mind, and happening in 11 days, I decided not to get on the bike on Sunday and made it two days off the bike seeking for a full recovery.

A short session on the rollers next and it is all going to get good again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two weeks gone, three to go...

It is hard not to over do it, the last week (#31) being a perfect example. It could hardly be called Recovery Week when the Sunday ride turned out to be over 4 hours and 221 on the Training Stress Score (an estimate of the overall training load and physiological stress created by that training session).

What did happen?

Well, after a good team result in the Tour the Nundah on Saturday, I felt I should show up and land a hand in the Sunday crit on the south side. It meant an early start after a sleep deprived night (hey, I can only celebrate my 51st once...), a 38 km ride to the course (I should've sat in...), a hard crit (repeat...) and a ride back home. Again, the team got a good result but, after that, my body was begging for another recovery week.

No time for that, with three weeks left to the Nationals I had to keep pushing a little harder and do another week (#32) of slightly complicated training sessions (anaerobic capacity, neuromuscular power and lactate threshold efforts). And I had to have some fun with the guys doing a short sprint session on Thursday afternoon.

It all added up again and after the recovery team ride on Friday, and work, I started to think my performance in the club championship was going to be a bad one.

With a descent breeze and an average temperature of 31 degrees (max was 36), the race was hard. It must have been even harder for the larger guys who had to negotiate a few sharp hills in those conditions. I felt tired at the start but managed to come out with a good result. I kind of accidentally got away with a couple of guys as we hit the hills for the first time. It was soon down to two of us and with 40 kms to go I was alone on the road. Also, a good preparation for the Nationals.

To finish the week, the Zupps ride. We had friends form the NSW north coast staying for the weekend. They were keen to do a Brisbane bunch ride, so why not do the old Milk Run (that's what it was first called), the best bunch ride in Brisbane.

And, it did live up to its reputation. It was a big bunch, the ride was hard, fast and even messy at times. It was an impressive ride...

That was it for the week I planned as a build week and rode as a build week, for once!

The two weeks...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Still riding. In fact, still training and racing

Back here! But with some difficulty, I need to say. And I don't even have a good reason for this month long hiatus, I just haven't been able to sit down and write. I haven't taken many photographs also, and as they make up a good part of this blog, together with my treasured charts and graphs, I haven't been able to put posts together.

Never mind, this is about training and racing and I shall keep it like that until the BIG change happens but that's also a topic for later, much later. At the moment, it is training as well as I can and getting ready for the last two races of the year, the club road race championship and my first Masters National Championship race.

My training has changed a fair bit, mainly to match the type of courses we usually race on, flat with a flat finish or lumpy with a flat finish. Of course, learning how to train with the power meter has influenced things as well and I can say that lots of improvements have been noted. And I am not even concerned with the extra kilograms I am carrying at the moment... for a change!

Racing has been fun and I had a couple of good results. The club ITT result was one of them but it was a bit of a disappointment, also. I did win my division which was great but somehow was given the incorrect time. Some think it didn't matter because I won but they forget that a time trial is a race against the clock and they don't know I worked really hard to go faster than the previous years...

2009 - 51'22"
2010 - 51'35"
2011 - 52'30" (inaccurate)

Note: The interesting point is club officials accepted that some riders improved their time by almost 2' in two years but I couldn't even match my best on a faster bike...

Well, the hard training payed off elsewhere with a top ten, best ever result, in Warrick. The Cunningham Classic is a tough 96 km race and I have always struggled to hang on in the final kilometers but this year I lined up in good form and finished well. I could even had done better but I didn't see an early break get away. The team had a strong rider in it, trying to bridge across would just mess up his chances because a few strong riders got left behind as well. He finished second.

So, I have done a bit of work in the last seven weeks but it has been fun too with some good rides with Sandra and friends. Last, I have been getting assistance from a chiropractor and from a good massage therapist, that's going well and I believe it is all on track for October.

See you soon and Viva La Vuelta!!

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