Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Training Tip Tuesday. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Decided to race this weekend at the Fat and Skinny Tire Festival in Warsaw, IN. It's a multiple event weekend with mountain bike racing, road racing, a fondo, ride to work ride and etc. I'll be sticking to the road side this time with a 3 mile TT Friday night, a 55 mile circuit race on Saturday and a criterium on Sunday.

A part of myself can't help but think about how
fun it would be to do multiple events. Well I could do the TT Friday, Saturday I could do the mountain bike or fondo in the morning, circuit race in the afternoon, short track Sunday and then the criterium.

But with only 5 weeks of training in I know what I can and can not do. That brings me to this training tip. Just as the old saying goes "Rome wasn't built in a day" you also can't build fitness in a day. Every natural instinct will have you ride as hard as you can each day, but that isn't the best way. I've even slightly failed at that. Doing Zwift races trying to tell myself I'll just sit in the B's or C's and do tempo while I end up doing an hour FTP test, or just doing some Jakerpacing aka 3hrs of sweet spot. Luckily for me life gets in the way and adds in a bit of unplanned rest. I'm also smart enough to know that I can't over rest the week of the race and know freshness at this point will be my friend.



To start back into training focus on aerobic building, especially advance aerobic training with tempo and sweet spot even more so for the athlete that is more time crunched. Your threshold will not be the same as it was before, so also a well timed FTP test once you have a few rides under your belt will be a good start.

>>> How to completely an FTP Test
>>> How to Sweet Spot 

Sweet spot workouts are pretty straight forward. Though you can as you progress you can start adding 15 - 30 second attacks at the start and finish of the intervals, cross into higher zones every couple of minutes or just do a 8 - 12 second burst ever couple of minutes to simulate race accelerations.

Example Sweet Spot Workout #1

Warm up well in zone 1 for 5 minutes and continue in zone 2 for 10 - 15 minutes. Then complete 3 x 12 minutes @ Sweet Spot (88-96% of FTP). Rest 6 minutes between zone 1/2. Then finish ride with 15 minutes zone 2 and cool down.


Example Sweet spot Workout #2

Warm up well in zone 1 for 5 minutes and continue in zone 2 for 10 - 15 minutes. Then complete 4 x 9 Sweet Spot Anaerobic Zone 6 Crisscross Intervals. Start each interval with 15 seconds Zone 6 (150% of FTP) settle into sweet spot (88-96% of FTP) for 4 minutes, back up to Zone 6 for 15 seconds, sweet spot for 4 minutes, then finish with 15 seconds Full Gas Sprint. Rest fro 4.5 minutes between each interval. Ride zone 2 for 30 minutes and cool down.


Most importantly just get on your bike, ride and have fun!

Breeze on 



Friday, January 05, 2018

BikeRadar /FasCat Bangers and Mash Sweet Spot Burst 3 x 8 minutes with 4 x 1 minute Bangers

New to Zwift this year is the group workout feature. This feature allows you all to complete the same workout and ride as one group no matter what power you do. This allows a wide range of abilities the chance to ride together. 

Today I joined up with the BikeRadar FasCat group workout. Figured I'd have some motivation workout with others and be there to help answer any questions between the suffering as I coach with FasCat. 

One of the biggest questions was what range was sweet spot. Sweet Spot is 84 - 97% of your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). You can find many articles related to this on the FasCat Website. 


Of course you will want to make sure you have an accurate FTP to get the most out of your workout. 


Along with that question was what is the ideal range of that to ride in. Well many factors can go into this. First off all you don't want to ride too hard in the first few minutes or intervals to where you can complete the whole workout. That also goes to over doing one day and not being able to recover for the next days workout. Start with riding in the middle and go from there. As you get fitter you will be able to ride at the upper end. One of the many benefits of riding at sweet spot is the ability to recover from it. 

Another good question that came across was asking why we were doing the burst every 2 minutes. Well the reason is cycling is a very dynamic sport. Rarely are you every just sitting at one power zone  steady. In a race or ride you will always find yourself making acceleration. The  are meant to help emulate the stochastic nature of bike rides, when you have to give it some 'gas'/hard efforts to get up a steep hill, out of a corner or close a gap to a wheel. These burst typically range from 5 second to as much as 60 seconds in length. 

The last 1 minute efforts we did on the day are where races are won! Why do efforts after being tired and a workout. Because that is when teach yourself how to suffer and win. A lot of times I like to give athletes long endurance rides that finish with intervals. One of my favorite workouts is a race winning move simulation which replicates this. 

Here is the the workout from today: 


I'm not exactly sure where my FTP since I have had some time away from riding, but believe I am not far off from the 285 it is currently set at. Quite a bit lower than just a year ago. Overall this workout yielded a 75 TSS in an hour which is a great workload for in an hour time. I was pretty consistent with my efforts which which was nice to see. When I look at a file like this one thing I like to see is if they let the power slip after the burst. See how well they recover on the fly. I did ok, you can still see some dips after a few burst. Another thing I can see is my cadence never dipped which is actually pretty good which means I didn't just try to muscle the bike and was staying smooth. 

Already looking forward to next weeks workout! Hope to see you there! 

Saturday, July 01, 2017

FasCat Tour Plan Stage 1

Not making promises, but going to try to complete the FasCat Tour de France plan that I designed. Not feeling to confident in succeeding after today. I was 8 minutes into my 20 minute TT (Field Test) and I was ready to quit and did for a minute. However I told myself to just do what you can and stop stressing, which I've had to tell many athletes before. Too many times its to easy to get caught up in numbers, not seeing what you want and just quit. It's tough for me to go from being able to ride / race at 300 + watts for over 5 hours, to just being able to skate by for 20 minutes. But what should I expect after not training for nearly a year. The FasCat Tour De France plan should be a great kickstart to getting back into it.

So I basically just got back to riding this month, with 4 rides a week. But each ride has nearly been ride as hard as you can, which is easy to do when you have no fitness. Then obviously this is going to lead to some fatigue going into the plan, a plan in which you should be fresh for. This is what happens with some athletes who come to you looking to get coaching with a goal only a few weeks ago. There isn't much you can do in a few weeks. You can't get faster in just weeks, only fatigued. So the earlier you can start a plan towards a goal the better.

But here I am and here I go. Todays workout file.



Didn't ride the field test at the 5% over, but feel I was pretty much on mFTP. WKO4 has been tracking my FTP pretty well since returning to riding and I feel it's pretty accurate. Be interesting to see how it is after this 3 weeks. Each of the last 4 weeks I have been feeling a bit better. However I still get caught up in the trap of trying to ride in my 'old' training as opposed to my 'current' training zones. It is always important to have and use the proper training zones so you can maximize each day. 

I rode out at the airport today. Actually found a nice section there that just so happened to be 14.5km (nearly same distance as Tour) and would take me 20 minutes without having to stop, or take any corners.


Planes taking off. At least something out here had some good power. 

20 days to go.