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. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

JJ's winning power file

Congratulations to FasCat athlete Jonathan Jacob, who won the Masters 35 – 39 National Road Race Championships.  Jonathan, JJ as he goes by, had a goal of winning Masters Nationals this winter and we set him up with a plan. His main focus is on the time trial as he is a former 30 – 34 national champion, but also can excel in road races. JJ used his strengths in time  trial training to set off on an epic solo move for over half the race and came in seconds ahead of the rest.
What does it take to win like this? Well for 1 hour and 39 minutes, JJ averaged 358 watts which for him is 5.04 w/kg! That was at 95% of his FTP.  His move started off with an attack. Now sprinting is not is strong suite. He hit 1,113 watts, which is his peak for the year, and held 572 watts for one minute. Then he settled into TT mode where he is right at home. For the next 16 minutes he held 385 watts, 5.4 w/kg to help open the gap. Then for the next 1 hour and 22 minutes he held 345 watts to hold off the field.
CTL/ATL/TSB = 93/101/+10
Masters Road Nationals Winning Power File Data
With all the time trial training we have been doing with threshold and sweet spot efforts, he was able to use that to his advantage. We knew he would not win in a sprint, so a breakaway was the only way. Typically you don’t try to go from so long solo, but when no one else goes with you, or can’t, you roll the dice. JJ is known for being able just ride hard for long periods of time, so anyone who has raced with him or ridden with him are not surprised.
Jonathan Jacob Winning Masters Nationals