Monday, January 14, 2019

Week 1

Hit my goal for the first week of the year.

Aimed to do accumulate 15 hours in level 1 and managed it with time to spare. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Periodised Nutrition

The main change I'm making regards weight management is to follow a periodised nutrition plan.

This is pretty simple in practice. It just means only eating high carbohydrate food (rice, pasta, wheat and the like) during exercise or in the 12 hours before a high intensity session. 

Otherwise I'll eat a mixed diet with plenty of protein, vegatables and fruit. 

The only exception to this is a bowl of porridge for breakfast before a long low ride.

One key thing about this is that I will not be trying to replenish my glycogen post workout. I'll just take a small amount of high GI carbs along with protein.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Polarised Training

The main change in terms of training approach this year will be to use a polarised training plan.

I heard an interview with Stephen Seiler on the Velonews podcast and later was lucky enough to have a chat with Trevor Connor who is a fan of this approach (and a role model for those of us aiming to stay fit despite father time)

Aspects of this approach resonated with me as I think, just by chance, I have sort of been doing this for much of of my time riding. 

My initial Tour de France is a pretty extreme version of doing lots and lots and lots of low intensity riding.

The hardest thing about this training is keeping the low days low and I already sense myself trying too hard. Still I will keep at and be interested to see how it turns out.


Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Racing Rouvy

I've tried a variety of indoor training products, including Zwift where I was part of the beta. It's not a surprise to me that these have become so popular. I like riding bikes but really, now, only under a blue sky and up mountains and I'm clearly not alone.

My first indoor software came with a Powertap trainer I bought over 5 years ago now. It's since morphed into Rouvy. This is one of the lesser known products but it's my firm favourite.

The reason for this is that it allows me to do what I like doing above riding up big mountains under a blue sky.

Coupled with a smart trainer the experience is astonishingly real. 

Last year I tried Trainerroad and, while the plans/workouts are good, the presentation is not my cup of tea so I cancelled my sub and this year its back to Rouvy.

Luckily they have introduced a really nice upgrade, so called "Augmented Reality" or AR. Basically this just allows you to select a previous ride(s) (yours or others) and an avatar will repeat this on the course. (If anyone else happens to be riding the same course at the same time you also see them)

So I can race which is great motivation. 

What's especially good is that it means I can train to power targets without actually needing to constantly check my garmin. I can just select a rider at the target w/kg for the training zone and so long as I stay ahead of them it's job done.

Intervals are similarly easy. Just do one ride using a power to set zone/duration and then reride, just tracking the avatar.


Monday, January 07, 2019

Training with power without power

I'm trying out a couple of new things for my workouts this year.

One of them is to stop looking at power numbers.

I've been training with a power meter for over 10 years now. While it has been a great aid I am concerned that it may also be a limiter.

I have developed a Pavlovian reaction to seeing certain numbers on my Garmin..

2xx is easy
3xx is hard
4xx is painful

It may be that my body really does change dramatically when I hit 300W but I don't really think it does. Rather I think it's my mind that's the issue.

The single biggest piece of evidence for this is a 20 minute test I did a couple of years ago.

I recorded an ATB of 346W but the key thing was the way I did this. I did a Sufferfest workout (Hell hath no fury) and set my "FTP" to 500W or so. I then set the workout level to around 65% and nudged this up by 1% several times through the workout if I felt OK.

So I ended up riding power blind. My eyes were seeing numbers that it associated with long steady workouts so my brain didn't get stressed out by seeing numbers it associated with VO2 efforts.

I didn't really build on this experience last year but plan to this. 

I'll be using Connect IQ to display power level data in a new, neutral way so I never see the raw numbers and have to ride more on RPE.


Sunday, January 06, 2019

Xmas feel good

Over Xmas week I just aimed to do shortish sweetspot workouts each day.

I didn't hold back on the indulgence so expected these to be a bit tough. To the contrary they felt remarkably good.

The power numbers were OK but the key thing was RPE. Even with a bit of a hangover felt fine, indeed much better after than before.

Garmin VO2 nudged up to 66.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Squaring the Triangle

This years require squaring a triangle of goals that can be contradictory.

I want to
  • Maintain/improve my FTP and cycling stamina
  • Lose weight
  • Start doing strength training regularly
I have an approach that I think will work towards managing to balance these, time will tell if it works.