Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lining up the ducks

It's one week before the start date to my ambitious winter project and there a few things I need to do in order to be able to "hit the ground running" so to speak.

I've fleshed out a schedule for week 1 to get a handle on what kind of training volume I'm looking at. My weekly template starts off looking something like this:

  • Mon: core, 60' AR (active recovery)
  • Tue: core, 6k run, 90' SS (sweet spot) training
  • Wed: core, 6k run, 120' TE (tempo) or HOP (hour of power -see 'Recovery on the Edge' article)
  • Thu: core, 6k run, 60' E (endurance)
  • Fri: core, 60' AR
  • Sat: core, 120' E or outdoor ride
  • Sun: core, 60' TH (threshold) or HOP, long run (11k to start)

From here, the progressive overload will come from increasing the tempo workouts up to sweet spot and the endurance workouts up to tempo. As well, I'll be extending the long run distance. In the second and third 6-week block, I'll throw in some 2-5 min intervals as well as more frequent surges in some of the workouts in order to raise my top end.

I ordered a couple of new books to help give me some ideas for mixing up the workouts somewhat:

  • Training and Racing With a Power Meter by Allen and Coggan
  • The Time Crunched Cyclist by Chris Carmichael
On first perusal, these both look like good books. They have influenced my training schedule already, before I've even begun. Both books have provided a basic starting point for the kind of hours and intensity a pure cyclist would be expected to put into training. Training and Racing With a Power Meter also discuses the concepts of power profiling and fatigue profiling and from this I established my power and fatigue profiles from the 2011 season.

Basically, my power profile looks something like this:

  • neuromuscular (5 sec) power: untrained
  • anaerobic capacity (1 min): untrained
  • VO2 max (5 min) power: moderate/good
  • FTP (20 min) power: moderate

This makes sense because I didn't train any of these systems; I just rode. Many of the rides were hard group rides and this explains the moderately good 5 min power and reasonable FTP but I had difficulty in race situations that depended on short, hard efforts and this is explained by my poor power at short durations. So the power profile is informative; it tells me what I need to work on this winter.

My fatigue profile looks something like this:

  1. neuromuscular (5, 10, 20 sec) power: above average
  2. anaerobic capacity (30 sec, 1 min, 2 min): average
  3. VO2 max (3, 5, 8 min) power: average
  4. FTP (20 min) power: below average-average

The fatigue profile measure the dropoff or fatigue within a training zone. An above average fatigue profile means that power doesn't drop off much across the different intervals within a zone. A below average profile reflects a significant drop in power within a particular zone. The fact that I have a pretty much average fatigue profile probably reflects the fact, again, that I haven't trained to my zones. But I also haven't properly tested my zones. A proper test might give a more informative profile so a test is in order this week before I begin the training program. So, that's 2 tests I will need to do this week: one test to determine my NP and AC profiles and a second to determine my VO2 profile and FTP.

Thoughts about nutrition, in conjunction with my weight goal (<70 kg), have prompted me to consider some dietary changes for the duration of my 18-week training program. Kane's blog about the dietary changes imposed on him has also inspired me in this regard. So, these are my dietary commitments for program. Some of them are a bit fuzzy so I'll need to try and make these more measurable.

  • no refined sugars except during training
  • no coffee except before a hard or long training session
  • reduced wheat intake except in the training window (3 hours before and 3 hours after a hard session)
  • 1 beer per week
  • no "instant" food - if I haven't prepared it then I can't eat it
  • more fruits and vegetables
So, apart from the tests this coming week, I'm about ready. And it's about time; I've been getting really antsy lately after several weeks of unstructured workouts.




How the heck do you expect me to keep up with all these hard core plans of yours? You are a machine, Richard!

richard westwood said...

Haha... Hey, plans are one thing. Let's see whether I can follow through on them.