No time to ride, even less to blog. I know I am overdue for a blog post. Despite what you may think, the last few weeks have been very good training-wise. My rapid weight gain that saw me pack on twenty pounds in little over two months is back in check. The training has been even better. In a little over seven weeks, I have seen an increase of approximately 12% in my functional threshold wattage.
So what I have been doing for the last seven weeks? Well, in truth, I haven’t been doing anything special or extraordinary. When you are starting from square one, you have a lot of room for initial improvement. It will be interesting to see what the next four to eight weeks produce.
The workouts that I have been doing are best described as foundation/preparation in the context of The Time-Crunched Cyclist. As mentioned in a prior post, The Time-Crunched Cyclist doesn’t really describe or provide a program for this period. It is purposefully unstructured training period with occasional intervals at intensities of 60-85% of the CTS field test power.
Since I was starting back at square one due to lengthy lay off from riding (my prior field test results made that quite apparent), I figured I needed to give my preparation a bit of structure. On Tuesdays, I would do the workout I featured in this post. On Wednesdays, I would do speed work with three sets of 4×2 minute fast pedal exercises witha two-minute recovery between the intervals and five minutes between the sets. These workouts, while certainly not the most intense, were very challenging due to the fact that I am riding Power Cranks which adds another dimension to training. On Thursdays, I did my strength workout previously discussed in this post.
Saturdays and Sundays were my long days on the bike. Time permitting, I did anywhere from two to three hours on both days. These were endurance rides and, for the most part, I stayed in Zone 2 for the duration of the ride. On Saturdays, I’d add a bit of intensity with 4×15 minute tempo efforts (80-85% of my CTS field test wattage).
Over the course of the last seven weeks, the workouts were becoming easier as I adapted to training and to using Power Cranks (again). This week was a much-needed recovery week. On Thursday, I performed another CTS field test followed by a rest day and, on Saturday, I did a functional threshold power test as described in Training and Racing with a Power Meter (2nd Edition) by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan, PhD. The results of the field tests are as follows:
CTS Field Test #1
Average Wattage: 297 watts
Average Heart Rate: 179 bpm
Average Cadence: 76 rpm
CTS Field Test #2
Average Wattage: 281 watts
Average Heart Rate: 177 bpm
Average Cadence: 69 rpm
20 Minute Functional Threshold Field Test
Average Wattage: 263 watts
Average Heart Rate: 178 bpm
Average Cadence: 66 rpm
In sum, my CTS field test wattage (the average of the two field tests) improved almost 10% over my prior field test. My functional threshold power (95% of my 20 minute average wattage) improved over 12% from my prior field test of seven weeks ago! Not a bad improvement over the last seven weeks. I hope the next eight will be equally effective.