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New season, New log, A3

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,324 ✭✭✭ joey100

    Right, so had been trying to decide to even bother with putting this up but sure I'll give it a go and see. Mainly because there seems to be a few people in A3 and doing logs so be interesting to compare training and approaches.

    Quick background, done triathlons up to around 2018, done fairly well, few decent results and done a lot of what I wanted in the sport. Still some goals there that might see me going back in the future.

    Picked up a niggle/injury in Feb 2019, out of no where really and still an ongoing thing when I run. That combined with change of role in work just made it more difficult than normal to get any run training done. Swimming was always a means to an end so was happy enough to knock that on the head while I waited for the injury to clear. No sign of that happening so around March 2019 decided to give cycling a go by itself. Signed up to local club and local league and hoped to get some open racing done in 2019.

    Club league went well, some decent TT results moved me into the A league and although I didn't race as much as I wanted to or needed to I had some half decent results.

    Not half as much open racing as I should have done. Went up to North Down GP with 2 lads from the club for my first ever open race, probably mid July. Got around grand, learned a lot, done too much work really though. Done my best to break the race up every lap, usually by myself and ended up finishing in the bunch but won the most combative award. Enjoyed it and signed up for the Charleville 2 day with a mate from another club. So one open race under my belt I headed down. Lads in my club were great and was getting loads of advice and tips on racing. Finished in the bunch on the first stage, kept my nose out of the wind all day and had a bit of luck to get around a crash about 2km from the end so a depleted bunch finish. TT that afternoon went well, finished 3rd, about 6seconds off first and less than 1 second off second. Putting me in second overall (or third) going into last day, the hilly day. Bit tired but settled well and my mate looked after me, gave me his wheel the whole time until we got to the main hill and kept me fresh. Over the climb in the first bunch the first time, dropped a good few but a few got back on before the second time up. Stayed in front group of about 8 second time up too and then we stayed away from the majority, being joined by 3 more for the finish. Legs were gone by then and finished at back of pack but done enough to win overall. And then with points from overall win and TT placing I got an upgrade to A3. Would have liked more experience before I went up but happy to move up quickly, know a few lads who were stuck there a while.

    So plan for this year is to give it a decent go. Been training away since early October, averaging around 9hrs a week at the moment, mainly on the turbo. I'm not coached, use trainer road sessions during the week and then try get out with the club on the weekend. Have been doing some longer rides on the turbo recently, with 2x4hrs done over the weekend. Probably use the turbo too much really though!

    Plan for this season is to get to Leinster champs, National champs and club champs in as good a condition as I can. No real goals on placings, just get there in good shape. Hoping to race more, both open and club league and looking forward to it. That and try to learn to sprint and corner. Too long on turbos and TT bikes means my bike handling isn't what it should or needs to be. Even the little I have done so far has seen a decent increase in power numbers and if I can keep it going hopefully I'll see more improvement.

    So training numbers as it stands at the moment. From last test in Jan 1st. 62kg, FTP 240W. Definitely more to come there and will be looking for around 270w. 5min power pretty good at the moment at around 310w so be looking to improve my ability to repeat this. Sprint power (around 10 seconds) about 770w. Not great but with some actual sprint training and practicing I'm hoping this will go up too. Next test is about 2 weeks away and I'm feeling comfortable working off them numbers so hoping for improvement.

    What was meant to be a quick intro has turned into a long post but the rest shouldn't be as long as this!


  • Best of luck Joey, your journey to where you are now is exactly as mine was a few years back!

  • If the rest of my journey follows yours I'd be delighted!

  • So like all great plans it hasn't been going great the last few weeks. Picked up a virus that knocked me out for around 2 weeks and only back on the bike this week doing some easy stuff. Have dropped the power numbers that I'm working off this week just to ease back in and not get sick again. Testing was knocked on the head too. Another few easy days and hopefully mid next week start back into some decent work.

    Last night I finally started using the Tacx Neo's features. I usually use a lemond with a power meter on my tt bike. Think I might be better off using my neo with trainer road in erg mode, it might stop me working too hard in early intervals and probably ending up out of the zone I'm meant to be training in. So first session last night on the neo, using that as the PM too. And it was tough, I don't know if it's cos I'm coming back off sickness, using a road bike instead of my usual TT bike, or the power meter reads different (most info I could find seems to say it's reads very very close and is accurate.). Legs were feeling it half way through it what is normally a handy enough session. 3rd session of the week, other 2 were grand on the TT bike, but will keep an eye. Strange feeling though not having to use the gears and just concentrate on cadence, so that might have been some of it too.

  • Neo and trainer road for me and love it. Was also sick for 2-3 weeks over Xmas and took me a further month to get back to where I was. Very frustrating but glad it happened then rather than in the middle of the season. Best of luck and nice win in Charleville

  • Cheers! Have been using it twice now with bluetooth rather than Ant+ and seems a lot better. Think my ant+ receiver may be on the way out, with ant+ it was sort of 'draggy' on the turbo. Like it wasn't spinning as freely as it should, bit like the old turbo's that felt little like cycling in sand. So 2 hours done yesterday using bluetooth and was grand, will keep using it cos it's working.

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  • An update since the last log. Training was going ok, got a bug that put me off the bike for around 10 days and never done the FTP test. No harm tho, was getting back into it and doing a bit before all the madness began.

    I had decided I was going to spend less time on the turbo this year but looks like I'll spend more time than ever! Last week was approx 18hrs with 3 hrs outside on the new to me TCR, loved it, really great bike. I am lucky enough that I have/had some good bikes but this one is probably my favourite. Maybe it's just that it fits me the best but it was a really really enjoyable and comfortable spin. And probably the last for a while.

    This week I'll probably hit around 13hrs on the turbo and will stick to roughly that amount of hours over the coming weeks, majority of it being easy and will add in 1 sweet spot session in a week or two for a bit of intensity. Doesn't look like there will be any racing for a good while so back to base work for me. Concentrating more on it now that I am actually putting in decent hours. Be an interesting project over the next 6/8 weeks to see how the body adapts. I'd normally not spend long enough working on base and it's probably why when I do take a week or so off for sickness or something I see a good drop in power. Trying to make the most of the enforced time with no racing or cycling outside and see how it goes.

    Goals have changed a bit now that the season has changed. No idea when/if racing will be back so have a few other goals in mind. Will see how the next block goes before deciding but one in particular interests me and it's nice to have something to aim for.

  • So 3 weeks into the lockdown-ish, I'm counting the first week extra, I was sort of in lockdown anyway so reckon that counts. Looking back on my training 3 weeks and 1 day of turbo sessions and one outdoor session very early on, for a total of near 51hr on the bike, and pretty much all the turbo. Sticking to my base training plan so I'd say about 98% of that is easy enough. Using zwift to break it up, no racing on it yet, but I do go for some of the KOM/Sprints within it for a bit of intensity. Finished off the block yesterday with 3x alpe du zwift. 1st and 3rd time easy, pushed it for the second time for a time about 55 mins. Not bad at the end of that block and with no real intensity in training. Tired legs now but into a step back week, will do around 8/9hrs on the turbo this week and then try another big base block again. Was about 15watts off my best ever 1hr power record and the last 5 mins or so was easy enough so reckon I was well on to beat it if I had of kept going. Lots of 2020 season records tho.

    I've accepted there will probably be no real racing this year and to be honest I don't mind too much, I didn't have the winter I wanted so this gives me extra time to work.

  • Another 4 weeks done. All on the turbo apart for the last 2 Saturdays when I got out for around 4hrs and 110km each day. Still averaging around 14hrs a week, little down on the 15/16 weeks up to now but doing about 2 decent sessions a week, usually of some type of sweet spot work, so these sessions little shorter than the endurance ones I have been doing. Two key sessions done in last 2 weeks too, [email protected]% of FTP, 5 easy inbetween. No issues at all with this, FTP could probably be doing with being raised. Next session was a session of under/overs. 9 mins as [email protected]%,1min110%x3. This was done 5 times, with 5 easy inbetween each. Definitely need to raise FTP, this was no real problem at all, tough but able to hold the power and cadence well.

    Maybe not as motivated as I have been but sessions are all getting done. Recovery has been good too and sleep a lot better. Weight holding well (around 61kg, that's a real 61kg, not a zwift 61kg) so all good signs. On Sat just gone I pushed on on one or two local strava segments, got top tens without legs feeling great so good signs. Bit of a step back week this week then we go again!

  • Normally update every 4 weeks or so but thought this was worth an update. Been thinking about a vEverest attempt for a while, had no real date in mind but knew I'd know when I felt good. So took it easy last week and done the attempt on Sat. Up at 4 for some food and on the bike by 4.20, wanted to start early so I could finish early, didn't want to still be on the bike at 9 in the evening! Plan was just to be conservative, it's going to be a long day what ever way you do it so I took it easy. 8848m was the first goal, depending how I felt I would keep going or call it a day there. Weighed in at 61kg on the morning of it and most of the week, I've said it before but that's a real 61kg. When I raced triathlon I raced around 59kg and in my one ironman race I was 57kg so 61kg is a bit heavier than I would have raced before.

    Plenty of bottles filled, about 10, 3 with water, 4 with electrolyte tabs and 3 with dilutant. Had lots of gels too but wanted to stay away from them as much as possible. Cereal bars, energy bars,2 bags of haribo rice cakes and some dark chocolate with chilli was most of my food, also had some clove sweets that were great, nice change from the sweetness of most of the food. Few changes of jereys, shorts,socks and shoes if I needed them too.

    Stuck to my conservative plan. numbers 1-6 were all within 20 seconds of each other, not bad over a near 80 min climb. HR never climbed above 150w really either which would be zone 2 for me. 6 was the toughest, fell apart a bit but pulled it back together, mind wandered a bit and was feeling sorry for myself. 7th one was my 2nd fastest and 8th one was my fastest, about 3 mins faster than most. Kept going after reaching the Everest mark, was feeling grand so no point in stopping! Went for number 9 and that was my 3rd fastest, started to feel it then but was as much about knowing I was nearly done as anything else. Done about 8km of my 10th climb and called it a day. Head wasn't in it anymore, I was getting bored and had reached by 3rd goal of 10,128m, the total of everest, Carrauntouhill and Bray head added together. About 14hrs 45 mins done on the turbo and finished around 7pm.

    Honestly didn't feel too bad once I had stopped, legs a little stiff around the knees and a pain in the sole of my left foot but that was the worst of it for my legs. What I hadn't been expecting was my wrists, they swelled up fairly early on, have old kayaking injuries that brought it on I reckon, no pain or discomfort from it but looked a bit strange! Sunday I was grand, no real tiredness, little tightness but was ok. Woke up today feeling fine, will hopefully get out for a spin later this evening and take it easy.

    I'm glad I done it, I wouldn't be rushing to do it again but it was nice to have something in my mind to work towards. NP of 150 for the spin so around 2.5w/kg, got off for a bit on some of the descents for toilet and changing gear so average power a little lower. Pleased with the pacing 20 seconds variance is good, and pleased I kept it fairly easy, I could have def gone faster but recovery would have taken a lot longer and I'm not sure the pay off would have been worth it.

  • Another update. After the virtual everesting I took a day off and then was back on the bike without feeling too bad. Spent plenty of time outside on the bike the following week, we had good weather so think I was off the turbo for nearly a week and got out pretty much every day.

    Still averaging around 15 hours a week and still the majority in zone 2. Doing 2 sessions a week normally, Sweet spot stuff, and about 2.5-3hrs worth of work. FTP is creeping up but I'm feeling fit. Hard to tell how your going really when your not out with others and comparing against them.

    Last week was a mini training camp. Took 3 days off work with another lad and got out for each of the days. Day 1 was around 115km and 1300m climbing, day 2 was 155km and about 800m of climbing and day 3 was about 115km and 1500m of climbing so some great mileage in the legs and was good to see how I was going against somebody I know. Friday was an easy 90 min turbo and then back out on Sat for 77km and 1400m of climbing with 1000m of that in the first 50km. Legs were feeling it though, had planned to stay out longer but cut it a little short and rested up. Plan for this week is to keep it easy during the week, let the body recover a bit and aim for a decent weekend.

    Bit aimless at the moment but still training away so that's good. Hopefully pick something to aim for within the next few weeks, triathlon club have a 180km cycle in wicklow in Sept so that's a longer term goal and not that tough a one either. Had been thinking about an everesting attempt outside but I go between being very on for it and not very interested, and I don't think it's something you can do half hearted. I'll see how I feel over the next few weeks though, my mind might change again.

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