LAST Sunday I finished up the Trainingpeaks 4-week FTP-Focus 2021 plan. On one hand I’m happy it’s over but on the other I’m going to miss the structure of just doing what the coach (Paul Ozier – Peaks Coaching Group) tells me to do.
AND so the challenge: how to keep the vibe going! I’ve been pondering that for awhile now; this after I just rode (on Zwift) Tuesday. Per the coach’s recommendation this is to be a week of just riding the bike. It was nice and I felt strong.
LUCKY me…I am finally employed (I started March 1st)!
However, that puts a serious damper on this former professional cyclist (dripping sarcasm here), so named by my brother from another mother, Scott Keno. I’m likely not going to be able to keep up the pace but maybe, just maybe, I can come close. The plan was designed for weekend warriors. I’ll just have to re-think how, when and where I’m going to execute it, right?
AND perhaps most importantly, I don’t want to lose the gains that the workouts brought my way.
I hit one power PR on the last day, the FTP test, and some twos and threes, too.
- I can produce more power at a higher cadence. The plan focused a bit on this since in a sprint it’s necessary to keep up the power while that cadence goes up – especially if you’re smoking and on your lowest gear.
- I can breathe more efficiently (fewer breaths) at threshold (and everywhere else, really).
- I can keep a high cadence (90-100 rpm) for longer and much more easily. A lot less rocking.
- MY overall fitness improved. I was productive more consistently.
- MY FTP (290 or 287 – 2.87 or 2.90 w/kg depending whether I listen to Zwift or Garmin) went nowhere. I was surpised by this but am going to hold out on final judgment until I get the WKO files to the coach. My last test was in November (should have done a more current one, doh!) and I followed that test to the letter. I should mention that I am rather large for a cyclist (220 lbs – 100 kg exactly) so certainly dropping some lbs would help and I’ve been working on that: at the start of 2014 I weighed 307 pounds!
- FOR this test, the coach had me go ALL OUT on the five (5) minute Vo2 max interval that was just before that ten (10) minute rest which was just before the twenty minute test. 🙂 That had to have made a difference (fingers crossed), right?
What Was The Most Challenging?
- That’s an easy one to answer: the endurance rides. They were hard to endure!
- As I read in the spring issue of VeloNews this a.m.: “Many riders underestimate the value of long endurance days, which in my opinion are the MVP of training.” – Coach Julie Young, former U.S. national team member and founder of JulieYoungTraining.com.
- Those long days in the saddle at fairly low watts (205-ish for me) are interesting, especially the four (4) hour versions. It takes some focus to not let loose the hounds.
What Was My Biggest Takeway?
I can see why having a coach makes athletes better. Paul was responsive and helpful when I had questions, and as I wrote earlier, it’s pretty groovy when all you need do is what the coach, and the plan, “tell you” to do.
I can’t wait to see what he has to say about my FTP test. In the meantime, now that I have a job, I’m thinking some more coaching is in my future.
Most importantly, I hope some of my take aways resonate with you, fellow rider.
Let me know, will ya?