Weekly Training Notes #2
This week I began the final mesocycle of the Pre-Season plan, consisting of twice-weekly VO2max intervals in addition to the usual low-intensity weekday rides, long Saturday group ride and an easy Sunday recovery ride. This will be repeated for three weeks, followed by a recovery week before I move into the In-Season.
The VO2max rides went pretty well. I was fresher for the Tuesday session than I was on Thursday, but did five decent reps on both days plus some extra medium-intensity work towards the end of each ride.
When I re-introduced intervals back into my training again for the first Pre-Season mesocycle, I started with 8-minute reps at super-threshold intensity. Now I've moved to these tougher 4-minute reps. In this way the Pre-Season acts as a bridge from the long, predominantly easy rides of the Off-Season to the much higher-intensity workouts of the In-Season.
I expect to be getting some PRs/KOMs by the third week of these VO2max rides.
It's nearly Spring!
The weekend rides were good. Both days had occasional light rain/drizzle, and consequently damp roads, but I got two nice workouts in.
I did four hours on Saturday. I think this is an ideal ride length for a Saturday; there's plenty of time to do a high workload, but it's nowhere near as fatiguing as doing a century (something I got carried away with last year).
I did some decent, shortish intervals and a couple of relatively (for February) fast sprints. Again, I really felt like my leg speed work and improved strength are paying off, especially when it comes to these maximal efforts.
My greater base fitness also told in the latter stages of the ride. The first time down Marshland I did most of the work chasing down Gary who'd got himself about 100m up the road coming off the bridge. Unfortunately, although I halved the gap three times during my turns on the front, by the time I'd cycled through the 6-man chasing group and got back on the front, the gap had opened back up again. So we never actually caught Gary, but I did get some good work in.
I'd also tried a breakaway win of my own on the morning's first sprint, North Forest Beach, but went off way too quickly and was reeled in by Gary who'd had some help to get him to the halfway point. But again, the important thing was that this was a good long, anaerobic, interval; at this stage of the year my main focus is on ramping up my fitness.
As often happens, a few of us continued on an extra loop after the main ride, and this time on Marshland I was a lot more circumspect regarding the effort I put in when on the front of the group (partly because I was getting tired, but mainly because I wanted another shot at the sprint).
It was still a pretty fast approach though, so with a mile to go riders started dropping off the back, until by the last 800m it was just me on Gary's wheel. He put in a nice effort, gradually accelerating up from 40 to just under 50 km/h. I glanced back, saw it was just the two of us, and had one of the best feelings you can have in cycling: knowing I was easily going to win a competitive sprint. All I had to do was pick when I wanted to go past him.
I went with 250m left, quickly getting about three-quarters of a bike length lead, looking across at him the whole time to see if he'd try to kick again. Sure enough, he stood up and tried another acceleration, but of course he didn't have much left and once I responded he immediately sat up.
It was a big role reversal from what happened so frequently last summer. But this summer I'm going to be much fitter, faster and (I dare say) wiser as well. Now I recognize the importance of conserving energy and picking the correct moment to attack. It's all part of the challenge, and I can't wait for the fun to start in earnest once the rides get fully populated later in the spring.
Sunday was just another 80 km recovery ride. The roads were again a little wet, meaning the recreational group I often ride with were reluctant to venture out. So I rode on my own on the local roads, nice and easy to finish off a good training week.
Next week I'm planning on heading to Savannah for the Saturday slugfest. I'll do these rides once per month or so, as they're the toughest ride in the area and so are a good indicator of where I am with my fitness and speed.
Designation: Pre-Season, Build 4 Time: 17.3 hours | Distance: 465 km | Low:Medium:High Intensity: 82:13:5 Weight Training: 3 x Lower Body, 1 x Upper Body | Walking: 15 km