With exactly 10 weeks to go to the Haute Route Alps challenge, it is time to take stock of where I am and what to do next. This also is a great day because it concludes my second build cycle and is the beginning of a rest & recovery week—yahoo! In short: as the figure shows, my actuals are tracking my plan amazingly closely: so far, so good!
My fatigue is at its highest level, but so is my fitness which today is at 145 – at least 50% above my best ever. (Recall: 100 points = 1hr at your max or FTP.) The plan is working! While it may seem over-analytical to some, it is actually very simple and a great motivator: now I know exactly what weekly workload to plan for, where I will be if I execute the plan, and I get to look forward to my rest weeks as a reward. I love periodization!
Training is on track. My second overload week was tough but it worked out. By now, those workload levels are not that intimidating anymore. As expected with all the tempo and threshold work, my explosiveness has dropped significantly. (I even got dropped on two hard group-training rides—something that hadn’t happened in a long time. Obviously I was tired but it also signaled that I should start adding some VO2 workouts. Ten days ago I did 2min hill repeats and the numbers were much lower than my previous bests, but three days ago the numbers improved.) The plan is to increase intensity on Tuesday and Thursdays, and be active in the Saturday group ride. The rest is endurance work, and I should start training a 1hr to 1:30hr TT on Sundays to work up to the Haute Route TT on day 4 at Cime de la Bonnette.
Morale is back. I went through some deep spots but recently have started to feel really good. Perhaps that is the “overcompensation” following overloads, or what Joe Friel calls crashing in The Cyclists’ Training Bible. The outlook of a recovery week and finally better weather also lifts your spirits. Whatever it is, I take it!
Weight and nutrition is on track: I am hovering between 141-144lbs (64-65kg) and targeting 140 (63.5kg). (Just saw on the Dauphine that Contador, who is my height, weighs 138.) When you burn 2000kJ per day it is so tempting and surprisingly easy to eat an additional 2000 kcal… Eating habits take more discipline than actual training.
The bike setup is nearly complete (more on wheels in next blog). What I need to work on is recovery techniques like massage and stretching. Oh, before I forget: the best thing I got two weeks ago are compression socks! They are so good I even sleep in them…
Let’s hope the next 10 weeks remain healthy without setbacks; with summer finally starting, life is good!