< 5 weeks to go: status update

In less than 5 weeks the first day of the Haute Route Alps challenge will already have passed and the value of all the training over the last 6 months will be revealed; I am curious…

Current status: training is on track! As the figure shows, my actuals are tracking my plan very closely: so far, so good!  (The workload of the next two weeks, however, worries me…)2013_07014_HR_Update_ActualvsPlanHaving just concluded an “active recovery week”, fatigue (red line is plan, golden is actual) is low according to the power meter measurements.  Yet this morning I felt tired–perhaps from all my teaching during last week. It tires you and the legs even though it doesn’t show up on the power files!  

Fitness (green and grey) today is at 150 — this means that the body is used to riding daily 1 1/2hrs at its max. (Recall: 100 points = 1hr at your max or FTP.) The next two weeks aim to push fitness near 180 before tapering to start the Haute Route fresh (in “form”). As said before, the main merit of the plan for me is motivation (and the knowledge that I’ve done my homework).

Morale is OK but goes through cycles: this morning the legs didn’t feel great and that is a little worrisome at the end of a recovery week and before two hard training weeks. Yet at the same time, we had some great climbing days in Italy last week and I felt good this week pushing decent watts at relatively low effort.

Weight and nutrition is on track: even after the daily pasta and gelatti delights during 5 days in Rome, weight is hovering around 142lbs (64.5kg). More salads and more riding should bring me to the target 140 (63.5kg), if I can hold off on the extra eating after coming home from a training ride 🙂

For recovery, in addition to compression socks, I really like the foam roller: will bring it with me to France!

Yesterday the compact crank was installed so my bike setup is complete (only have to make up my mind about which carbon wheels to use…). Next step is packing the bike.

Let’s hope the next 5 weeks remain without setbacks: Tomorrow starts the last big training push with two most demanding training weeks. The plan prescribes weekly 1600 and 1800TSS, respectively. Those are big numbers, probably requiring 25 and 30hrs in the saddle–never done that. Nor am I looking forward to the coming two weeks but it is the last push, so it has to be done.  I don’t want to start with any excuses; execute the training plan and then let the cards fall.  Shannon put it as follows: it’s like the last trimester before child birth, you just have to push through until the delivery.

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4 Responses to < 5 weeks to go: status update

  1. Robert Boute says:

    Good luck with the last bits, Jan! I was (deeply) impressed about your physical condition in Rome (you kept on going!) — I am sure the morale will be great once you see the beautiful mountains in the Alps… It is going to be a wonderful trip — enjoy it!!

  2. StevO says:

    Good luck mate. Those are huge TSS numbers. How are you going to achieve them. my training here in the mountains over a week would struggle to get those numbers. Well if I was on the bike for the hours you are prescribing it might work. What you dont want to do is dig a fatigue hole that you cant get out of. better to less trained than over trained and knackered, I was chatting to a lad who finished last year in 104th pos he said to me take the first three days easy as other try to kill each other then they are just toast. He said his fitness grew during the week as others who went hard tumbled. Then later in the week start to go harder each day as the body gets used to the strains put on it. Dont forget the heat, If it is baking hot the body uses energy to cool down. That energy you would prefer in the legs. My body hates the heat. I dont sweat much so i overheat and that means less power in the legs. It worries me more about the heat than being undertrained. Enjoy your last few weeks in the saddle.


    • Steve: you are right, those are huge TSS numbers that I dreaded. I was able to execute until this morning (Friday–needed to teach…). Will do my best to make up this weekend and then start tapering: finally!
      The heat can be an issue, but so could be rain on descents. Let’s hope we get lucky and get a beautiful and safe week! See you there: what is your bib number? (Mine is 438)

  3. Gerry says:

    I’m not surprised you haven’t written an article since the 15th, with all the riding you are presumably doing at the moment. You have taken a route I see I probably should have now, i.e. a longer taper. Mine will be 11 days long, with a 6-day block of heavy volume beforehand. I’m hoping that’ll do it, but we’ll all know soon enough.

    See you soon.

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