My cycling blogging has greatly reduced since finishing the Haute Route Alps (HRA) mirroring the welcome reduction in my training. It may be interesting to show graphically what has happened over the 6 weeks since my last Haute Route training post :
This picture shows my acute training load (ATL) in red. (This is in training stress score TSS.) You can clearly see training periodization: the three build peaks, followed by a shorter peak in mid August during the Haute Route. The blue line shows my fitness or chronic training load (CTL). The difference between the two is my “form,” the yellow line nicely “peaking” just before the commencement of HRA and quickly dipping during the Haute Route.
So what happened since Aug 25? Big reduction in the red line! For five days after HRA, I didn’t touch my bike. While I had told Shannon not to let me ride for at least a week, I did start riding on day 6. Legs still felt sluggish, but gradually they got better. But my training load has been below the lowest point since May (and will stay there around 80TSS/day for the rest of the year). The fact that fitness (blue curve) decays relatively slowly means that my form is actually pretty good (yellow line).
10 days after HRA I did my first hard group ride followed the next day by my first intensity training: hill sprints. Hill sprints?? Isn’t this the offseason you ask? On the contrary: My race season has started: I am converting from endurance to short intensity needed for cyclocross. No long rides anymore and a new focus on speed and freshness. In contrast to the HRA, I will keep my training duration low but intensity high. I even started running on Mondays and Fridays. Tuesdays is for threshold intervals (3 x 10min max) and Thursday is for hill sprints (anaerobic full-out 40s efforts). Sunday is race day, 10 weeks in a row!
My first race last Sunday went fairly well: I pretty much started where I left the cross season in December. The question is: how will the season go? More on that later, as on my road bike purchase developments… For now, I am happily riding my cross bike:
So there, Gerry, that’s what I’ve been up to 🙂