wow… it’s been a crazy month. I knew it would be a bit hectic but I had no idea how much. I started another blog shortly after I got my new-to-me gravel bike (cannondale slate) and after racing my first gravel race, The Crippler. With everything going on I didn’t get around to finishing it. A quick summary… it was hard, it was really cold, and it was awesome. I’m totally hooked on the idea of gravel racing, which I knew I would be, and can’t wait to tackle some more offroad challenges in the future.
The week after the race maggie had her surgery. she got and extra bone cut out of her foot and also a pin in her second toe to rectify some hammer/cross-over toe issues. I don’t think either of us knew how gnarly it was going to be and how much she would be out of commission. she was put in a huge cast and all of this was on her right foot… so no driving. And if that wasn’t hard enough a couple of days after her surgery she came down with a gnarly virus. she was in bad shape and the following monday I had to head to California for a work trip. I ended up cutting my trip a day short to get back home to maggie and fi because maggie’s sickness was getting worse.
Maggie finally kicked the virus after 10+ days of really not being able to eat. then i got hit with a gnarly stomach virus. to make matters worse i had a packed week of work that i just had to get through because calling sick was not an option. I’m so proud of the way maggie is handling her surgery and recovery time. It’s not easy to be able to do nothing! She’s been super positive and I know that’s only going to translate to a faster recovery time and she’ll be back ripping in 2018.
So with all that going on “training” took a back seat. I took more days totally off from any kind of training in the last month than I have all year. I still got in some riding, jogging, and strength work but I could feel my fitness slipping away… it didn’t stress me out and it actually felt good. After a long season of racing and a lot of miles on the bike the downtime was more than needed. It was also great for my motivation because now I’m ready to start hitting it hard… soon.
I mentioned it on instagram a while back but starting back in October I started working my good friend, Cody Waite of Sessons:6, to help get me ready and race in 2018. I was coached by Cody years ago when I was racing Xterra 100%. Back then he helped me reach a new level on the bike and I’m confident that he will help me do that again. Life right now is busier than ever. Maggie is back at work full-time and Fi is in school full-time too (maggie and i hit the jackpot getting her into a rad montessori school 1.5 miles from our house.). There’s a lot of juggling and we are always on the go but it’s awesome. I wanted to work with Cody to maximize my training time and I wanted to know I’m doing the right thing with the time I have. He also has a rad training facility not too far from our house so I will be able to get in and work with him and other athletes on the trainer and do some strength sessions. I’m super stoked to have a coach for the first time in a long time and to just do the work and not think about anything. For me, I personally think that’s the best part of having a coach when you have a full time job and a family that comes first.
Throughout October I did a bunch of AeT (~80% of max HR) intervals. Building them from 6 minutes to 30′. These types of intervals don’t feel hard which is a great change and it was nice to pay attention so something else other than the power meter. I honestly feel this is the kind of training i’ve neglected in the last few years. Even though I have huge base of fitness/training that I’ve accumulated over the last 12 years I was always probably going too hard or too easy and not targeting the right kind of training to develop my aerobic system.
I am handing the reigns over to Cody 100% when it comes to my cycling and strength work. The official start to the Sessions:6 offseason program is 11/13. If you want to know more about the plan check out their site. If you don’t live in the Denver area you can do the same program remotely with a smart trainer. With the plan starting in about 2 weeks this week it was time for some testing and I knew it was going to hurt. Right before the Bailey Hundo (my A race of 2017) my ftp was right at 290. That came after starting at around 260 after a few years of focusing on running. It took a lot of hard work on the trainer and outdoors to rebuild my cycling fitness and while I’m happy with where I got myself I don’t think I reached my potential. I am confident that after a year of focusing back on the bike that i’ll be able push my fitness even higher in 2018. After peaking for Bailey Hundo I pretty much fell off the wagon of structured training and opted to just have fun riding my bikes. I had a blast and wouldn’t change anything but my fitness and race results definitely plateaued.
So for the test, which is unlike any other test I’ve done on the bike, it was a sufferfest. I won’t to go into all the details regarding the test but if you want to know more about the testing protocol we used check out Cody’s/Sessions:6’s blog here and here.
So my results of the 20′ AeT test and max effort/power 1′-2′-4′ efforts….
AeT Test: avg watts 240 with and avg HR of 158 (cap of 160)
1′: avg watts 522
2′: avg watts 394
4′: avg watts 340
For me I think the numbers are spot on with my fitness right now. Using the fatigue rate calculations it puts my FTP right at 260. I plan on sharing all my training and all the numbers (geekery) on this blog and with regular updates. Hopefully we’ll see these numbers increase which will in turn lead to some good races results in 2018. Cheers!!!