Last week I finished off block 2 of the Sessions:6 Offseason program with a recovery week and some testing on the bike. I’m stoked that I’m already two months into my training for the year when a lot of people are just getting started. That’s one of the benefits of ending your season in September. On Saturday I’ll find if get into the Dirty Kanza. I would lying if I said it would be a huge bummer if I don’t. The idea of racing (suffering) for 206 miles with some fast dudes has definitely provided some fuel to my training the last couple of months. fingers are crossed.
This block of training focused on aerobic strength and gains I’ve been making were easy to see. I built up the length of the aerobic strength intervals from 4×5:00 in the first week and progressing to 3×8:00, 2×12:00, 2×15:00 and finally 1×30:00 during week 3 of the block. During intervals I was able to put out more power at lower heart rate. It doesn’t get much more simple than that. We coupled the aerobic strength work with more AeT work and I can’t believe how well it’s working. Cody might actually know what he’s doing!! My long rides have only been around 3-3.5 hours, which is plenty for this time of year, and have been done outside. Winter just does not want to stick around on the Front Range and I’ve been taking full advantage.
I’ve been exploring all the dirt options from my house… and there are many. I have found ways to connect so many different trail systems with gravel and dirt roads. It’s been fun and the hours fly by on the bike. One of the things I like the most about the whole gravel riding thing is safety. As someone who has been smashed by a car on the road, and is always still nervous on the road, I’m enjoying not having to worry about cars or constantly looking over my shoulder to see if one is coming. I can do anywhere from a 1-8 hours from home on routes that are 85% off the road. The only time I have to be on the road is the 2 miles from home to get to the dirt and that’s just on neighborhood streets and some short connections to trails. The other factor is i really don’t like driving to ride… it’s just a time suck. So being able to do all of this from home is rad and makes the most of the time I have.
On strength training side it’s just been consistently, and smartly, adding more weight to the primary lifts (squat & deadlift). That’s the other good thing about following a plan when it comes to strength training. There are days that I could probably lift more than prescribed and days like I feel like the weight might be too heavy…. but I just follow the plan and get it done and the “gains” are coming! In this block, during week 3, I peaked at squatting 4×155 and deadlifting 4×195. That’s up 20+ pounds for each lift that when i started the program. I’m stoked to see where I’ll get to this year. I’m definitely feeling strong already.
Last week was a recovery week which was comprised of some easy riding and lifting… and another power test on the bike. I don’t really like testing on the bike. It’s mentally draining. Luckily the Sessions:6 test protocol isn’t that long. I did the same test 8 weeks before on 10/31. Results of the test on 10/31 and 1/2 below.
20′ AeT Test: avg watts 240
1′: avg watts 522
2′: avg watts 394
4′: avg watts 340
20′ AeT Test: avg watts 262
1′: avg watts 550
2′: avg watts 417
4′: avg watts 359
The numbers speak for themselves and with the calculations jumps my FTP from 260 to 275. Not bad for two months focusing solely on aerobic work and strength. I’m already a few workouts in block 3 and it’s going tough but fun to push myself a bit harder. Whether or not I get into Dirty Kanza I can’t wait to line up and race this spring and summer.
that’s it’s for now!