It’s hard to believe I’m already half way through the Sessions:6 Offseason Program. Time is for sure flying by and racing seems like it’s right around the corner. I was supposed to race this weekend at the Old Man Winter Bike Rally but they’re calling for snow up there Saturday with a low 7 degrees overnight. The race starts at 10am so it will likely be in the teens at the start… and that’s just not for me.
On Wednesday this week I was down and out. I woke up in the middle of the night tuesday with a gnarly stomach ache that kept me awake for 3 hours. I woke up feeling off and tired. Midday I jumped on the trainer and attempted to knock out my ride but after 30 minutes I was struggling so I pulled the plug and took a power nap. I was for sure battling something. So I laid on the couch all day with my feet up and got a ton of work done. I went to bed early and slept just shy of 10 hours and woke feeling normal. Some times you just gotta know when you’re feeling off, and not from the training load, and rest. Over the years I’ve gotten better and making that call and not forcing things.
I’m kind of blown away with my progress only being 12 weeks into the training program. Having a structured plan on the bike and for the strength sessions works so well for me. I’m good at just doing the work… and when the plan is good, and you stay consistent, the gains will come! On the bike we did a lot of work at 32′ and 64′ power (anaerobic threshold) which isn’t too hard and you aren’t going into the red but doing these for long intervals between 8 and 16′ takes a bit of work mentally… especially if done on the trainer which was often the case for this block. The cold weather always seemed to coincide with my interval days. The trainer also makes it easy and time efficient and with as busy as things have been lately some times it’s the only way to get things done. Along with the anaerobic threshold intervals we did a weekly session of strength/big gear intervals. Big gear work is my favorite type of interval on the bike and the one I’ve seen produce the most results.
And while the weather was bad during the week for the harder rides one of the days on the weekend always seemed to be nice enough to get out for a solid long ride. So far we haven’t gone much past the 4 hour mark for long rides but the endurance is there. All the riding I did last year coupled with the work I’ve done the last 3 months has 4 hour rides feeling pretty easy beginning to end, which is a great sign considering the duration of the races I’m tackling this year.
As for the strength side of things… this is where I’m totally blown away. The plan has stayed the same (which follows the hatch protocol) and I’ve been squatting and deadlifting twice each week. The Monday session is always the heavy one and the session on Thursday is typically a bit lighter with more reps. I’ve followed the plan exactly and am pretty shocked with my new 1 rep maxes. In week 3 of this block It was time see how much we could hit for a 1 rep max for both lifts. With the stoke of having my brother in town and having him there to spot I was able to squat 190 and deadlift 250. Both of those are lifetime personal bests by a lot and I think a little shy of my true 1 rep max. I don’t really like the idea of truly maxing out and going to failure and having to drop the weight. So I’d guess my true 1 rep maxes for squat and deadlift would be 200 and 275. Those are the numbers I’ll be working off of for the next 12 weeks.
For me the type of training we’ve done the past 12 weeks is kind of my bread and butter these days and in my comfort zone. I like the long sustained intervals right at threshold and the big gear work. Block 4 is kind of the opposite. I did my first session VO2 max session on Tuesday and it hurt. I know it’s a necessary evil no matter what kind of racing you are doing but these are the kinds of sessions that mentally intimidate me just looking at them on paper (training peaks calendar). But just like everything else in he plan… I’ll just put my head down and get it done while having confidence that the end result will be some awesome fitness on the bike… and maybe a lifetime best with the way things have been going and how I’ve been feeling these past 3 months.
So that’s it for block 3 and onto block 4. I’m getting the itch to race and can’t wait to get out to socal to mix it up at the Belgian Waffle Ride.