Sessions:6 Offseason Program Block 4 Recap

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Last week, with a down week and some power testing on the bike, I completed block 4 of the Sessions:6 Offseaon program. These posts may seem to be getting kind of redundant… but the gains keep on coming and fitness continues to prove with each block. I know that’s the point of training plan but I’m continued to be shocked by the power I’m putting out on the bike and strength I’ve build squatting and deadlifting.

On the strength side there was no peaking or maxing out but it was pretty challenging. In this block plyometrics were introduced and the lifts remained heavy with more reps at higher weights. It was challenging and definitely left me feeling pretty fatigued, in a good way, throughout the week.

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On the bike it was all about VO2 max intervals (2 & 4’). The workouts were hard, and as I wrote about last time, VO2 work has been the hardest for me in the past. I’m good at steady state, sweet spot, and intervals right at threshold…. And in all honestly when the plan I was following last year (self coached using trainer road) when it got time to start doing the hard VO2 session I kinda stopped following the plan.

This year, being coached, there was no way I was backing out. I’m stoked to say that each of the six interval sessions in the last block got progressively better and I was able to produce more power, and maybe suffer a little less, with each workout. I would literally do fist pump and say F yeah and the end of each of these sessions as I was so stoked to have gotten through them and hit or exceeded my power targets.

In these hard blocks of training I keep it pretty simple. I know I have 4 hard sessions each week. 2 strength sessions and 2 bike interval sessions. I don’t think about the big picture each week. I focus on just getting the work done each day. I know with each block my fitness is improving and I’m trusting the plan.

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The fourth and final week of the block, and every block, has been about recovery and absorbing the work. Last week also included my third power test on the bike. These are always a bit intimidating and make me nervous… almost as much racing. I’m always anxious to see tangible results of the hard training and time I’m putting in. The test remained the same as the first two. 20 min AeT interval with HR cap then 1’ – 2’ – 4’ intervals as hard as you can go. The results of the test and the two previous tests are below.

  • Interval: test 1 (10.31.2017) – test 2 (1.2.2018) – test 3 (2.27.2018)
  • 20’ AeT interval: 240 – 260 – 262w
  • 1’ Interval: 522 – 550 – 600w
  • 2’ Interval: 394 – 417 – 472w
  • 4’ Interval: 340 – 359 – 386w
  • Calculated FTP based on testing: 260 – 275 – 292w

I couldn’t be more stoked with the progress. Seeing the number go up with every test is what we are hoping for but how quickly they’ve gone up has been surprising to me. Before the plan started back in October Cody told me a great, hard to reach goal would be 600w – 500w – 400w for the 1’ – 2’ – 4’ tests. At the time I thought he was crazy and those numbers would be pretty impossible for me because they would be lifetime bests. As you can see, from the numbers above, I’m really close and on target to reach those. I really can’t believe I already hit the 1’ goal. I kinda thought holding 600w for a minute was out of reach for me. I was for sure at my limit but I think as we start working on some shorter power intervals that number may actually go up. Nuts.

The 2 & 4’ intervals went ok. I think I could have gotten closer to 500 & 400 watts with better pacing. I went out a bit too hot on both of them, paid the price in the middle of each interval, and then rallied to finish strong. Looking forward to the next test and pacing them a little smarter… well kind of… these tests are so hard and leave coughing the rest of the day from turning myself inside out during the intervals.

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After my test I posted on Instagram (shocking I know) about power and FTP. Power numbers and FTP are variable from person to person and test to test and power meter to power meter. People have asked why I feel comfortable posting all my data as some athletes purposely won’t and try keep their numbers and training secret. Over the years I’ve never been afraid to share it because I don’t think it matters. My numbers are not high compared to a lot of guys I race so I am for sure not posting them to brag or show how much power I can (or can’t) put out. I don’t think people seeing my data will give them any kid edge racing against… and if they do… good for them… we’ll see what happens on race day.

Power meters and ways of recording power can be quite different. Whether measured using a smart training, hub based power meter, crank based power meter, pedal based power meter, or virtual power on a standard trainer the only thing that matters is that you have a repeatable test using the same recording device(s).  If you see improvement doing that then you are on the right track. I’ve never look at somebody’s FTP or power numbers that they put out and get intimidated. Some people are better at testing and others bring more on race day than they can in training. For me it has always been the latter. So while I’m stoked on the progress on my numbers… they are just numbers and a lot more (strategy/pacing, taper, nutrition, and willingness to suffer)  goes into having good races.

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my number one supported and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary last month. life gets better everyday… seriously.

In other, more exciting news, I’m officially registered to race Dirty Kanza. I can’t tell you how stoked, and relieved, I am. I honestly didn’t think I’d get a transfer slot but my training was still fueled by the small possibility of getting again. Needless to say to my motivation has hit a new level. We are just over 12 weeks out from race day in Emporia. I still have a lot of work to do… especially in the endurance department but I love that kind of training. In just over 5 weeks I’ll be lining up at the Belgian Waffle Ride in SoCal. I’m really looking forward to that one as a long, hard, “fun” training day.

I also have a new bike on the way but that will have it’s own post. I’ve been selected to be an ambassador for Allied Cycle Works. Check them out. They are an incredible company that I am honored to represent.

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oh yeah… baseball season starts soon… and damn we (our entire family) can’t wait! Go Pads!

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that’s it for now… back to work!

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  1 comment for “Sessions:6 Offseason Program Block 4 Recap

  1. Brian Gunn
    March 8, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Awesome work. Great to see progress like that. Can’t wait to see the finished bike!

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