The Occasional Athlete

A cyclist trying to be fast(-ish) again

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Holiday Training and Proper Recovery

My two-week break started out well. The lead up to Christmas was my biggest week of training since the summer and I nailed all three quality workouts. Last week, my recovery week after a five week training block, was less good. I’ve been enjoying the holiday season a bit too much, not been getting enough sleep and eating badly, resulting in me not feeling at all recovered.

I started my next block of training yesterday with a ramp test and my lack of recovery showed. My legs felt stiff and heavy, as they have been all week. Despite this, I hit a new functional threshold power (FTP) of 246W, up 3% from the 239W I posted six weeks ago. Whilst this is an improvement I was expecting more. Don’t forget I came into the last block very under-trained, so based on past experience I would have expected nearer a 5-10% improvement.

The take away from this? Just because you’re not training hard during a recovery week you still need to pay attention to the non-cycling aspects of training - eating properly and getting plenty of sleep.

So, what has my next block of training got in store? As I’ve mentioned previously I’m working my way through TrainerRoad’s plans and started sweet spot base 2 this week. I’ll be increasing the intensity by introducing a weekly VO2max workout and spending more time around FTP. I’m also going to increase my volume. In the last block I was riding four times per week, so I’m going to try and up that to five by adding in an easy ride mid-week. Also, now the holiday season is over I can start paying much more attention to my diet and sleep. Perhaps I’ll try and get the odd nap in during the day!

That’s all for now. Happy new year everyone!