The Occasional Athlete
Well, it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy (lazy!) My condensed 2020 race season is over so I thought I would write a wrap-up post and lay out my plans for 2021. My season actually finished in late August. I found myself getting really fatigued, plus I had some kind of stomach bug (not the ‘rona!), which really knocked me for six. Time for a break.
I had a moderately successful season. I was consistently hitting around 22:30 for 10 mile time trials and got my personal best down to 22:21. My best power was 303W - slightly higher than my FTP. Not bad for my time trial bike, which has a far more aggressive position than my road bike.
At the start of the year I set myself some goals. How did I do against these?
So, what’s the plan now? I had about five weeks of unstructured training after my last race, which comprised mostly of not-cycling and ticking off a few of the 100 climbs in Devon. My first target next year is the Tour of the Pennines in early May - 125km with just over 2,000m of climbing. If I manage to get another place at the Fred Whitton Challenge, though, I’ll do that instead. I feel like I have unfinished business there after having to walk all the really steep bits last year!
After that it will be back to time trials - hopefully we’ll get a full season next year! I have plenty of room for improvement. Aside from simply pushing more watts my position needs work. I need to get lower. This probably won’t be as simple as slamming my stem! I may need a frame with a steeper seat post to keep my hip angle open.
I’ll also be spending a lot more time in position on my TT bike, something I haven’t done enough of this year. My plan is to do all my shorter sweet spot and threshold sessions on my TT bike and use my road bike for the more intense (VO2max and above) and longer sessions. Time wise I think a 21 minute 10 is within reach.
As for my FTP, I had a very large increase of 40W over the first six months of this year. I’m starting at a much higher level now, which will make a large increase more difficult. However, I also won’t have a large caloric deficit as I’m no longer trying to lose weight, which should make it easier. I’m going to shoot for a 30W increase to 330W by the Tour of the Pennines in May.
Unfortunately, this planned FTP increase didn’t started well. I lost way more fitness than I thought during my five weeks off. When I started base training my FTP had dropped from 300W to 278W. At first I thought this was a mistake but my next few session confirmed this was indeed the correct value! However, I’m now in week five of my first six week block and am feeling stronger every session so I’m hoping to be back at best by Christmas.
All in all this has been a pretty good sporting year for me. Right now I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been and am loving cranking out training. I can’t wait for next season!