Thursday, March 8, 2012

Winter Training Update...

First train block is almost complete, so I figured I would put some thoughts on paper…. or at least virtual paper. One of my training goals this year was to have a more structured approach. Part of what I wanted to do within the structure is to do a “push up” approach instead of a “pull up” one. For those that don’t know these terms, it has to do with how you achieve better functional threshold power or FTP. The “pull up” approach is where you focus on threshold power and above to raise your FTP by improving the anaerobic portion. This has been more or less the approach I have taken as it is easier to do hard short intervals and/or basically ride hard all the time. This works great for short term gains, but you hit a wall and then crash and burn part way through the season. The “push up” approach starts with a base phase that is composed of longer easier rides that build muscle endurance and efficiency. This process builds the aerobic engine which makes up the other part of the fueling of the muscles at FTP. The first step is to build a “base” (i.e. Base Miles), which will be the foundation for the harder efforts later on. Since base is mainly endurance riding, the time on the bike is\can be a lot longer in order to stress the system. To accomplish this, Brian and I decided it would be best to ride in the morning before work. I was a little apprehensive about this (5AM or earlier is well... early!), but it has worked out for the most part thus far. It’s nice to ride when your legs are fresh in the AM and your mind isn’t stressed from the day’s events. It also is nice to have time in the evening to spend with Mary Ann and the kids, without thinking about having to get on the bike.

The hours on the bike, year to date, have been pretty crazy relative to years past. To give a relative indicator, I have ridden almost as many hours this year as I did the first 6 months of last year!! The cool part is that I have actually been able to put a fair amount of the time in outside. I am finally starting to get this cold weather clothing choice dialed in to where I can be comfortable, although hopefully most of the cold is behind us!

Barry Roubaix is coming and since it is not an “A” race, I am not doing any specific training. It will be interesting to see how well I can manage my matches on the hills with no top end training. I am excited to see how the time on the bike thus far will translate into speed and time at the race.

See you guys in a couple weeks!

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