As I mentioned last month, training continues with my plan in place to get my CTL above 80 by the time the season starts. I’m using TrainingPeaks performance manager to plan out (and record) my training, and if I stick to my plan it should all work out. I finished October with a CTL of 65.4 and I finished November at 69.8, so all going in the right direction. I also did my first 20 minute power test to effectively set a baseline – I didn’t have an equivalent from this time last year to measure against. Increasing FTP is hard work, as I found last year, so we’ll see how I progress on a monthly basis.
It’s been another “short” month in terms of outdoor rides, with a few cyclocross races thrown in and lots of indoor work. At the start of the month I continued my improvement in muddy conditions at the Cartmel racecourse in Cumbria, finishing in my best position ever of 21st from 121 riders. The next week I was in Nottingham on taxi duty for Emma and Kate so I took the opportunity to race in the National Clarion cyclocross championships which was part of Nottingham Clarion’s edition of the Notts & Derby league at Holme Pierrepont. I was in the seniors race and it rained incessantly before, during and after so it was a ridiculous mudfest. So much so that after a promising first few laps my brake pads wore away completely leaving me in the frightening position of trying to negotiate a technical course using the old-skool method of braking – namely my feet on the floor. Inevitably I ended up crashing into a tree (which bloody hurt!) and limped to finish in 39th from 90 starters. A week later at Stadt Moers I had the opposite problem in that my brand new sintered brake pads were continually rubbing as I had hadn’t correctly adjusted them (disc brakes are the future – my arse!) and it eventually wore me down to one of my worst performances, 49th from 119.
Overall, during the month I rode 373 miles, with 15,264ft of climbing at an average speed of around 14.7mph. I used 15,266kcals of energy, with another 12,318kcals during 17hrs and 33mins of turbo time. Total training stress was 2219TSS