The beginning/middle of March usually marks the start of the race season for me. It’s nearly time to see whether the training I have been doing has paid off. February has been a big month, both in terms of volume and intensity, but this off-season I’ve taken charge of my own approach rather than rely on a coach to tell me what to do. With that comes a nervousness about the efficacy of what I’ve done. What I have attempted to do is build up to be training at levels much more like the type of racing I will do – namely time-trialling. That involves more volume at these levels, less at lower and higher levels. I think it has paid off. Certainly the recordable evidence, such as CTL and FTP, suggest that it has (my most recent 20 minute power test has shown a big increase over this time last year). Subjectively I feel strong and think I’m better able to push through lactic “burn” in my legs. I can hold bigger numbers for longer than this time last year. My aim was to try to increase my FTP slightly and have a CTL above 80 by the date of my first race, and then hold it as well as I could, with mini-tapers and peaks for key races. My CTL is currently around 86 so I’m on track to meet my aim, and my FTP is up about 15W on last year. But, of course, the only real indicator that matters will come when I have a number on my back and start riding for real. I’ve been out to shakedown the TT bike and I struggled with my position and getting back to putting out the power whilst in that position. Still, that’s nothing new as it happened every year and usually takes most of March to shake it out of the system and get back to riding aero again. I finished last season feeling really happy with my position so I was hoping it would just “click” and maybe it will – just not yet it seems!
Overall, during the month I rode 395 road miles, with 18,169ft of climbing at an average speed of around 16.3mph. I used 13,883kcals of energy, with another 18,843kcals during 23hrs and 46mins of turbo time. Total training stress was 2795TSS.