I think there are too many memes in circulation. They are usually trite nonsense designed to make the sharer look clever and therefore unsurprisingly Facebook and LinkedIn are both full of them. So it’s very rare for one to actually capture my attention and resonate with me This one does (btw click on the image to go to the authors website – very talented). As I wrote last month, being ill set me back. And somewhat disappointingly I find myself at exactly the same level at the end of January as I was at the end of November. But that is a reason to continue working hard and putting the effort in. Especially as it is now only 6 weeks to the start of the racing season and training really counts now. However, it’s also at this time of the year that I begin to have doubts about whether I have done enough, whether it is the right training and whether it will translate into actual speed on the bike. So this graphic was a timely reminder to keep perspective and keep doing the things I have been doing and hopefully it will pay off.
So I started the New Year with a hard session on New Year’s day and spent most of the month completing the rest of TrainerRoad’s Sweetspot Base High Volume II plan. It had taken me several weeks longer than planned as I restarted it after my illness but I finally finished it a week or so ago. I’m now moving on to the Sustained Power Build plan, which started with a new power test. This ended up with an FTP basically the same as my last test at the end of November. I had to dig pretty deep for that too – feeling physically sick at the end of the session, so as I say, I was disappointed. This is where keeping a training diary comes in useful. I looked up my last test and I can see that I came into it after a rest day and with a positive training stress balance (TSB) – the equivalent of form. Due to family commitments I had rearranged January’s test so that I was without a rest day before and so had a negative TSB. My average and normalised power had increased by a small amount. So I suppose it wasn’t as bad as I thought – probably a slight improvement, but as I’m my own worst critic I struggled to take it as a positive. Maybe writing it here will help! Of course, I may be bumping against the upper limit of what my ageing body is capable of so I will take another test towards the end of February to see. However, if I go into the season with my current FTP it will still be better than last season so again, take the positive Ade, take the positive!
During the month I managed to get outside a few times but the weather has been typically cold and I’m looking forward to it warming up a bit. I’m also still a bit heavy, which makes going up hills a bit harder but shouldn’t be an issue for time-trialling. In addition to eating anything and everything over Christmas, I’ve been trying to eat a bit more since then in a (so far futile) attempt to increase my power. Still time yet but I think I need to lose a kilo or so of bodyfat before the season starts. I’m sticking with my aero kit from 2016 but took the opportunity to try some new gear on recently!
Trying out new aero lids…
The final weekend of January was also the Manchester & District Time Trials Association Annual Luncheon & Prize Presentation. I came 2nd in the Cheshire Points Series and 3rd in the Best All-Rounder (BAR) but was part of a Seamons trio that won both of the same team trophies as well as the South Lancashire Shield 100 mile team trophy – which is literally massive! Seamons also won one of the other team prizes that I wasn’t part of but that is one of the great things about being part of this club. There is a strong and talented bunch of riders and even if you don’t win yourself there is usually a chance of a team prize. Other strong riders make for a great incentive and motivation. The medals were very nice too, so thanks to all the volunteers and organisers who made the events and the competition possible, as well as organised the lunch and presentation.
Overall, during the month I managed 343 miles outdoors with 19,799ft ascent at around 15.5mph average, which used up around 14,009kcals. I spent 28 hours and 25 minutes on the turbo using a further 23,469kcals. Total for the month was 2,882TSS