September – Season Review

Ade's Road Cycling Blog - Time Trial
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As I was on vacation from work for the 1st week in September I spent much of it riding my bike for fun. As a consequence of that when it came to my race on the first Saturday of the month my training stress balance (TSB) was significantly negative. I wasn’t too concerned because it was only a 10 on the Rainford D10/1 course so I figured it would be over relatively quickly. It came as no surprise then that I found the race physically challenging, especially on the section into a headwind, on what was a fairly breezy day. My time wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. 21:43, 4th from 50 riders

A stressful week back at work put paid to any idea of meaningful training but I still felt physically and mentally drained by the following weekend. And I’d foolishly arranged two races – it had seemed like a good idea many weeks before when I entered. I knew that it would be a struggle during my warmup, with my heartrate elevated above what it normally is for my standard routine. And so it proved. I set off at a power below what I was comfortably holding for the full 25 miles earlier in the season and just got gradually worse. By 15 miles I was struggling to hold my 50 power as I was caught by my minute-man, and in the last couple of miles it dipped into 100 power territory. By the end I was glad it was over which is not really like me. TrainingPeaks later confirmed my highest 20 minute heartrate of 2019 for my lowest 25 mile power. 55:36, 7th from 54 riders

The next morning I had an early rise to get to Levens in time for my 8:38am start time. Surprisingly I felt a bit better than the previous day and for the first time in 18 months it wasn’t absoluetly chucking it down! My legs were still quite sore and my power was a bit lower than it should be but I managed to knock a whole second off my L1015 course best – yay me! Relatively speaking it wasn’t a great time but I was happy that I didn’t feel terrible. 20:40, 14th from 69 riders

Ade's Road Cycling Blog - Time Trial
Thanks to and © Christian Fox

The Stretford Wheelers 25 on J2/9 was the last race of the season and turned into a bit of a Farmers Revenge ride! The weather was really nice – a great end to what has been a wet and windy year. I got caught behind a tractor for about 3 or 4 miles, finding myself freewheeling behind it being dragged along slightly slower than I would have liked, but not slow enough to allow me to safely overtake. And then another tractor a bit later. Ah well, them’s the breaks. 54:42, 5th from 68 riders

Quick Season Summary

It’s always a bit of a challenge to review a season but usually you start with your goals. This year I only really had one – the VTTA National 50 mile championship where I wanted to podium. I came 4th. However, there were lots of things on the way to take away and analyse from the season, so here’s a few

  • My average 10 mile power (averaged over all open 10s across the season) has shown a steady decline since 2015. 2019 was 10W lower than my peak in 2016
  • In complete contrast, the same power for 25M, 50M, 100M and 12hr in 2019 was equal to or higher than it’s ever been. I was particularly proud of getting my best ever 25M average power (5W higher than the 10M average mentioned above…)
  • More actual time podiums in 2019 than last year (but not quite as many as 2016). More actual time top 10’s than ever and in the prizes more often than ever, averaging just under £30 per race
  • Against veterans I managed to be 1st on standard 8 times, 1st age group 5 times and podium on standard another 6 times
  • I managed to set personal course bests on 6 local courses that I regularly ride, plus my best ever 50M time on a Cheshire course
  • Did an awesome review of Belgian Buns – read it here

What Now?

Now it’s time for a short break. Then I’ll start the whole process again. I’ll be doing an extended base period, mainly sweetspot indoors and long, slow rides outdoors. As I’m over 50 I will maintain some VO2 Max work as per Joe Friel’s Fast after Fifty advice and I will lift some weights. Check back in for a bit more detail on all of that soon.

Ade's Road Cycling Blog - Time Trial
Thanks to and © Timon Key

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