Week 4 and to use a well-worn cricket phrase “Rain stopped play”! well not really but it was five out of five on the trainer. California took a beating this weekend with two storms raining through. This was the first week since starting the plan that I have ridden all 5 prescribed rides. Here is how it shook out;
Monday off; check! Felt like I was coming down with something!
Tuesday; Cirque. I was not feeling the love this morning, had a sore throat yesterday and a scratchy one this morning but it will only get worse so better to get the workout in early. Was barely hanging on at the end for the last 2 sets. 7 sets of high-power repeats lasting 15-45 seconds ranging from 120% to 150% FTP with very brief, 15 to 45-second rest periods during each set; slightly over 5 minutes of rest between sets of repeats. GC data.
Wednesday ; Pyramidal. Throat felt better. Nice spin, very happy to see that I can keep the intensity dialed back and still have a pretty good MPH. Getting closer to the average 20mph. Warm up then 40 minutes of Tempo with varying intensity every 5 minutes, cool down. GC data.
Thursday; Miter. This one really really ripped me a new one, between having a head full of snot as the cold poured out of me and tired legs I just couldn't get the pace up so I ground through this as good low cadence standing hill work, ran out of gears at the 230w mark! Miter utilizes 3 sets of 2x10min Criss-Cross intervals @ 95-99% FTP during the 2-minute valleys & 105-110% FTP during the 30-second surges as each interval criss-crosses your FTP. 1 minute of recovery separates the intervals and 5 minutes of recovery separate the 2 sets. GC data.
Friday; beer me! Runny nose, sore throat thing on its way out too!
Saturday; Silliman. After a day off this was manageable, hitting the highs on the middle set was a challenge (140%ftp) 3x15-minute sets of 1 minute On/1 minute Off where the On-segments are spent at 120, 130 or 115% FTP and the Off-segments are spent at 40% FTP. Rest between sets of intervals is 10 minutes. GC data.
Sunday; McAdie. Wasn't sure how this was going to go given the lack of recovery time from yesterday but all in all it went pretty good! 4x12-minute Over-Under intervals alternating between 2 minutes @ 95% FTP & 1 minute @ 105% FTP with 6-minute recoveries between intervals. GC data
In terms of mileage the week and the accumulation looks like this;
So a pretty solid first four weeks (of eight). My thoughts on the plan are as follows;
There is a lot of interval work, when I say a lot I mean a lot! Four out of the five rides from last week were intervals. This is no surprise at the description of the Plan from the TrainerRoad Website states;
“This is very similar to the Intermediate Build I training plan, but each weekday workout has been extended to 90 minutes with approximately 50% higher stress (TSS). Additionally, the weekends now offer an extra intervals workout in place of an endurance/tempo ride.
These are big doses of stress, maybe too big for less experienced or tired riders, so proceed with caution and choose the corresponding 60-minute version (or Base/Tempo alternative on weekend rides) of each weekday workout from the Intermediate Build I training plan when necessary.
These workouts can also be done where weekday workouts are indoors and weekend workouts are outdoors. Just take the same workout structure and bring it outdoors. For the weekend free rides, replace the 90 minute free rides with 2-3 hour rides on the type of courses that are described in the plan.”
As a reminder Training Stress Score® (TSS®) is a way of expressing the workload from a training session. It is the product of the workout’s intensity and duration. As either of these increases, TSS also increases. The formula for TSS is: TSS = (sec x NP® x IF®)/(FTP x 3600) x 100.
If you look at my TSS score from Training Peaks, the people who invented the term, the workload over that last four week has been;
Note the preceding two week were the Tour of Sufferlandria which at the time seemed tough! The TrainerRoad workouts are longer. Four of five TrainerRoad rides each week are 90 minutes compared the average day in the Tour which was 72 minutes.
So overall the intensity of training is high but that works well for me when I have limited time I want to minimize the junk miles, and intervals help do this.
I am struck by the similarities of this plan and the this and the FIRST plan which I have used successfully for 10k, HM and Marathon training, both are high intensity and highly structured. These appeal to me and I like the “do this…get that” type of philosophy when it come to training, you know you put the investment in and you get to withdraw the benefits!
Overall I am feeling stronger though and my endurance is increasing, physically there are some adaptations happening. What I need to work on now is dropping some weight. This morning I weighed in at 177lb, I would like to be sub 170 by the time the L’Etape du California on April 6th…ack only 5 weeks!
I have another 4 weeks on the plan to go which include a FTP test in 2 weeks. I am feeling pretty confident that at the end of it I will have an increase in my Threshold and bee a good place to deal with 10 hours or so of Sufferfests!