Monday, 22 December 2008

Its all about the bike

So training has officially started in earnest. I've opened up a new xcel spreadsheet and logged in some key events on the way to Lanzarote. I am now almost running without niggles and managed to swim 4 times last week. The winter solstice is gone and I have plans. Key in all of this is as ever the bike training.

At lanzarote last year I felt disappointed with my bike (6hrs) and even IM austria at 5.04 was not quite what i hoped for (sub 5) so what are my plans to go faster. Looking at last year I think I peaked a bit early for Lanza on the bike, this year I plan to keep going large up to 20 days out. I also did not do many 5hr+ rides and this year aim to remedy this (but this means an even earlier start to fulfil family commitment to be home by midday). To help I am considering doing the tour of flanders but its proximity to Lisbon half IM in April is not gonna sit to happily with family commitments. Failing that I think a few more reps of Box Hill will probably do it.

My key weapon this year however is to get a bigger power base under me to try and improve the climbing. To this end I have started on my own pyramid sessions (actually they are more blocky than pyramid but hey). I start with a 30 min TT on my imagic and take the average power out put for this (currently about 270 watts on the imagic- not sure how accuate this is).

Using this is my base I then undertake the following sessions (every 5-7 days)

Warm up 4 mins pedalling then (3 x 1min high cadence 110+ at max power then 2 min recovery) then I do

Week 1 3 x 12 mins 270 watts with 2 min recovery between each set
Week 2 3 x 15 mins 270W
Week 3 5 x 10 mins 270W
Week 4 2 x 20 mins 270W
Week 5 CP30 (30 min tt based on weeks 1 -4)
then go back to week 1 on new wattage.

What I learn is that
a) my first tt is always way under what I can actually do
b) the first set often is the hardest
c) the jump from 3x12 to 3x15 is the worst
Using the imagic I can look historically at performance although calibration is an issue. Each step is designed to be doable, just! Last year I did this for dec jan and feb but then started riding outside all the time and lost this session. This year it is gonna stay all the way to taper time- I hope it will give the extra top end power and stickability for climbing... yeah I know you can go and climb hills but none of those round here last 12 mins or greater. Climbing at steady state is a power based issue and one I need to learn better, perhaps I should angle my turbo too!

Last year I saw a good 15% improvement in power for the CP 30 teast across 2 cycles, so this year I plan to do 4 cycles should make for 30% improvement ;-)