I have been away for awhile, training hard for the first century ride of the season, and focusing on improving pedalling power.
I’m pleased with my progress, and added another randonneur pin to my growing collection. I completed the Pacific Populaire in the best time ever, averaging over 25 kph over a hilly, windy route. There is a 15 km climb near the end that has always been a challenge in the past. This year, I powered up at a steady, fast pace. I have improved my FPT by over 13%, and more importantly, my power to weight ratio by 15% in just 2 months. Sure, I have more to do, but this is a good start to the season.
This is the first winter I have trained with a power meter. I can see why cyclists like it. There is no cheating. No slacking off. You know exactly how hard you are working (or not). I’m not certain I would invest in one for my bike (they are expensive), but I would like it if I did. It’s the best, most reliable training method. The key to improvement is to train regularly at your lactate threshold, and the power meter helps you do that.
I’m working on a training schedule for the next month in preparation for the Canada Day Populaire, a 150 km ride on July 1st. I need to take my workouts outside on the road. This is easier said than done. It’s easy to get outside. The weather is improving. But I do not have a power meter on the bikes. And I can’t control my effort the same as I can on a spinning bike where there is no traffic, hills, or wind. I do have a heart rate monitor, and during the last several months, I have calibrated power output with my heart rate. The good thing is that I have a lot of hills and mountains to climb just outside my back door. I can simulate tempo and lactate threshold workouts with hill repeats and long mountain climbs.
During the winter months, I lift weights and stretch regularly. I’ll continue to lift twice a week and make certain I stretch after EVERY ride. I say that but each year as the weather warms, after a ride I hang the bike in the shop, and then shower without ever stretching.
I am still working on how best to take my workouts outside on the bike. This is what April looks like right now based on a 20 week training programme recommended for the Whistler Gran Fondo. The happy faces mean I have completed the workout 😀
In some ways, I think I work harder in the gym than on the road. The workouts are shorter but more intense.