Last week was test week …🤔

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Last week was test week.

Every 4 weeks, I re-test my fitness. I divide the year into three-3 month training cycles, each culminating with a distance cycling event. This time of year, I am inside lifting weights, and spinning all the while staring at myself in the floor-to-ceiling mirror situated in front of the spinning bikes. I tire of that 😂 My focus is on power, and cardiovascular fitness. As the year progresses, and the weather improves, I am outside on the road bikes more frequently, where I work on cycling skills – climbing, descending, group rides, speed, and strategy – as well as fitness.

Pacific Populaire

I have 5 weeks until the first century ride of the year, the Pacific Populaire, and I have only been on one of the road bikes once this entire year. This is why –

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What I awoke to this morning

However, I have been training, and in some respects, am in the best shape of my life. I have a VO2 Max comparable to some professional cyclists (🤔), and my power ratios (1 RM Leg Press / weight and average wattage / weight)) puts me in the 20-29 year old category (🤔).

I can’t loose 😂

This time of year, I enjoy training indoors with a power meter, and heart rate monitor. I am able to train regularly, gradually increasing the load as I progress. I have seen improvement in all categories – VO2 Max, leg & core strength, and resting heart rate. The only thing I’m disappointed with is my weight. I have actually put weight on over the winter. I suppose this is not unusual when the days are shorter, and cold. My ideal cycling weight is 160-165 pounds, and I would like to be within this range by April.

I don’t want to bore you with these numbers. They are specific to me, and my cycling goals. I have included them simply as an illustration of what  you might track. You, no doubt, are at a different fitness level, and have different goals. What I do want to talk about however is the benefit of having a daily training plan, and the need to monitor your progress.

Benefits of a Daily Plan

For me, it is important to have a daily plan. If I don’t have daily goals, I find my workouts are less focused, ineffective, and quite frankly, less enjoyable. I tape a weekly schedule on my locker door, the wall beside my desk at home, and my water bottle:

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You can see I’m careful to vary the workouts, and gradually increase the intensity as the week progresses. I have found 45-60 minutes is enough on the spinning bike, provided I spin 6 days a week. When I cycle outside, I can easily ride for 2-3 hours. So, rather than increase my workout duration, I increase the lifting loads, and wattage output. This is the purpose of re-testing my fitness every 4-6 weeks, so I know how much to dial up the workload. Without regular testing, I have no idea, other than feel, whether I’m improving, or not.

Despite having to see myself in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors every day, training indoors is a more controlled environment. There is no wind, no traffic, no descents, and no drafting. A 45-60 minute spinning workout is consistent, controlled, and taxing. I work harder during these sessions than I do outdoors.

Priorities for March

This month, as I prepare for the Pacific Populaire, my objectives have changed. After reviewing my most recent test results, these are my priorities for the month.

  1. Maintain my current strength, and cardiovascular fitness – my numbers are good for this time of year. What is more important is to get back on the bike more.
  2. Ride the bikes at least 3 times a week, gradually increasing the duration and distance.
  3. Lose 4-5 pounds – this alone will improve my power ratios, provided I maintain my current strength.
  4. Be rested for the event – extra rest, a reduced workout load, and adequate tapering is necessary.

Do you have a daily plan?

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Last week was test week …🤔

  1. Nope. I don’t have a daily plan other than to get all the things done that need to be done. I’m impressed by your commitment and it must feel good to be in such great shape.

    • You have your hands full with work, children, piano concerts, a garden, and a new home. That’s enough to keep you busy, and in shape. No wonder you are in bed by 9 😂

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