A Change of Pace
For almost four years I've been training very seriously as an endurance cyclist. The effects have been amazing: I lost over 30 kg/ 70 lb, reduced previously sky-high blood pressure, lipid and blood sugar numbers to the low end of the normal range, and transformed the way I feel about myself. All great things.
But now big changes are underway: I'm abandoning endurance training...
Cycling Training Plan
I've made some huge, fundamental changes to my training plan over the last few months: as well as a general microcycle reorganization, I've implemented large volume reductions, substantial tweaks to my high-intensity sessions, and put strength training front and centre.
It's really taken shape into something that I think is going to take my cycling to the next level. I'm really excited and impatient to implement it!
Training Notes: September 2020 – January 2021
Here's a brief update about what I've been up to.
The big changes continue. My garage gym is fully operational, and I've spent the last couple of months figuring out a decent strength training regimen; finding a good balance between strength training and cycling; as well as actually working on the technical performance of each lift.
I've mentioned before...
2020 Season Review
It's certainly been an interesting year, albeit mainly for the wrong reasons. I'm going to limit this discussion to cycling, but I think everyone has been affected by the pandemic in many ways. In my case, my personal circumstances lead me to avoid all group rides for almost the entire season from March to October. That came as quite a shock...
Training Notes: August-September 2020
The final mesocycle of the In-Season was a continuation of the approach I established over the summer: relatively low volume and high intensity. After seeing good results from this in the previous mesocycle, I wanted to make sure that it was sustainable by continuing in the same vein.
It worked. I added another 3 Watts to my 20-minute power, but the biggest improvements were higher up on the power curve...
Training Notes: July-August 2020
This block marked the start of a 3-month experimental phase with which I'm going to close out the season.
I've reduced my training time, averaging around 12 hours per week on the bike throughout this period, and upped the average intensity (although much of this intensity increase is a consequence of the reduced base load).
Analyzing my ride data over the past year or so that I've had my power meter showed...
Cycling: Volume Versus Intensity
Alan Couzens is a coach of champion endurance athletes, and has some very interesting articles up on his website.
Today I want to talk about one in particular: Are you a volume or intensity responder?, which is certainly something I've been longing to know the answer to. If you're in the same boat, read on!
Training Notes: June 2020
There's been some substantial changes this month.
I've remarked a few times about how my fitness has been consistently improving all year, and I still think that's the case. My heart rate variability (HRV, an indicator of autonomic stress) has been steadily increasing, my resting HR trending downwards, and my best efforts at a wide range of durations regularly improving. All that is good...
Reading Roundup, May 2020
My reading continues apace, again, like last month, almost entirely fiction. The exception to this is Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy, which I have just started rereading to ease me back into philosophy and adjacent subjects (Alan Ryan's On Politics is also high up on my list). I think having one fiction and one non-fiction book going simultaneously will work well, but right now I'm just having...
Using Strava for Serious Training
A LOT OF CYCLISTS, myself included, find Strava a very worthwhile tool: with by far the highest number of active users, it's the only game in town for social features (and not just for cycling, but also lesser endurance activities like running and swimming!).
The social aspect enables what I find to be the most valuable part of the Strava experience: the motivation that comes from seeing...
Training Notes: May 2020
This was another great training block, probably my best yet. Certainly recent weeks have seen the biggest sustained gain in fitness I've had for at least two years (back when I'd just started serious group rides).
My build weeks were 14, 16 and 18 hours, and I've now definitively moved to only two hard sessions per week. Wednesday and Saturday works well and allows me to go again next time out...
Training Notes: Pre-Season 2020
In navigating my way through the Pre-Season, the main stumbling block was deciding on the correct length for each mesocycle. The Post- and Off-Season blocks are quite long with a progressive increase in volume at a mostly easy pace, whereas the purpose of the Pre-Season is to build intensity on top of that base. Therefore, I settled on the idea of...
My Experience with Xert
Shortly after I got my power meter last June, I signed up with the online cycling training platform Xert.
The ideas behind it are interesting, and promising:
Firstly, a software-based adviser that recommends workouts based on your current training status. Tired or fresh? building or peaking? The recommendations will vary based on your current situation. And if you're targeting a road race...
This covers the Post- and Off-Season period, from right after my five consecutive centuries to the present, a Recovery week going into the start of the Pre-Season.
The last couple of months have gone very well: I'm feeling good and have been building my workload up to something resembling what I'm used to. I took a lot of rest and recovery time over the entire holiday period...
(Belated) Training Notes
The last notes was back around the time of the Boone Gran Fondo. This update takes everything from that point until the end of November. I'm going to post training notes much less frequently from now on, just covering any broader developments and insights from each training cycle, and see how that goes.
The Fondo went well, but my fitness progression pretty much stalled for several weeks afterwards...
My newly-updated cycling training plan is now online:
Make of it what you will!
Cycling Findings #3
Aerodynamic drag in cycling team time trials
Blocken et al., 2018
Technology has always been an integral part of cycling. Obviously, bicycles are themselves technology, and also rely on technology (i.e. good quality road surfaces) to be a practical means of transportation. Cycling has also taken its fair share of the spoils obtained from the increase in the rate of technological development..
Training Notes #26
I've been busy, so this is a two-week update. Additionally, my work schedule is about to get much more crowded, so these Notes will probably be less frequent from now on (perhaps centred around an entire training block leading up to an Event). This will also give me more time to spend writing actual cycling articles, a change of focus that I've been meaning to get around to for a while..
Weekly Training Notes #25
It was back up to speed again this week. It felt good to resume my full training load following the taper.
I did four long workouts, plus the usual recovery and commute rides, adding up to 650 km. I included a few intervals on the Tuesday endurance ride, and of course the Saturday group ride had some fast sections, but the rest of the time was endurance pace..
Weekly Training Notes #24
Recovery was the theme this week, and what do you know: it actually seemed to work!
Unfortunately, I can't know for certain just how much it worked, as the race I'd tapered for fizzled out in a rather strange way. More on that below.
The good news is that I've finally got the discipline to stick to the training program; taking sufficient recovery has always been the hardest part of training for me...
I'm here for discussion.
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!