Weekly training update 11-17 March

Thought I’d restrict the training posts to once per week, unless there is something significant to report.  I’ve had quite a good 7 days, 4 decent quality rides in that time.  I have started paying attention to the TSS (Training Stress Score) reported by TrainerRoad.  TSS is a way of measuring your training efforts, in terms of duration and intensity.  A 1 hour ride at FTP yields 100 TSS.  I can’t measure today’s club ride, but based on the scores for the turbo rides I’ve been doing, I estimate it at 150 (hopefully this is conservative).  This means my weekly total is around 450 TSS.  I’m aiming to exceed 400 each week.

On Monday I rode my favourite Sufferfest video, There Is No Try.  This is the first time I’ve ridden it since raising my FTP from 257 to 269 ‘watts’.  I reset the relative level to 100% and was still able to ride harder than the required level at the most stressful times (typically the end of an interval set).  Here’s a pic:

Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 14.40.55


I rested Tuesday and Wednesday, then did the ‘Hour of Power’ on Thursday night.  In fact I had planned to ride it on Wednesday, but I wimped out 😦 As I’ve said before, it’s the most unpleasant ride I do, because it’s hard AND monotonous.  The only part I like is the end.  That and the progress it is showing.  I was afraid of it a little this week, because I had raised FTP based on the results from last week.  The ride demands 101% of FTP, meaning I had to ride 1% harder than last week.  I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I did, beating last week’s ride by 4 ‘watts’.  It’s very pleasing to get an improvement each week, however small.  Long may it continue (it won’t…)  Here’s a pic:

Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 14.50.04


One thing I find interesting is the drift in heart rate.  5 minutes into the 101% interval my heart rate was 135bpm.  At the end, just before I cranked it up, it had risen to 152bpm.  That’s a 17bpm rise for the same measurable effort.  If it applies generally, and from what I read in the community it does, this has big implications for those of us who use heart rate to monitor our effort.  Basically, if I had attempted to keep heart rate the same throughout (instead of speed/power), I’d probably have been pedalling 10% less hard by the end…

I was planning to ride with the Peterborough Cycling Club today, but I wanted to get a ride in yesterday.  I didn’t want to ride too hard, to save the legs.  So Sufferfest videos were out.  I’ve been reading Andrew Coggan & Hunter Allen’s book, Training and Racing with a Powermeter.  They suggest a number of workouts for specific intensities.  I wanted a ‘sweet spot’ session, the sweet spot is a level just below FTP that is supposed to provide decent gains, but without destroying you too much.  So I used the TrainerRoad custom workout designer to create a workout based on one in the book.  I tweaked it a little.  Here’s a pic of the 90 minute ride:

Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 15.00.41


Notice that the main two long intervals are below the grey FTP line (91% of FTP, in fact).

Today I rode with the club, as planned.  Unfortunately the ride itself did not go as planned.  I had looked at the weather forecast and decided a base layer and long sleeve jersey would suffice, as only light showers were forecast.  In fact it rained quite hard from the word go.  The intensity increased and the temperature dropped, until the rain turned to snow as we entered Rutland.  I was woefully under-dressed for that.  With one hour to go I started shivering, I can’t remember properly shivering like that in my adult life (I lead a sheltered existence, I know…).  I could not operate the brakes properly, and I had to use my right hand to change gears on the left hand lever.  I started dreading the downhill sections and longing for the uphills, because I would freeze downhill and get just a little warmer on the climbs.  When I got home, my lovely wife Roz had to help me undress and get me into the bath.  I was in a proper state.  I don’t think I’ll forget it for some time.  Here’s the ride on Strava, and a screenshot:

Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 15.11.37


Thanks for reading 🙂




Posted on March 17, 2013, in Training. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Mate. you were very unlucky with the conditions. One of those days where +1 more layer could have left you sweating in a sauna, so very difficult to prepare for. I’ve had similar experiences and found the worst bit is the pain you get in the fingers. I’ve rarely cried in my adult life but I do remember one january ride back in the Didcot days where the frost bite in my fingers nearly reduced me to that. Here’s to spring!

    • I’d have given a lot of money for that extra layer! Cold fingers is a problem I get regularly on the commute. Still not found decent gloves, though Sam has put me onto some Specialized ones to try. As I write (Tuesday morning) the ends of both thumbs and index fingers are still a bit sore and slightly numb. And I’ve started with an ear infection! Off to the docs this morning, hopefully.

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