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First week done!

Happy Monday all!

Here's a summary of last week's training:

Mon - nothing

Tue - gym session (wattbike)

Wed - nothing

Thu - gym session (wattbike)

Fri - nothing

Sat - 50km ride

Sun - rest

I figured it would be good to know what my current FTP was, considering it had been 3 months (and a lot of eating and drinking) since the last test. This way I can structure my workouts over the next couple of months appropriately and work to the right power zones.

For anyone who doesn't know what FTP is, it is an estimate of the maximum average power output that you could sustain for an hour (FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power). Power is measured as the force being applied through the pedals during its rotation. It is most useful when used alongside weight to calculate a power to weight ratio as 250 watts when weighing 70kg will propel you along faster than 250 watts when weighing 90kg. At the end of 2017 I had an FTP of 210w when weighing 67kg...

With that explained, here is the output from last Tuesday's test:

The 4th line down is the all important figure there. 187W is actually better than I was expecting to see at this stage! Even more so considering the bike was slightly broken and I couldn't adjust the reach so it was an unusual position for me. I reckon this could translate to 190, maybe even 195 on the road (indoor trainers are always a little lower due to the lack of oxygen and the heat/perspiration build up tiring you out a lot quicker).

The eagle-eyed of you may have spotted something a little more worrying though... An average heart rate of 176! Considering this was a 20 minute test, that meant my heart was beating at nearly 3 beats per second for 20 full minutes! Well, at least it left me in no doubt what I need to focus on for the next month or so. My heart rate has always been higher than usual but even that is very unusual. That's what bad diet and alcohol will do to you, folks!

So after Tuesday's results, I figured Thursday's session (and indeed most of my indoor sessions throughout January) should focus on fat burning and getting my insides back into shape. With that in mind, I loaded up a GCN training video on YouTube, plugged my headphones in and followed their instructions. Honestly, if you don't have the ability to get on Zwift/TrainerRoad/Sufferfest then these training videos are the next best thing. I used them all last year and will continue to do them this year while I am stuck using a Wattbike at the gym. They're also brilliant because most of them are 30-40 minutes long which means you can fit them in perfectly into an evening gym session. I tend to get home from work, eat dinner straight away (6-6.15pm) and then start my gym session around 7.30-8pm. I'm always out of there by 9.30 so it is very manageable around a working schedule, whether in the morning or the evening.

This session was a Hill Repeat interval session. 8 intervals, 4 high cadence and 4 low cadence, where you buried yourself for 45 seconds before having 3 minutes of trying to recover while maintaining a steady "Tempo" pace (or ~80% of your FTP [you can see why it's useful to know your FTP now]), luckily with a couple of minutes rest sandwiched in the middle of the session.

This is a summary of how the session looks on a graph. The percentages at the top relate to the power distribution between my legs and my right leg is clearly more dominant which is something else to work on over the next few months.

If you're going to be training on a wattbike at the gym then definitely make sure you download the Wattbike Hub app. You can connect up to most of the bikes through bluetooth and get this nice summary of your workout afterwards. Very helpful!

Saturday was a nice sunny day so I headed out on the bike for what was supposed to be a 60km ride but due to uprooted trees closing some roads I had to improvise and muddled together a ride that was just short of 50km. All in all, it was 50km where I didn't let up and included a short sharp climb that pitched up to 18% at one point so I felt like it was a good productive ride at the end of it!

As you can see, heart rate still well up there but that will gradually reduce over time until an average for the ride will be in the 150s, maybe 140s.

Anyway, that's definitely enough for today!

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Thanks for reading and check back in a week for more updates :)