I just finished Week 2 of my customized training plan and it seems like a good time to check back in with you all. After the Full Frontal prep week, I was not pleased to see Elements of Style on tap for Tuesday. (Pont of reference: I do strength training on Mondays and Thursdays or Fridays. I’ve not been riding on those days, but Sir Spencer has put an easier workout in on those days.) Tuesday’s Elements of Style would have followed Cadence Builds on Monday and a pretty easy week the week prior. There’s nothing wrong with Elements of Style but I was hoping for something more challenging. I get a little nervous when my calorie burn is as low as it had been for the past week or so. Sir Spencer reminded me of the extra volume and suggested I keep my complaints to myself…or he would give me something to complain about. After an appropriate eye roll, I did the work out.
It was clear to me from the Elements of Style workout that the FTP failure had really been due to something unusual. Rather than receive more pharmaceutical advice, I’ll just say it was clear my new FTP was way too low. I didn’t say anything to Sir Spencer because I had The Chores to do on Wednesday and I was a little nervous with my higher MAP and AC numbers. It was easy. The bit after the hard efforts was a piece of cake so I spoke with him afterwards and convinced him that I needed to manually increase my FTP. We negotiated halfway and since it had gone down 14, I raised it 7 to 228. Wednesday, I had Attacker on schedule and did it with the new FTP. I really like that workout – not too much recovery in between the efforts, good music, fun. It was still totally doable – not as challenging as I thought it should be. (I feel like I have a good sense of the IF and it just didn’t feel as it should.) So…I raised my FTP back up to 235 without telling anyone. I had Recovery Spin after lifting on Friday and Saturday was ISLAGIATT but at reduced intensities, so it didn’t really matter until Sunday when I had Who Dares and Extra Shot. I was able to Who Dares with my increased NM and AC and 235 for FTP so I told Sir Spencer what I had done and “convinced” him to let me leave it there until Half Monty half-way through the plan. You may think I have an unfair advantage living with the Knight who customized my plan, but I promise you, it doesn’t feel like an advantage when he’s checking the screen to make sure I’m not going too hard. Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard him tell a client to email SufCoaching if they have a problem or issue with something so that he can make adjustments. So, it turns out, the opportunity is there for everyone, I may just end up being a little more “high maintenance” as they say. Week 1 went well, and I worked out the kinks. I also enjoyed riding after lifting although I have to say, I’m famished when I do both!
Week 2 was fine, but it’s a good thing I didn’t write this until after today’s workout. I love Recharger! What a great workout for after lifting. Tuesday, Angels was reduced, and I found it hard to pedal that slowly at such low watts, but I did my best. Team Scream was another good test for the manual FTP adjustment, and it went just fine. Where I had my issues was Saturday’s, Hell Hath No Fury at such low intensities. I never thought that workout would be so BORING, but it was. I found myself singing along to the songs and standing just to get my HR up to 120. YAWN. I spent a lot of time wondering what on Earth has Sir Mac pick these seemingly random reductions in intensities like 73% or 94%. Really? 73%? Probably wanted it to be 72.87% but had to be convinced this would be just fine. The only reason I didn’t overachieve was I had to do Defender afterwards. Reduced yes, but not as much. Oh sure, of course, also because I’m doing this plan and am supposed to do as I’m told! Yes. That. Defender was fine. With the prescribed reductions, the MAP portion was lower than the FTP portion and I spent a good amount of time wondering if that was the way Sir Mac intended it or if my numbers are wacked. The whole thing was pretty low intensity (nothing over 200) but I was getting tired, so I was less cranky about it. Also, while I was grumbling about how boring it was Sir Spencer came in and evil laughed at me about me having to do Blender the next day without any reduction, putting the fear of GvA in me. I do love Blender. I find those first two MAP sections to be the most difficult of the entire workout, and once I get through those, I’m good until that last 4+ minute time trial. It all went well on Sunday. I was able to do both the 2-minute and the 4-minute efforts without too much difficulty at the higher numbers, the pain shakes went fine as did the time trails. Crushed it! Not getting too cocky, next week looks like it’s a doozy and I’ve got ISLTA on Sunday.
On Sunday there was also a coaching survey to complete. I think it’s on the plan for every two weeks so SufCoaching can make sure everything is going well. The only thing to complain about was the weird feeling I get sometimes that my coach is lurking behind me making sure I’m on the targets. Seriously though, I realize that it sounds like I am “complaining” a lot about the reduced intensities of the workouts, but that is to be expected. (Both me complaining and the reduced intensities.) I did this knowing the plan would force me to incorporate enough lowered intensity workouts so my body could make the adaptations needed to hit the targets on the “key” workouts. I fully expect to be somewhat “frustrated” during this process but if those pesky sports scientists are right, I’ll also improve as a result. See you on Strava!