Monday, January 17, 2011

Form = Fitness + Freshness

It's one of the Pithy Power Proverbs that came along with the introduction of the Performance Manager Andy Coggan introduced to so many of us in 2006.

Five years on and it still works.

In the last couple of weeks I've been bouncing around with a Chronic Training Load (CTL - "fitness") above 100 TSS/day (see link for an explanation of these terms) but had some external life stresses and work commitments (like refurbishing and expanding a growing indoor cycle training centre amongst other things) which combined saw me "crack" a little in training. Not badly, just enough to know it was time for a little recovery.

By cracking a little I mean being unable to successfully complete a scheduled hard tempo session within a desired power range a couple of times and one endurance ride that was a bit of a grovel. One bad day isn't always a sign, but 2-3 examples not far apart is something usually worth taking a closer note of.

So I shut down the session the second time it happened and had a rest day the next day. It is also very hot and humid when I get to train which likely did not help, and combined with insufficient sleep, well the signs were all there.

So an extra day's rest, combined with a few no-bike days due to coaching work commitments saw a sharpish drop in Acute (recent) Training Load (ATL) and a corresponding rise in Training Stress Balance (TSB - "freshness").

On Saturday I had my regular squad training group (which I run) and said to myself that if I feel OK, I would go race in the afternoon.

As it turns out, I did feel pretty good in the morning, so I decided to line up for a crit that afternoon (at Sydney's Heffron Park).

I win.

Which is always nice of course. A good way to start the year off.

Winning move was made when I attacked with a bit under 3km to go.

A few things to note for day of race:
- FTP: 295W - my last TT in December was @ 297W (38-minutes)
- CTL: 96 TSS/day
- TSB: +19
- NP*: 300W (50-minutes)
- AP^: 257W

Race was not overly hard, I was pretty well in control most of the time. I had a solo break mid-way but that failed due to a rear puncture (was given a replacement wheel and allowed to rejoin main group).

The final 4-minutes of the race was a new
all-time best 4-minute W/kg.

Now ordinarily I wouldn't expect to feel so good with TSB that high. Neutral to somewhat positive TSB yes, but at +19, sometimes you feel underdone or legs are a bit claggy. Not today.

Fresh and Fit. Toss smart into the mix and well, wins are there to be had.

By the way, I know it's been way too long since I've posted. It's just been a very busy 12-months. All good stuff and I hope to be able to get back to more regular posting. I have a backlog of items to write about!

A super full year of events coming up in 2011. So much happening on the coaching, training and racing front, I will endeavour to keep y'all updated!

* Normalised Power
^ Average Power

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