My Facebook news feed was filled with road cycling pictures last weekend. Those pictures were taken by cyclists who had enjoyed the great weather. I too enjoyed the sun and had a pretty good week of training, some 15 hours in the saddle and plenty of sunshine. Riding outside, spending longer times in the saddle actually felt super good and the body adapted to it immediately. No fatigue whatsoever. No looking at the Garmin 810 to look for how many kilometers I had tracked or how many hours I got left until I could head home. Just pure enjoyment.
It has been a pretty busy week. It began with easy training, a business trip to Stockholm and then rounding up with an FTP test, Winter Olympic Games start and beginning of the Tour of Qatar.
Last Sunday I took a spin outside, probably the hardest outdoor workout this winter. It had been snowing a lot and since the temperature was around zero degrees, it was hard to keep the bike straight. In the worst places, uphill with loads of loose snow my speed was around 5 km/h and my heartbeat was around 180 bpm. With every pedal-stroke the rear wheel just kept spinning and the bike was wildly sliding from side to side. And that ride was supposed to be an easy aerobic day...
On Monday I took an easy recovery spin, and then I had to rest for two days because of a trip to Stockholm.
On Friday I had the second FTP test for this year. I was not too confident going into the training. My goal was to raise the FTP value with at least 10 watts, and honestly this time the test felt much harder than before. Having given it my all, I actually ended up with +14 watts, a huge surprise. Having lost 2 kg's weight this year, I actually already nailed my off season W/kg record, which feels good having trained less than I would have wanted to.
On Friday the Winter Olympic Games also finally begun, the Olympics are always a spectacle I love to watch. After the opening ceremony I rewarded myself with Friday-Sauna.
On Sunday the Tour of Qatar started, and what a start. Great breakaway effort by IAM Cycling Team once again, and I'm really excited to see what the team will be able to show during this tour!
On Sunday we also saw Enni Rukajärvi take the first Finnish medal in Women's Slopestyle. Great silver medal, hopefully one of many to come.
Next week I really need to improve my training. Even if I had a couple of weeks with too few hours, I'm glad to see I'm improving and also glad I've been able to reduce my weight without losing muscles. The goal is to still lose some 5 kg's before summer.
A month or so and we are out on our road-bikes!?
Finally getting those harder intervals in my schedule. Today I had my first FTP test for the winter season. I had forgotten how hard those are.
There's nothing better than a Friday post workout chilling with ice-hockey on TV and Sauna.
Now I'm off to Sauna. I'll get back to you with more pictures and stories during the weekend.
Just awesome to be back in business (training) after a period of snuffles and crappy feeling. Now a week into daily training routines and it all feels superb. And tomorrow I'll have the first FTP test that will illustrate the progress made so far. It's a pity I had a 4 week break in the middle of the training, it will surely have an effect on the FTP test. But still, I'm pretty hopeful about the outcome. I hope I'm able to add at least + 5 watts to my FTP. I'll let you know how it went when I'm done with it, and also enlighten a little bit how the training actually looks like and how it's all done.
I also received new pedals, the Look Keo Blade (Carbon), and used them now for a week. Really snappy and stable pedals, a big upgrade from my old pedals. I'll write more about them when I've been able to test them outdoors as well.
Enjoy the weekend!
Working out, getting the right mixture of indoor cycling and weightlifting with the right nutrition and enough time for recovering. There are so many aspects to think of, and so many possible ways of failure, not to mention our bodies are all different. When I first started road cycling, I never thought I'd begin with weightlifting and gym. But as years passed I realized that was the only way to make proper progress.
Using the trainer with your roadbike is a good way to keep fit and push that FTP (functional threshold power), but in the long run you'll notice your body needs other training as well. As I noticed this summer, I underrated the importance of the core, and by doing so had back injuries that kept me off the bike for a too long period of the short summer.
So while all coaches recommend you to begin cross training, activating and building your core, you might wanna know what you're about to do before you begin. There are several books and blogs about this subject, and later on I'll review some of the books I found were the best and most useful.
I have recently built up a training-plan and for the next weeks I'll be reworking it, listening to my body, carefully developing it to avoid further injuries. It is important to remember, there are no certain blueprints on how to successfully become better, but you'd be a fool If you wouldn't carefully read what the professionals and the scientists have been writing about the topic. So in the next couple of weeks and during the winter I will let you know more about my training methods and also about the possible mistakes I make so you can avoid them! Hopefully you'll find it both interesting and useful!
Until next time, take care and remember to relax!