I’m a long time runner. Started training for triathlons in 2018. First tri season was 2019 and I did 5 sprint tri’s. I did all my own home made workouts with input from some training sites. Basically ended up doing mostly random interval sessions with most workouts ending up as sweet spot or zone 2. That got me good as a time trialist, but I had little high end power and hill courses were tough. Frankly, I needed more structured training. But I don’t have the time/money for a personal coach. I started marathon training and longer bike sessions and shorter but more frequent swim sessions with the plan of doing an Olympic Tri in May, 2020.
Enter Covid. I ran the LA marathon the beginning of March then immediately went into self-isolation due to the risk encountered at the marathon, the subsequent lockdowns, and at-risk family members. My Olympic tri was cancelled. I took the rest of March off to recover from the marathon. Then it was hard to get back into training and being to do it safely.
I joined The Sufferfest the end of March and did FF in April and then started my first training plan. This was all on my $20 second-hand dumb trainer using virtual watts. It was not surprise and completely expected when I did my first 4DP and my AC, MAP, and FTP levels were all very similar due to my severe lack of high-end training, and as expected my profile was Time Trialist. So, I began using the 12 week All Purpose Road Plan with my initial FTP at 237.
Ouch. It worked. I increased all 3 higher end numbers. but, my FTP didn’t budge. It actually went down 2w to 235w.
I could feel and see the high-end increases, but felt like my FTP and steady-state efforts weren’t being worked, and as a triathlete looking to move into Olympic and longer distances I needed to work more on those steady-state efforts. So, then I moved to a Metric Century plan. That had the desired effect. I still had 2 or 3 good interval workouts to start each week and then lots of tempo and sweet spot efforts and long rides at the end of each week. Shortly before I did Half Monty at the 6 week point I could already feel the improvement as I was easily doing Defender at 10-15w over the targets all the way through. When I finally did my Half Monty test my MAP was up 7 and my FTP jumped 20 to 255w!
Now, I’m finishing up the Metric Century plan this week, although I’ve actually already ridden 100km 3 weeks ago - I had a 3.5 hour ride on my training plan and I was so close to 100km that I rode for 15 more minutes and did the whole 100km in less than 4 hours! I also just got a SmartTrainer. So, after this plan is over I’m planning to do another Half Monty and then do another 4DP test in a week or two to check my fitness and also compare the two and see the differences between my dumb trainer and my new SmartTrainer. But overall I can say that I’ve seen a lot of great gains just from April until now.
Next up is a 100miler and then plan for my knighthood. The suffering will be glorious.