Last year I enjoyed the Time-Crunched Cyclist Plan by Chris Carmichael. Not sure what to expect, I completed the “New Competitor” plan. It certainly improved my power and stamina for the year, but it wasn’t quite enough to keep me competitive in the races here in the Upstate. So, this year, I’ve decided to do something similar but different.
I’m going to spice it up a bit… BAM! I’m going to move to the “Experienced Competitor” plan. This is the plan “for experienced racers whose accumulated years of training mean they can handle a high initial workload.” It is meant for riders who have been training at some level for the last five years or more. Well, I think I fit that description.
Actually, this could explain why last year I was kind of confused in the beginning. If you recall, I started off with a horrible initial field test. However, before long, I was feeling unchallenged by the workouts and my power adjusted upward rapidly. While my power was moving up, I found that my ability to hold that power for long enough periods of time to be truly competitive was not there.
This plan is going to be tough. It is similar to the first plan, but it adds longer intervals. For instance, today I will do 3 SteadyState intervals at 224 – 234 watts for 12 minutes instead of 3 at 10 minutes. You don’t think that 2 minutes makes a difference? Well, you try it.
I’m also going to throw in some longer rides this year. When it comes to road racing, there needs to be just some plain old time in the saddle. You need some training where you get the feel for what it is like to be in a group hanging on for dear life for what seems like an eternity.
Yes, I know that means that I will be breaking from the plan. I like to think I am incorporating some variations into the plan. You know, I’m just rebellious like that. 🙂
Another variation I plan to do is what I did last year. That is to test my FTP once more about halfway through the plan and then adjust my remaining training to that number. As I look back at last year, I believe that move is what really helped me improved. It pushed me farther than I otherwise would have gone.
Thankfully, last night my workout was a simple 90 minute trainer spin at 117 – 190 watts. I put a movie on and just started spinning. I hardly looked at the computer at all. I nailed it with 90 minutes at 185 watts with a 93 rpm cadence. Yes, I have been trained. My default output is an Endurance Miles pace.
We’ll see what happens to me tonight!