Learning to beat my ass today so I can kick yours tomorrow…

Gotta get stronger to herd the wild turkeys better.

Wow, the day has come.  I finally got off my butt and made an effort towards this odd thing called a training plan.  You know, those things with weird acronyms like FTP and things with heart rate zones and interval thingies.  Heart rate zones, what the hell are those?! I thought the point was to ride at 190bpm so I could show off my scary heart rhythms to nursing coworkers, right?  Power?  That’s the thing that costs a lot and I get a monthly bill for, right?

But seriously, this is needed.  Considering I have my heart set on a Cat 1 mountain bike license upgrade in the near future (aka before I’m 31), and people don’t get slower when you race higher categories, and I’m not getting faster spinning random circles on a trainer and riding only when I’m not distracted by the couch, it is very much needed.  So my teammate and cycling coach Coach T stepped up and un-lazy-ing my lazy butt.  He is one of the coaches for CritFit, and is going to set me straight!

First up was doing a Functional Threshold Power test.  I’ve never paid attention to power stuff, as stated earlier, to me it means a big monthly utility bill and not much else.  But alas, the test would set my fitness baselines and provide my Strava/number happy loving self with more numbers to focus on.

The testing process was quite easy.  Coach T strapped my Shiv down to his trainer, had a program opened up, and we were off!  Lots of warm up and then two 8-minute long blocks of the maximum effort I could sustain for those 8 minutes.  Mathematical magic figures out the rest!  It all seemed a lot easier than it actually was.  It was brutal.  Not quite tabata interval brutal (which I tend to cry during), but brutal enough.  Coach T was there, pushing me along, which helped because otherwise I think I would’ve faded pretty quickly.

So what is functional threshold power (FTP)?  I had to google it, I admit it.  Easy enough, it is the “highest mean average power you can sustain for one hour.”  What’s the neat part that unlike heart rate which can remain the same over training, FTP can change and is a good way to see improvements over training and getting ready to race.  I’m sitting at 195 watts as of last night.  I can’t wait to see how a few months of training will bring that number up (and hopefully will help me crush the people that crush me).

The final results:
Functional Threshold Power: 195 watts
Functional Threshold Heart Rate: 165 beats per minutes

Heart rate zones:
Z2 Endurance: 110-135
Z3 Tempo: 135-150
Z4 Threshold: 155-170
Z5 V02Max: 170+

Coach T prescribed me the CritFit PSP 18 week training plan.  Usually training plans have sent me screaming and running in the opposite direction, but I am very excited to begin this one.  CritFit is nice, because unlike other coaching services, they aren’t delusional and think people have no life except riding a bike.  The weekly training plans are moldable around my crazy 3-day, 12-hour night shift nursing schedule.  They don’t require being on a bike every day, and incorporate functional strength training and recovery in very nice ways.  This means that I won’t feel guilty about adding in yoga classes (yeah yeah, gotta get that gym membership first set up… shhh) as it fits in.  Twice a week I will have Workout of the Day (WODs… luckily not crossfit style, haha) to complete.  They’re interval sets that can be repeated as many times as you want.  All WODs are given a points value, and each week you’re suppose to complete so many points.  So say a WOD is 25 points, you can do two rounds of it, and have half of a weekly 100 points done.  Pretty easy – so easy I understand it!  I will be training by heart rate since I have no desire to buy a power meter, or the money for that matter.

Though I’m excited now to try it (who doesn’t like new things), I know ongoing motivation is always a hard thing for me to maintain.  That’s why I’m finally happy to have someone – Coach T – to keep me on track and accountable for my actions.

And that’s that!  Finally getting this whole bike riding thing on track 😀

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Training: It really works! | Heidi Rides Bikes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s