Exiting the sweet spot…

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Well, I guess I can say I’m just about 1 month into official training.  January 11th might’ve been a bit late to really start a training plan, but it’s been working out (and I was doing “training” in November and December as well, in all reality).  I’m just finishing up TrainerRoad’s Sweet Spot Base, using a combo of High Volume 1 and 2 to work around my work schedule.  Ideally this should be 12 weeks, but I’ll squeeze it into 7.  I extended the end-of-base an extra week to accommodate a sort of a taper, if you will, leading up to USAC Fat Bike Nationals on February 27th.

In absolutely EXCITING news, I was able to mountain bike, on my “skinny” tires, on dry trails this week at Lake Pueblo State Park!  I pulled off a 47 mile, nearly 6 hour day on Friday, chasing around Colorado hammerheads.  I was hesitant to do that long of a ride, as well, I don’t ride that long… surprisingly, I found my hurdles to it be mostly mental.  Yes I was sore and tired and I walked some very steep pitches, but I survived with decent pep left in my legs!  I followed up on Saturday with 32 miles in about 4 hours, riding solo for about an hour before meeting up with my teammate Heidi 1.0 and her husband.  All in all, great training and it was a great physical and mental boost to be getting sunburnt and hearing the dirt underneath my tires.  I did find myself to walk a lot of technical features that shouldn’t be an issue for me, but it’s early enough that I am not going to stress too much about that.

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You know, I’m not sure what was up with my face, but I was having a blast in the sun!

Otherwise, training has been a lot of intervals.  Last November I purchased a Tacx Vortex Smart trainer, hoping it would solve all my problems I fought with using a “dumb trainer” and TrainerRoad… mainly that being not having the right gear ratio to produce the correct prescribed power without wonky cadences.  The Tacx ended up being an absolute headache, and it was plagued with many issues.  I finally sent it back end of January and purchased a Wahoo Kickr Snap instead.  Wow, what a difference!  I have had issues with TrainerRoad’s Power Match feature, which utilizes my power meter to control the trainer resistance.  It is slow to respond, and when doing 2 minute long VO2 max intervals, I really don’t have a minute to wait for the resistance to be applied correctly.  So for now I’ve decided to use the Wahoo as my power source.  Yes, it might be off 10 or so watts, but in the grand scheme of things 10 watts does not make that much of a difference.  Whew… stupid technology!

When I did test on January 11th I tested out at an FTP of 217 watts… holy crap.  That is usually what I see at the end of spring/early summer months!  It has been tough adjusting to the new FTP, but I’m chugging along!

For road stuff… well, when the weather allows I have been getting out!  Gravel, road… whatever I can get with this winter-like winter we’ve been having!  I made it to another women’s Oval Ride, and am planning on going again this weekend.  I’m learning the longer miles and hours aren’t as scary as I once thought they were, both on the road and on dirt!

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Both of my attempts at the Oval Ride have been on days with wet roads, leaving me looking more like a cyclocross racer than a roadie on a serious training group ride!

 

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I was able to get out in the sun with my friend Gretchen for a nice, relaxed 50 miles!

For the next two weeks it’s a lot of “calmer” tempo and endurance trainer workouts, tapering off some intensity for fat bike nats.  Tomorrow I’m fat biking and demoing some sweet carbon Salsa goodies, and the Oval is on board for Saturday.  I’m going to try to squeeze in another day on the fat bike before heading to Utah to race.  So we’ll see… I remember how well my taper worked leading up to the LT100, and luckily nationals falls in between training plans, so hopefully all goes well!  I had the brilliant idea of racing both my master’s age group and the pro category, back to back with less than an hour in between, so yeah, I’ll need all the help I can get!

Up next will be the 8-week long Short Power Build phase of the training program.  Lots of billat work and VO2 max, and suffering!  I haven’t quite tweaked the plan to allow for my team’s training camp in Fruita in April, but I’ll deal with that soon enough.  What I usually do is put my work days on my Training Peaks calendar, and then add all the 6o to 75 minute intervals from the plan into the week, preferably on work days, as that is the best time for me to do intervals indoors on the trainer (which is something I may be doing long after I typically give up the trainer since it’s the easiest way for me to accomplish training with my sort of work situation).  I save days off from work for rest days (funny that I spend days off, off the bike!) and longer rides.  It requires some thinking, but it went okay I think during the base phase so I hope to keep it up.  Who knows, I’m training lost and scared at this point!

In other news…

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NEW KIT DAY! How fabulous are our Naked Women’s Racing kits this year?! HELLO PINK! Loving them so far, and so happy to learn that the Castelli bibs are comfy over long hours on the mountain bike!

 

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Sponsor Love: Goodies from Honey Stinger! Loving the grapefruit Chews so far!

 

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(More) Sponsor Love: My ESI Grips came! Yes, I’m going to be matchy matchy with my team kits and grips this season!

So there’s my bit-o-update on training and what not!  I can’t believe I’m racing a national championship in less than two weeks… time flies, and there’s just not enough of it in my life!

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