The programme is divided into three 12-week macro-blocks, the first of which had the objective to “slowly and effectively build a solid combination of endurance and strength/speed”. That went well in that I managed to follow the programme almost exactly. The only place I strayed was with the intensity of the mid-week strength/speed sessions. What got in the way was work I was doing to improve my breathing, which meant that I had to reduce the intensity. (More on the breathing in a future post.)
The best test of how things went was the two race/rides I did towards the end of the bock. One was the 6 hour Manfeild Challenge (19 May); the other was a 220 km ride around the Wairarapa (1 June) . Both showed endurance to be much improved but strength to be woefully inadequate!
This brings me to the second training block, the focus of which is appropriately “to build strength/speed, although with an endurance focus”. As it has turned out, the programme has proved to be a bit ambitious. Its plan was suddenly to introduce hill work while continuing to increase the distance. Not a good idea!
After being far too tired and sore by the end of the block’s second week, I decided to reduce the distance of the week-day rides. I made sure that none were more than 1:20 hours for the next couple of weeks. Obviously strength work cannot be introduced without some scaling back of other aspects of training! The intention was still to keep the longer weekend rides. However, now after the 4th week of the block, I’m even wondering about that. It’s an easy week for me next week, so I’ll see how my recovery has gone and maybe reduce the following Saturday’s planned 6-hour ride to 4 hours and not do the Sunday’s planned 3-hour ride at all. After all, I want the focus of this macro training block to be on building strength. Taupo requires you to have good guns, so my piddling leg muscles need a lot of development!
I’m usually totally stuffed after the weekend ride and yesterday my wife made the blasphemous suggestion that maybe my training plan was not working. Maybe she’s right!