Casper Green raised his FTP 70 watts with TrainerRoad to train for local group rides in Houston, Texas, all while being a busy father and working a demanding job in home automation. By making small changes along the way and staying consistent with a low-volume training plan Curtis lost 35 pounds and reached 4.0 W/kg.
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Getting Back on the Bike
Casper isn’t new to bikes. He remembers always riding as a kid. Mostly it was BMX, then mountain biking with some motocross thrown in. It wasn’t until he met a friend that was training for a triathlon that he was introduced to road cycling. He enjoyed the sport and stuck with it for several years.
Despite his enthusiasm, the bike fell by the wayside after getting married, having kids, and managing growing career demands. During that time, Casper wasn’t very active and self-admittedly didn’t stay on top of his diet. Over a span of three years, he gained a lot of weight and noticed that he wasn’t happy with how he felt or looked. Casper was missing the fun of riding on the road, and living on a local bike route didn’t help either. As he saw people riding by, his desire to get back out there with his friends increased.
As life settled down a bit, Casper started to manage his time a little more efficiently and found some time to ride again. He started riding outside but soon discovered that all his riding buddies had gotten much faster during his three-year break.
Starting with TrainerRoad
Struggling to hang on with the fast group at the local shop rides, Casper knew he needed something. Fortunately, during Christmas of 2019, Casper spent time with some family friends during a holiday get together. One of those friends, Jesus Sanchez, introduced him to TrainerRoad. That very same night Casper bought a smart trainer. When he had everything set up he took his first Ramp Test and began training with a 214w FTP.
He began with Sweet Spot Base and discovered something that comes as a shock to many indoor cycling beginners —the constant pedaling. Casper said, “Right off the bat, I couldn’t believe that you couldn’t coast. You’re pedaling the whole time.” It was especially tough for the longer workouts, and he had to take some pedaling breaks. At first, he would feel completely blown after a workout, but he quickly improved to where he could get back to work and life after his cool down.
Not only did the training help, but so did the in-ride workout instructions. Casper found that the instructions helped other aspects like breathing and pedaling form, both on the trainer and during the group rides. Above all, Casper tried to remain as consistent as possible, and it paid off. He added 70w to his FTP, raising it to 284w.
Finding Time to Train
Finding time to train can be difficult for many athletes, and Casper’s experience wasn’t different. Typically, he trained in the late afternoons because the mornings are hectic with work and family. After coming home from work, Casper would eat a snack, spend some time with the family, and then get on the bike.
For Casper, it wasn’t just one thing that made it hard to find available training time. With kids aged fifteen and nine, nearby family, and work, the sum of all of life’s commitments fill up the calendar quickly. Add in some group rides and a training plan on top of that, and it can become too much. Casper’s main goal was to be fit enough to have fun riding with his friends and so he picked a training volume that worked towards that end goal.
He chose a low-volume plan because it afforded some much-needed flexibility while also giving him the best chance at staying consistent. Casper works in electronics and home automation. Some days are spent at a desk working on the computer, while others are in hot attics pulling cables. The low-volume approach meant that he could easily move workouts on the calendar when the workday was too hard, or another commitment came up. With a low-volume plan, he could continue the group rides without overwhelming himself.
Small Nutritional Changes and Reaching 4.0 W/kg
In addition to gaining fitness with TrainerRoad, Casper started making small changes in food choices that led to weight loss. He learned early on that fueling the workouts is important. This was pretty easy during Sweet Spot Base, but fueling required more focus once the Build Phase started. He started noticing that if he made poor food choices that it would make the workout much harder.
He didn’t start training with the primary goal of losing weight, but the training forced some changes. Casper started to eat cleaner, cutting out fried and overly processed foods as well as red meat. Becoming more mindful of what he was eating, Casper instituted small changes. Instead of a fast-food breakfast, he would eat a protein shake with some fruit or nuts. After a small, healthy lunch, he would have a snack on the commute home.
On the trainer, he would use a carb drink mix for the longer workouts, and make sure he was fueled up going into the shorter ones. During the group rides, he would add in some gels as well. The small changes added up as Casper lost thirty-five pounds, increasing his power-to-weight ratio to 4.0W/kg.
Reaching Goals and Future Plan
Casper started training to keep up with his riding friends. Now at 4.0 W/kg, he can tell the difference and is having much more fun on the bike. What used to be a dreadful experience is now exciting. Casper doesn’t have to sit in the group’s draft but can take pulls at the front. And the distaste of riding hills is in the past. Most of the local routes are flat, but recently the group traveled to ride some hillier terrain, and he crushed it. Casper said, “I can ride with who I want to ride with and where I want.”
Currently, Casper is completing General Build and plans on adding in some strength and flexibility training. After competing in two triathlon relays, he intends to do the bike leg in another 70.3 later this year. Casper is even considering doing a triathlon but has to get the swimming figured out first. Whatever training he’s going to do, Casper stresses the importance of having fun. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the numbers, but training is a way to get the stress out and enjoy the bike. He said, “Get out there and do it. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s definitely worth it.”
Tell us your story. Success isn’t always a race win. It can be life-changing health improvements, reaching a personal goal, or more.
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