- 3rd in elite road race state championships
- 6th in GC in P123 stage race
- 2nd in P123 road race
- 4th in P123 road race
- Collapsed lung during first A race of the year
- FTP relatively static throughout training and the season
- Flat tire in final road race of the season saw me lose the front group before the wheel car got me sorted
- Mid-week structure is better than group rides for my fitness
- Not tapering for B and C races (and properly identifying B and C races) allows for better season long progression
- Racing with tired legs gives me the freedom to fail and this leads to better race results
- Mid-season breaks are helpful and do not cost significant fitness
Things to figure out for next year
- How to work past this multi-year FTP plateau - am I at my limit or is there something else I can try?
- Picking out A races and figuring out training time-frames to support them
Plans and process
Started my base work in September and wrapped up SSB HV and General Build HV with nearly 100% plan compliance. Didn’t see any significant FTP gains as I started with a ramp test assessment of 359 and progressed to 362 over the course of these plans. Didn’t see any further gains during Rolling Road Race HV which I also completed with near 100% compliance.
Overall failed to complete the intervals in six workouts across all three plans and missed zero due to scheduling or illness.
Frustrating to have plateaued my FTP during this build to my initial A race. I need to consider something different for next season to see if I can break through the plateau. I have previously (three years ago) been able to push my FTP up to the mid 370’s but either age or lack of training variance have seen me get stuck in the 360s the last couple of seasons.
Started off with a physical failure as my right lung collapsed during the TT of my first A race (13-Feb). Took a couple of weeks off and eventually restarted a build plan three weeks later. Was back racing a bit over a month later (24-Mar) with no expectations, just testing my fitness as I progressed through build.
Continued to work through the build and started picking up some results as I moved into April and May.
Unlike prior seasons I avoided mid-week group rides and maintained intensity on race weeks. A typical race week during this build/recovery phase would be: Tuesday Eclipse, Wednesday Mokelumne +1, Thursday Clouds Rest +3, Friday Petit, Saturday Race, Sunday Baxter
I definitely missed the comradery of the group rides but the biggest change was the lack of any sort of taper for these lower priority races. This gave me two things
- Consistent progression even while racing most weekends
- The freedom to race without expectations.
When I raced with heavy fatigue I was more willing to go all in on moves and not worry about getting dropped if they failed. This saw me making the decisive breakaway in a lot of road races and actually getting some of my best results in races where I was heavily fatigued (got a 2nd place at a race 48 hours after doing Mount Goode and a 3rd 48 hours after Carpathian Peak)
I included a two week ‘break’ in the middle of my season where I dramatically decreased my volume and let myself have an easy rest period. I came back from this relatively quickly and with minimal loss of fitness. Between this break and my medically necessary break in February I definitely benefited from the downtime and plan to recreate this next season
I ended up doing around 25 total races across the entire season, fairly evenly spaced across March-July.
Overall it was a successful season as I got my cat 1 upgrade and finished at the pointy end of lots of P123 road races. That said, I have frustration over not having won anything despite having several opportunities. In a few cases I was too focused on getting upgrade points and played conservatively to minimize losses as opposed to maximizing my chances of winning. In others I was simply out performed by stronger riders. I also have to look at my training in more depth to see if I can move past my current FTP plateau.