Above is the power numbers from the first 5 minutes of a UK Cat 3/4 Criterium. It’s quite a short and tight circuit, with big accelerations out of each corner. This 5 minutes represents the 4 laps that I managed to hang on to the group - I know they slow down after 5 - 10 minutes because I start to catch them on my own.
Now, I understand the tactics - stay near the front to avoid the surges, get in the draft, inside of corners - I’m getting there. I can corner pretty well, I rarely touch the brakes and end up catching people (free positions). I clearly need extra fitness, but do I prioritise aerobic or recovery from hard efforts?
I’m 90 KG, with about 20-25% BF (guesstimate) and FTP of 244 W on a TACX Neo ramp test or 255 W on a long climb with a left side crank. During this first 5 minutes, I average 322 W with 600-1000 W surges out of every corner (about 13 corners until I got dropped). My theory is that, at a higher FTP, I would recover much more quickly.
My question is: Do I keep going with the criterium training plan or, due to my relatively low W/kg, should I go to Sweet Spot Base/Sustained Power Build?
I think my mistake at the start was doing the low volume base and build, I can schedule medium volume within my week now and increase the weekly stress to something that will cause adaptations.