So, in preparation for a 200km gravel event, I’ve been mainly getting in as many easy miles as I can, and just started doing some VO2 max work in the last few weeks. Both the long rides and the VO2 sessions had been going really well in the last month after an illness over Xmas. At the end of last week, fatigue started to creep up (form -28 in Training Peaks), so I deloaded this week, and I did a test today.
I was aiming for 45 minutes plus at my AI detected FTP. I started 10 watts below it with a plan to ease myself into the test but I really started to struggle from ~ 25 minutes and couldn’t increase the power as planned. My legs gave at just under 40 minutes with a NP 9 watts under AI FTP.
The lungs felt like they still had a bit left tbh, and I wonder if disappointment at how hard the effort felt made me give up a little early, but it’s not like there would have been more than a tiny bit left in the tank.
I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed. I’m ~ 10% down on last summer.
Now, what I’m trying to work out is whether or not I should maybe have expected this.
While I have been putting in decent miles, have felt good on the bike and during sessions, I’ve done very little muscular endurance work for 3-4 months, and also had a nasty chest infection over Xmas which put a ~3 week hole in training. Last summer was also a bit of a chaingang fest
I’d also note that last summer’s numbers were set outdoors.
The only other thing to note is that the HR response during the test was a bit odd. HR jumped up pretty quickly to start with – which struck me as normal given the extra freshness and the nerves – but it then seemed a touch suppressed as the test really started to bite, and maxed out 7-8 beats under max (measured in December, so not that out of date). That made me wonder if I’m still a bit fatigued as well.
So I am tentatively putting this down to still being a bit fatigued and not that well adapted to these particular kind of efforts. Does that seem a reasonable conclusion, or should I actually be thinking that in some ways I have gone slightly backwards, and even when targeting 8hr events, I need more intensity in my plans?
Thanks for any insight.