Yeah me! After three attempts (in 3 years) I have finally completed TRADITIONAL BASE Mid Volume. A bit of background, I’m 53 YO and started cycling to lose weight back in 2012 and transitioned into performance cycling and racing (road & CX).
Year 1 was going good but ended near the end with overreaching induced illness. It was a month later when the idea of throwing over did not instill fear, loathing, and terror into me and then it was time to go on my ski trip.
Year 2 was again going good but then at the end of month 2 I transitioned to Sweet Spot Mid volume and that was a disaster. I would get through a week and then wake up on Monday/Tuesday feeling like I was coming down with the flu. I would skip a couple workouts and get fully recovered. Only to repeat the cycle and then in block two – I got sick – not once but twice (and then COVID started to cancel races).
Now in year 3 of this business I made it through, not 100% I missed two workouts – one in month 1 and a second in month 2, but month 3 was 100% on. When it was apparent I wasn’t going to be able to make up the workout I promptly forgot about it and sent it downstream.
What was the difference? I attribute it to nutrition and reduced concern about weight loss. Listening to the TH podcast I noticed a frequently recurring theme of discussion. That theme is best summed up by Amber’s refrain to NOT USE TRAINING as a vehicle to weight loss (well, if that is your sole goal have at it but for most of us that isn’t the goal). Just as I was starting this up this year I posted here asking about fasted rides and if there is a reason not to do it. I tried one or two and then the podcast piqued my interest with training my GI system to take on carbs. So instead of going skinny on carbs during my sessions I started to experiment with car intake and in a matter of 3 rides I was at 100 gms/hour. Typically one gel and two bottles of (2 scoops) Skratch and water. The gut was mildly grumpy at first about that much carbs but dealt. The only problem that regimen has is on long rides the amount of liquids forces regular 2-3 minute breaks on me (then I started using gels over drink).
I have always strove to eat good quality foods and for the most part I’m able to do that. We try to cook big batches on the weekends and try to do it all as homemade as possible. With lots of fruits, pulses, and vegetables.
Then when the session was over – I strove to keep my LoseIt caloric budget even (and that is set for 1/2 pound per week loss). In the past, if LoseIt figured I was 1500 calories in deficit I would shrug it off (actually, celebrate it). This year that meant more yogurt, more fruit, more nuts, etc. That is working too, I just had a whoosh – dropping my weight range from 210-214 to 207-210.
When I added full fueling to my routine, I noticed a drop in RPE on the rides. I noticed I was able to reach deep and find the energy to perform those late sprints or speed drills.
In short, this is another N=1 testimonial on the importance of nutrition and fueling your workouts!