Road to Masters

So you’ve probably seen me around the forum (mostly in Training and Racing), but I wanted to share more about my process and my progress through my racing career.

I’ve been creating videos and content for a while now on my YouTube channel. But I’ve recently started a new “series” where I’m documenting my process of pushing towards racing and getting on the podium of USACycling Master’s Nationals. The first video in the series is below:

One of the cool things about having a community post here is that I can go further in depth on stuff that maybe I didn’t get to include in a video, share extra info about training or races, and really get involved.

I don’t want this to just be a “hey come check out my YT channel” post, so I welcome any and all discussion about stuff from my videos or anything I post on the forum! @IvyAudrain and @mcneese.chad said they loved the idea, so I’m excited to see what the rest of the community thinks!

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So stoked to see your process! Cheers, bud. :muscle:

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Wanted to start off the post with something more than just some self-promotion:

I’m a teacher in the states and starting this week, we’re currently on Winter Break, which means that I have all the time in the world to ride my bike! (As long as my family doesn’t murder me for it)

So here’s what my next two weeks looks like:

During a normal week, I train anywhere from 8-12 hours depending on what part of the off season I’m in. The beginning of this period comes after a previous HV base period, and will kick off my 3rd base phase since September. It’s scheduled to end at the beginning of Feb. for me at which point I’ll start my first build phase of the year.

These two weeks are always fun because I get to really put all of my effort into training when I’m not with the family, which really gives me the opportunity to see just how far I can push myself. After these two weeks, things chill out a bit and I’m back down to about 9 hours a week, which is a nice change of pace by the time they’re over.

I use Winter Break as well as the other holiday breaks we get in the states as mini “training camps” to be able to add on volume and intensity while not totally destroying myself trying to balance work, family, and training. It’s worked out pretty well for me the past two years!

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Are these double days (i.e. one in the morning and the other in the evening) or back-to-back workouts (i.e. endurance immediately following the sweet spot work)?

These workouts are back to back, with the interval work first and the endurance ride second to add in some volume.

I suppose I could do them split throughout the day, but that would be a big ask from my wife to have 2 separate times marked off for me to get away from the family for ~2 each time.

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nice! what age group you in?

Brendan

Hey Brendan!

I’ll be racing 35+ (I turn 35 in Oct, but we all know how USACycling ages riders up).

Hoping that the level of competition won’t be too far off what “regular” Nationals would be.

ah, it’s a tough race but nothing like amateur nationals, which is much harder. longer race and wayyy deeper field. but masters is still awesome and super fun!

Yeah, I’ve done a small handful of P12 level races so I know what they feel like, just really looking forward to racing at a very high level.

Post-Holiday Update time!

So with the last update I posted, I shared my initial two-week holiday plan above, it consisted of ~15/16 hours of riding each week. While I can easily achieve that, and have met that volume without problems in the past, I just lacked really any desire to complete the additional volume rides most days. I still got my workouts in just with a bit less volume than intended, let’s take a look:

I ended up with 11/12 hours each week instead, which isn’t too far off, and as I said, I was nailing the intervals so I was happy.

Things didn’t really go as planned with the ramp test, as I felt under rested and under fueled. I decided instead to try to conservatively estimate where I should be, and just tacked on 5w to where I had been previously. Yes, it goes against most of the advice given on the podcast (sorry @Nate_Pearson and @Jonathan) , but I have a pretty good idea of where I’m at power wise, and would’ve had no qualms about lowering my number if I wouldn’t have been able to complete the workouts.

Since this chunk fell mostly within the days assigned to Rapha’s Festive 500, and they were “allowing” it to be virtual this year, I decided to try an get in at least some of the volume that way. Here’s where I ended up with that:

r500

So while not everything went according to plan, overall the two weeks turned out pretty decently. And if that wasn’t enough, I wanted to highlight one of the last rides I did, from Jan. 2nd, which blew me away a bit. What was supposed to be a simple Eclipse +3 (4x20) ended up turning into a 1x60 and a 1x20. I was feeling incredibly good and set out a personal challenge about 19 minutes into the first interval to see if I could do the hour without the breaks.

And I did it! (except for one random small dropout :frowning_face: ). But I managed to do 324 for the hour, which is my highest ever 60m power! Admittedly though, I’ve never really attempted to set a PR for that. Ignore the last half of the final 20m interval as my trainer went haywire with it’s connection and that caused a lot of issues.

But wait! There’s more!!! Yesterday, more out of curiosity and masochism, I decided to see if I could do it again, but this time with Antelope +5 (7x10). So doing the full 70m of intervals in one go, without the rests. Things went… way better than I actually thought they would have. Which is nice, because it confirmed that the above performance wasn’t a fluke!

I’m feeling really, really good about these performances. And honestly thinking that I might test out bumping the FTP up a bit more because of them. But, we’ll see about that.

I’ve got about two full weeks left until my next rest week and then I’ll be starting my first build phase of the season. Let’s hope the upward trend continues :heart:

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Build Phase Has Begun!

Ftp tested yesterday with my eyes set on a modest gain. I wanted to hit 360w so I set my eyes on that target, and did everything I could in the last minute @ 480w to not collapse onto the floor dying. I also managed a new 10m power of 388w (a little disappointed in myself it wasn’t 400 :frowning_face: )

Really happy with where I’m at currently, even though I know with the higher FTP the build phase is going to be a bit more difficult!

Here’s what the first 3 weeks of my general build phase look like:

Because of work/family/obligations I can only usually fit in around 90m on weeknights (my workouts usually happen in the late afternoon/evening ~4pm-8pm), especially if I want to get good sleep and have an semblance of a relationship with my wife and kids. Weekends are a bit more open, hence the longer workouts.

But if you have a keen eye you’ll notice that it’s not the standard GBMV, but instead, because of the different specificity of the workouts that I prefer, I’ve taken the GBHV plan and modified it, moving shorter workouts to the weekdays and longer ones to the weekend. I’m excited to see how this plays out and how it impacts my overall training.

Once this block finishes up it’ll be on to Short Power build until summer, then it’s time to get fast!

What is your plan looking like for this year?

Thanks for reading!

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I’m doing something similar after base. I followed HV plans once going into lock down but I think it is too much for the amount of recovery I’m (not) able to get. SSB-HV I is mostly like this already - max 90 minutes during the week and 120 minutes Saturday and Sunday.

During build and specialty I plan to follow MV plans but add an endurance ride during the week and extend the weekend rides to 2+ hours.