This coming week - finish the last hard week (5) of SSB2 Mid Vol. Prior to this, I completed SSB1 MV, and prior to that, did a run of SSB2 late summer mostly outside, all with very good compliance so far.
2nd week out - extend SSB2 hard phase half a week - then start travel; alps ski weekend will bury me to complete this week
3rd week out - work travel - running and maybe a basic hotel exercise bike will be all I have available - which will have to replace the rest week 6 for SSB2 after sort of extending/stretching the 5th week of SSB2
*4th week out - Mallorca for vacation / solo camp! How to best use this opportunity?
My goals -
Ride a ton and see a lot that week
Don’t lose the hard fought fitness gains from SSB1/2
Keep building fatigue and cramp resistance for fondos in the 75-100 mile range with a lot of climbing
Build SS power as I will also go for some TT rides this year
Continue to be ready for MV build (general or sustained power - still TBD) - but don’t mind burying myself and taking a little extra recovery when I get back
No crits/USAC racing - just group rides that often turn into hammerfests… strong base fitness is plenty for those
I saw @Nate_Pearson suggest in another thread try a week of SSB2 High Vol for a one week “camp” as general guidance which seems like a good place to start for some of my goals. But if the rides are full of SS daily, they would still only be at most 2hrs/day for me - and might wear me down too fast.
So I’m also thinking maybe alternating one day heavy SS drawing off the last week SSB HV plan with one day of steady (productive) Z2 long distance going for 4+ hours.
And maybe on first Z2 day, kick if off with some VO2 max repeats to hold onto any gains from SSB2 as it’ll have been almost two weeks since I got any intensity on the bike. But keep the over threshold time to that one session for the week.
If you are planning to follow what most people do in Mallorca, 4-5 hours each day with maybe one rest/easy day in the middle of the week, then that’ll be a ton of volume. It very much depends on how used you are to handling that - i.e. have you done ~20hour weeks before/are are used to doing frequent/back to back long rides in the summer? If not, that volume alone will be sufficient stimulus.
If you don’t have that experience then take it easy and enjoy the week while riding as much as you can - ride endurance pace when you can though lot of the climbs will force you up into at least the Tempo area unless you are at a pretty high W/kg AND not riding with others who like to hammer.
If you have a few of these under your belt and know how your body responds, or are used to training regularly 10-15 hours a week in the outdoor season then you may want to throw in a little intensity on a couple of days - just enough to keep you sharp. With the terrain out there you could do anything from a 40-60m S/S effort to a couple of 10m sets of Short/Shorts, but you shouldn’t be going hard every day if you’re going much longer than usual.
If you do decide to sprinkle in a couple of days of intensity, make the week prior a proper recovery week. If not, then perhaps do one or two short sharp sessions then to keep everything firing. Do some light off bike stretching/foam rolling/core work on the other days. Plan minimum 3-4 days rest (though a full week would be better) after the trip too to make sure you’re ready for the next TR block.
The amount of recovery you get should also factor in… will you be hitting the beers or chasing around with family or putting your feet up the rest of the day?
And If you do Sa Calobra, get up EARLY! (aim to be starting the climb by 11am at the very latest)
I’m following this with interest. I’m going to Mallorca in March and have a build phase ending the day I leave. I don’t usually do the specialty phase anyway since there really isn’t one to fit. I do brevets and every one in a series is pretty significant, spread over a 2 month period, so I don’t need to peak for a specific one. Maybe be on top of my game in July - August for a 1200 km or two, but there are no specialty plans for that either.
Still, I’m curious about what you’ll do. My guess is that Mallorca will end up being social and you’ll ride with other people. But there are some long uphills to test your muscle endurance and nice cafes to hone in your nourishment and hydration.
Don’t get too hung up on a day by day plan. If it rains, you don’t want to be going up into the mountains. The descents are just too dangerous (asphalt that must be composed of soap stone).
I have a similar situation with a holiday in Spain right after SSB2 (the wife doesn’t know how timely the holiday really worked out to be ) . I’m just planning on using it for volume. A few 4-5 hour days with long climbs spent at tempo/SS would be good for me. Unlikely to really want to specific VO2 work apart from utilising the terrain.
Watched this for a little info the other day. You might have some takeaways from it as it touched on how to structure a training camp.
I’ve done a few weeks in the 15-16 hour range and am pretty careful at pacing on power/HR. I will also be coming off a true rest week doing next to nothing since I’ll be on work travel just prior, thus I’m thinking I can hit pretty high volumes - but I also want to make sure I poke each energy system just enough to keep things sharp before build. Especially with so much rest before, and likely after, it could be a 3 week gap in structured rides.
Perhaps targeting multiple days of SS interval workouts while over there is overkill. Thinking I should just plan one early day that includes a few VO2 max repeats, a few tempo efforts up climbs over the course of the week, and keep everything else comfortable Z2 and focus on using the (hopefully) nice weather to rack hours outside touring. It’ll be a massive contrast from SSB1/2 for sure!
I will also be on my own this trip - no kids or other stress, not planning to party, should get all the sleep I need, etc.
I’ll try to post some updates! The weather I understand can still be variable in January for temps too, so that could also affect things… will bring winter and summer kit. I was thinking it’s possible I’ll join a group ride, but I do worry about that turning into a hammerfest that could derail me for the next day!
Thansk - I still need to make some air bnb plans and lock everything down, but sounds like Palma is the place to stay in January since much is shut down? I haven’t planned specific routes yet but hope to hit plenty of big climbs and take in some ocean views!
For those who would like to ride/train on our beautiful island, like the pros, I’ve just started a cycling training camp here. I’ve built this training camp to be like the one I’ve always dreamed about: an opportunity to live the life of a pro cyclist. Daily massages, coaching sessions, a team car, mechanical support, sports nutrition, cycling kits and powermeters are provided. We also perform FTP test on TR
I figured I would finally post a very late trip report from January as many of us now probably have lots of time at home to read and any distractions from COVID are good.
TLDR - I completely threw my Z2-dominated plan out the window the first day, injured myself two different ways, ate like a champion and thoroughly enjoyed riding the northern mountains - it was absolutely awesome!
Final tally for 5 days was 294 miles, 27,200 ft climbed, 1285 TSS, and 12,400 calories(kJ) on the power meter. Off the charts for me but the whole experience provided so much motivation to ride as much as possible.
I learned a lot and figured I’d share some things for others thinking about going. For what it’s worth, I planned all aspects of the trip myself and was solo the whole time - from Barcelona, flight, rental car, canyon endurace rental bike, 6 nights in a nice hillside 1BR cottage with a view and food for the week was under $1000. There were a couple times that I wouldn’t have minded having the group ride / support car / massages mentioned further up this thread by @0-rel - that looks like it would have also been a cool experience and great value if I had more time/flexibility!
My plan for big Z2 miles went out the window immediately - and I was really glad to have a power meter on my rental bike. I realized very quickly that I liked the mountains best and the descents were totally incompatible with racking up big steady Z2 miles. So, I said hell with it, and constantly rode most climbs anywhere from SS to max threshold interval efforts and went hard 4/5 days. I don’t regret this choice at all. The mountains were just incredible to ride and I thoroughly enjoyed pushing myself with such dramatic scenery. I can’t really say what my favorite route was - they never disappointed. I did end up taking a week and a half with just a handful of Z2 rides before jumping into build with good success after I got back, and have continued to get incrementally stronger since.
The January weather - absolutely beautiful the week I was there - sunny, with ride average temps in the low 50s (F). The next week a storm came in I think for the entire week so I got lucky. Normal is 6 days with rain for the whole month. I was the only bozo on the island wearing bib shorts every day. But it was just enough in conjunction with arm warmers and some days a thermal base layer + arm warmers. Seriously, I saw maybe 2 other people in shorts the entire week - and lots of people in the same kit I’d wear for 30F in NY - fully covered with mittens and balaclavas in 50 and sunshine!
Continental gatorskins are truly the worst tire ever. My rental bike had a 25 mm on the rear, and a different tire on front - no idea why - OMG it was absolute torture after riding GP5000TL at home. Like riding a Flintstones wheel that was polished to have absolutely zero traction. Very first descent, slid out on a hairpin and scraped my knee up pretty well - fortunately, didn’t hurt the bike. Rolled into next town for some H2O2 and on I went. In all fairness, I was also going too fast for conditions - but Mallorca’s mountain roads are very prone to be slippery with dampness/moss, and this tire was the absolute worst choice I could have imagined for them - I regularly felt it lose traction and was very cautious the entire week. I’d bring my own tires and/or look for better tires/wheels next time. Really, I had long forgotten how much better tubeless are.
Along with tires, I also did not pay enough attention to rental bike fit setup. By the second day, I started feeling some pain in my achilles and just pushed through it day after day - I really didn’t know enough about what to change as this was totally new to me. In the two months since, I’ve become a lot more educated about this, as it led to continued troubles back home. Over the past few weeks, adjusting seat down / cleats back and using KT tape finally recently has me back to feeling solid for up to 2 hour relatively hard build plan rides again. Planning on doing a new fit back at home soon.
I learned my right leg is stronger. Rental power meter was a 2-sided crank - consistently showed 52/48 R/L balance. Net - my vanity FTP is now 4% higher I have some all time power PRs from the trip that will be that much harder to top with my stages L-only meter. (but I’ve taken some of them out since!) Other than that, I will do absolutely nothing else with that extra information. I remain totally happy with a L-only meter
The beach front route is overrated. Narrow, rough, lots of disruptions… did it on the middle rest day and it was really the only disappointing ride.
Practical matters - in January, things were indeed quiet outside Palma with some major supermarkets totally shut down in outlying areas, but nowhere seemed totally dead. Very glad to have had a car - super cheap, and enabled me to launch some rides from Pollenca (other end of island) a couple days. Stayed in an air BnB in Genova, just outside the city. Traffic was a non-issue everywhere I went except the city center - the center was a nightmare to navigate the first time in a car solo at night. Parking is plentiful but was over $20/day everywhere I looked. Palma downtown was very lively, very nice to see, but I generally stayed away as it was just too much hassle to go repeatedly. I can’t even imagine getting in and out of there in season with a car. Staying downtown car free would be nice, and you can do some nice rides from Palma into the mountains, but for more than a couple days, you’d really want car access or organized ride transport to get to a bigger variety of routes. I also learned Palma has many luggage storage services downtown which makes it easy if you have a late flight out your last day. The downtown indoor market was great and grocery stores in the suburbs were fantastic - was easy to find really great quality food to cook and long hours at stores. Very easy to get around speaking zero Spanish, people were friendly.
Overall, I would highly recommend for any cyclist that likes riding hills, and will definitely go again for sure if the opportunity presents itself.
Glad you had fun. A couple of notes after reading :
Yes, travelling solo is more expensive at the end. Contact me next time, for almost the same price (we are 185 euros per day all inclusive), you would have enjoyed daily massages, coaching, team kits, support vehicle, Compex, team spirit, amazing food & sports nutrition, photos & videos. That’s a lot!
People are always over-dressed here. Don’t know why. Maybe tourists who are not aware that Mallorca is warm. I have a couple of tights, but have never wear anything else than bib since I moved here. Ever! Just need a warm gilet for big descent like Puig Major during winter.
There is actually no good tires for here. Have been trying everything, but roads are slippery, no matters the season. Winter is worse due to moss as you saw it, but if it rains just a bit during the night, it will be super slippery in the morning during summer as well. Have been crashing a couple of times, despite I know this roads perfectly. I even crashed while climbing Coll de Sóller once due to the oil on the road spread by almonds trees.
best here is to plan a sweetspot training week. Do all the climbs at sweetspot, rest in descent. Work like a charm and you can explode your CTL. All my customers/riders leave with impressive numbers doing this, and a relative low amount of fatigue due to daily massages and good nutrition.
Beach route is terrible! Don’t take that route, especially during summer when you see a lot of drunk people crossing it to leave the beach. They never pay attention to cyclists.
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