March was a great month, all things considered: It was a month of recovery and progress. At the beginning of the month, I was struggling with recovery from Achilles tendonitis, although I was hopeful that I would be able to return to training. I was unable to ride in the Solvang Spring Double Century, on March 19. This was a big disappointment, because I had been planning for this event since October of last year. There were definitely some high and low points along the way, both physically and emotionally.
At the beginning of the month, I completed an FTP test and learned that my FTP had dropped considerably to 265 watts (3.6 w/kg) due to inability to maintain my fitness as a result of my injury. After consulting with my coach, I determined that I would need to return to re-do the base training that I had completed in November and December. In order to avoid re-injury, I also made a plan to ramp up my volume gradually to get ready for a few events that I had planned to do in April and May.
For the next few weeks, I completed a series mid-week Sweet Spot Tempo workouts, with 3×20′ and 3×15′ sessions at sweet spot (88-94% of functional threshold power (FTP)), during the week, some mid-week recovery rides, and endurance rides on the weekends. With regard to the endurance rides, I planned to increase my overall time on the bike, total miles ridden, and total ascent meters from one week to the next, generally adding about a half hour to my total ride time each week. In reality, however, the ramp up was not as gradual as I had planned:
|Elevation Gain (m)
|Training Stress Score (TSS)
|February 28, 2022
|March 7, 2022
|March 14, 2022
|March 21, 2022
The initial jump in all metrics from the week of February 28, 2022 to the week of March 7, 2022 was much greater than I planned and was exacerbated by my relative level of inactivity during the week due to problems I was having with my recovery. Nevertheless, it is true that although I tried to stick to the plan, I did not strictly adhere to it.
The current week, March 28, 2022, marks the last week of the training block and has a lighter mid-week volume. Instead of the sweet spot tempo sessions, I have had two recovery rides and a field test to reassess my FTP. However, this coming weekend, I plan to continue to ramp up my total distance and total elevation gain.
Regarding the field test that I completed yesterday, I am happy to report that my FTP increased 5% to 285 watts (3.9 w/kg). Although still a far cry from the numbers I had seen just prior to my injury, I am happy with the progress that I made this month. Importantly, I completed all training sessions and rides according to plan, and I have seen substantial improvement in the condition of my knees and Achilles tendon.
April is a big month for me. I will be riding the Mulholland Challenge (Century) on April 9 and the Mt. Laguna Classic (Century) on April 23. These events are the first two stages of Planet Ultra’s King of the Mountains Century Challenge. In addition, I will be attempting an Everesting challenge in April as well.
Meanwhile, I will be continuing with my training plan and ramping up my weekly volume in preparation to start riding double centuries beginning in May. (I am planning to ride the Heartbreak Double Century, the third stage of the King of the Mountains Century Challenge, in May.)
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