January, 2019

This is it. January, 2019. I’ve been waiting impatiently for this month.

Not because it’s a “new beginning” with 1st of January (I’d rather think about the year as a continuous line thing than a wheel which goes around and around), but because with December is gone, my attention is usually sparking up for the events of the given year ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, what about 2019? Well…Let’s start with the events.

  1. 11th of May, Tour de Tisza lake, 65km
  2. first half of June, Tour de Pelso, 200km
  3. Middle of July, Tour de Ring, 105km

Not many right? I’ve picked these because these are mainly amateur events, without people who are participating in the Hungarian road cycling cup. I like the mood on these events.

How am I’ll hold up there, we will see. In 2019, I’ll start the year stronger than ever. Fact, not fiction. Last year I’ve had a mediocre year, however, the Build Me Up training plan in Zwift gave me an edge (over my past self) with the end of the year, and I’ve kicked off January in a good and generally strong mood (again, comparing to myself). After a week, my regeneration suffered because the training load was up, my calorie intake was down. Readjusted, now it feels more comfortable. Before it was under 2k kcal / day + training kcal, now it’s 2.3 kcal / day + training kcal.

While we are at it, my ultimate target with the meals is to get at least to 85kg by the end of the year. So it’s a whole year target, while training for the above events. Currently I’m 92,3kg (measured yesterday), 0.5 kg lighter than a week before. If the trend would be similar thru the whole year, I’d hit 85 by Christmas ๐Ÿ˜‰

So about January. Restarted the BMU training plan. Yes, seriously, I’m doing it again. First of all, I gained great strength by it, so why wouldn’t I do that again with increased FTP? Secondly, I’m filling up the rest days with workouts of the 6 weeks beginner FTP training. It conatins mainly Z2/Z3 efforts, which fits well for me into the week.

Also, great news! It looks like the Group Rides I organized last years are sticking to the wall, Zwifters from ZHO (Zwift Hungary – Official) are interested! So the Sunday group rides are my responsibility for every second Sunday, and enjoying it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoying it so much, so I’ve organized a Wednesday morning (like, early morning..or rather dawn) ride for the young parents who can only do rides at dawn because family and work. We call it Dawn Patrol, and there are a dozen rider (hey! we are talking about a small country, okay? ๐Ÿ™‚ ) who are intrigued to come and do it.

So yeah, January is pretty exciting, and I do hope it’ll continue in February!

Thanks for reading!

KR,

Andras aka The Zwift Bull

 

December, 2018

I’ve finished it. During the Build Me Up training plan, I did have my fair share of doubts that I’ll ever say that sentence. It was challenging, mainly because of my stupidity, nonetheless, I’ve fought hard in the second phase to stay with it.

The thing is, I’ve probably never had higher TSS load than 500 in a week (excluding the looong rides around Lake Balaton, but those are low intensity, and usually followed up by a multiple days of rest). As you can see the graphs below, I’ve successfully pulled in one week with 879 TSS when I’ve done Gym training, treadmill running AND the BMU. After that, I simply had to skip the GYM and treadmill. It was too much.

TSS by week Trainingpeaks
TSS per week load during BMU

In the end I’ve had a feeling that I’m stronger than at the start, mainly because I did hope that will be result after all ( ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), and because I wasn’t dieing every second day of the workouts. Week 10 and 11 were monsters, pulling off nasty tricks to keep my “entertained”. Be prepared, when the coach says these are tough weeks – than these really are tough weeks…

Before I share my FTP result, let’s speak about my starting point of FTP. It was false. I’ve set 275 W as FTP in Zwift because my Garmin measured that outside, but it was measured at the start of summer (June) when I was in training. After that, I’ve had 3 weeks of forced rest due to an injury (hey, do not fall off from your bike on rough surface, okay?), and August went by mainly with low-middle intensity rides. According to an expert after watched my videosย at the start of the plan (end of phase one), my FTP was probably around 265. My guess was 260 max, but I didn’t bothered to do an FTP test beforehand (always do an FTP test beforehand!). So my struggle during those Unicorn workouts, and the VO2Max workouts was mainly because a.) these are supposed to hurts and b.) I’ve had my FTP set tad higher than it is.

So, with that in mind, I’ve started the MAP (Maximum Aerobic Power) test after I’ve done some rest /easy freeride days (video at the end with my test). Why the MAP? First of all, I hate the 20 minutes FTP test. Like, really… Secondly, in the Zwift Hungary – Official Fb group we are promoting the MAP test as a test where you don’t have to suffer that long, and can get a precise enough result out of the one minute maximum power, and I wanted to try the test what I did promoted to the others in the group. One guy created two customer workout file, one for higher FTP one for lower FTP, and we are calculating 72% of the one minute power, because based on real world data / experience, 72% is closer to the real FTP than the universally accepted 75% and we don’t want to overshoot the FTP after the test (after all, I did it just a few weeks ago, and it was horrendous to do the workouts with higher than real FTP).

The test went well, I did an extra 20 minutes easy ride to warm up my knees (the left one developed a slight…well, not pain, rather discomfort in the last weeks, so I thought it’s a good idea to give it another couple of minutes to get it going. The first handful of minutes went by peacefully doing the steps, but after a while, I’ve started to feel the load climbing up, and suddenly I’ve noticed my lungs / heart working hard to keep up! I mean, that was the expected effect, it was just funny how sneaky it happened! And when it turned really anaerobic, legs started to burn, but the pedals were still turning, so no point to stop! I knew I was on the right path when I saw my heart rate – highest in the past 3 months ๐Ÿ™‚

Than suddenly it was like pedaling in thick mud, my legs didn’t turn, I couldn’t convince them to speed up above 70 RPM, so time to stop, and catch my breath. And bio! My breath was evasive! I needed a minute to raise my head, I was expelled in the test! Although, as expected, it was a much more comfy feeling than the 20 minutes FTP test.

And the surprise: my FTP turned out at 300W (298.5, but I gave that 1.5 watts to myself to have it at 300 ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds cool )! That means, I’ve gained at least 25 watts compared to 275, but in reality, it was closer to 35-40 watts of gain during the 3 months! Awesomesouce! Of course, it was the first structured and executed plan for me after years of “biking happily around” , so I expect it was a one time “jump” in my FTP. Nonetheless -> happy bunny here!

We already discussed in the group where to go after that. Probably I’ll redo the BMU training plan, because I miss the Unicorns, and I miss 17 videos from my playlist of BMU workouts XD Anyhow, January of 2019 – another round of BMU with my now-measured FTP!

Ride on!

What’s the matter with us?

Sometimes I don’t get it.

I simply don’t get it.

We get up at 4AM. At 5AM. Doesn’t go to sleep at 9PM. At 10PM. Lunch run/ride? No issue, let’s get trotting away with a smile on our face.

I mean, I know I’M part of it, and I’m quite happy about it! But I simply don’t get it.

We are freezing our arses off doing outdoor runs during winter. Snow? Even better! Riding in the heatwave during summer. We skip an hour on the sofa just to get it done.

Have an hour in the morning / afternoon / evening? Quick! Grab those running shoes, hop on your bike, log into Watopia! We are pedaling away happily.

We put ourselves in the hurt locker, doing 8x400m flying, or FTP tests just to see how much we are willing to suffer!? Alpe du Zwift? If anything, it is too short!

Our heart almost fibrillate during max HR tests. Just. One. Beat. Higher. Please. Than stop and puke. Clean your mouth, calm that heartbeat, continue.

Others sitting on their sofa, watching you suffer. Listening in to the turbo trainer’s squeaking noise while you make your effort for that green jersey. And they didn’t get it.

So Why?

KOM-jerseys-men-women
KOM jerseys in Zwift

I want to PROVE! Whaddayasayin’? I can’t? Here, hold my beer, lemme show you that I CAN!

I want to PROVE myself, I want to crush that yesterday self. Improving on him, and leaving yesterday’s self in the dust with today’s performance.

So yeah. I don’t get it WHY am I like this…But I love the feeling of accomplishment.

And sometimes I like to beat others. But it’s mainly about the accomplishment ๐Ÿ˜‰

Build me up training plan

So this is it! The current training plan I’m on, Ze Unicorn one, the VO2Max killing machine!

Truth to be told, I don’t know why I’ve picked this one. Probably I was pondering about weekly TSS and weekly hours, and Build me up (BMU from now on) training plan looked like a fit into my ideas for autumn / winter first training plan.

Overall training load for Build me up training plan
TSS load during the 13 weeks (incl. week 0)

And boi I was right! I mean with my choice. I was able to fit 3 other training (treadmill+Gym session) into my weeks from the start up to week 7! So the load was manageable, but it got harder and harder until on week 7 during LOX workoutย my heart literally gave up on me! You can check in the video at 45 minutes mark. My HR started to climb up in the interval, and then suddenly it dropped in a few seconds to 70 BPM, my heart pounding like a crazy miner with a pick, strength gone from legs…Had to stop actually, and take a few breaths before continuing the training.

So in the past 2-3 weeks, it’s crystallized in my head that BMU training plan is not for beginners, so if you haven’t have enough kilometers (3-4000km / past few months) or unfamiliar with race load (high load, surges, etc.) than it could lead to overtraining and disappointment.

TSS by weeks
Weekly rundown of training load of BMU training plan

A brief overlook about the BMU training plan below, marked the nastiest workout each week. You are probably wondering about those Unicorns. These are hard workouts, which getting harder with each iteration. Actually, the Unicorn workouts starting to get international recognition as running jokes in comments. Also, worth to note the ramping up training load from week 5, and make no mistake – those VO2Max workouts on week 6 / 7 / 8 will hurt. Badly. I’m currently looking forward to week 9 (rest week) and can’t eeven anticipate the load on week 12 (in Zwift Week 1 is actually Week 0)

Note that the TSS numbers are approximate numbers from What’s on Zwiftย website, probably varies in you experience.

So, in a nutshell, if you are experienced in suffering and pain (or at least touched that in the past months with your training load / race experience) go for it, pick up Build Me Up training plan. Otherwise, please pick a lighter load with more volume and less high-power-and-cadence work.

TSS load and hardest workout
TSS chart with hardest workouts

With that, thank you for your attention!

KR,

Andras

October, 2018

So here we go, a summary of October in 2018.

It wasn’t that hard. I mean, I was tired from day to day, but I could manage to counter balance it with sleep and nutrition, so, yes, I was tired after training, but relatively fresh before them every time! Accumulated 43 training hours and only three days without training.

I know it’s not THAT much. Many other fellow amateur athlete is doing more than me, however, I already thought that 2018 is a good year for me, and October turned out to be my most active month! I’m a happy bunny!

Thing is, I’ve pushed thru some discomfort (but that’s expected while training, innit?), some early morning wasn’t really easy, also factoring in travelling into my training is always a pain in the butt…I’m getting up at 4:30 AM, cycling usually starts at 5:30 AM or Gym/treadmill at 6 AM.

Nevertheless, here goes the data what I’m proud of, as my personal achievement! Let’s see what November will bring!