So the Base 2 phase is nearly complete. Today, I’ll be banging out my last hard ride of the phase, and next week is all endurance/recovery rides. I’ve only got three rides on the calendar, but I’m going to try to get some road miles in every day. This is driven by the fact that the week after, I’m headed to Europe for a good chunk of time and won’t have time to train.
Measuring by the standard of FTP1, things are going pretty well. TrainerRoad did an AI-based analysis of my FTP, which saw a bump of a bit over six percent since the start of Base 2. I’m going to be doing a Ramp Test on the Monday before I leave for Europe so that I can get an idea of how well the AI and real-life jive. When I started this whole endeavor at the end of June, my FTP was a measly 140 watts. I’m up to 162 now, and I’m hoping that I can get into the 170 range before the Tour de Tucson.
If we talk about how I’m doing from a foo-foo feelings standpoint, I’m pretty pleased with my progress. I feel a lot stronger on the bike than I have in years, and not just physically. I’ve been working on my pedaling form for the first time in decades because I’ve gotten sloppy, and that alone has been helpful. Chris Balser got me squared away with my final fitting, and I’m feeling really good about how things are going on the gravel bike. With the Filthy 50 looming in mid-October, not long after I return from Europe, I have a lot of work left to do, but I’m pretty confident in how things are playing out.
Up Next: Build
Next on the training agenda is the build phase. This is, unfortunately, heavily interrupted by the Europe trip and then the Filthy 50. Then I’ve got about three weeks of really hard work before the Tour de Tucson.
Hoo boy. The training program wraps up the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and after that, I need to build a short 4-6 week plan to fill in time until the 2024 race calendar comes out, which will give me time to build something much more workable. So during that time, I need to do several things:
Non-bike gainz. First and foremost here is working strength training into my plans for 2024. I need to get stronger to get even faster. I will probably also add weekly yoga to my plan so that I can get more limber.
Bike strategy. I need to look into a new road bike. The Salsa has gotten really long in the tooth, and I’d like to keep it around as a criteriums-only bike. It’s long and low and the geometry is very much criterium focused. In my wildest dreams, I’d obliterate it while crashing in a pack sprint, which is the Viking Funeral of bike fates. We’ll see. Right now, I’m daydreaming about a custom-build of a Specialized Tarmac SL8 for the road.
Race calendar strategy. I need to decide on next year’s goals…and disciplines. Cyclocross is not on the list as I don’t have a CX specific bike. But it’ll likely be gravel, road, and potentially some randonneuring and mountain bike races, too. It’s a bit up in the air and it depends largely on the race calendars.
The power of marginal gains. I’m going to look for a few things to improve upon in 2024 that I’m not doing now. Daily diet/portion control is first and foremost among those. Keeping to my race weight over the winter is going to be huge.
Off to a good start so far. I’m already looking forward to killing it next year.
“Functional threshold power” for those of you that haven’t been following along.↩