Weekly Summary

Weekly Summary Feb 18 – Feb 24, 2013: Stijn Vanderbergh, Omloop het Nieuwsblad and February Blues

Home » The Training Hours » Weekly Summary » Weekly Summary Feb 18 – Feb 24, 2013: Stijn Vanderbergh, Omloop het Nieuwsblad and February Blues


Weight program: Strength Build Week 6 out of 7

Monday:  Indoor ride 25min warmup, 45min @ 95% FTP (Estimated Z4), 10min cooldown. 
 morning Weights; afternoon 75min Z2 indoor ride
Wednesday: 90min indoor Z3 ride
Thursday: 80min  Z3 ride 254W Avg/254W xPower (it was COLD!!!!)
Friday: morning Weights; afternoon 75min indoor Z2 ride
Saturday: 2:15h Group Ride 214W Avg/239W xPower
Sunday: Off

Total Bikescore: 429
Total Training Time: 8:50h bike + 2.5h weights

Weekly Summary

First, congratulations to a fellow big guy Stijn Vanderbergh (Omega Pharma QuickStep) for placing second in the 2013 edition of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Saturday here was very windy and cold and even our Group Ride was splitting on the small Dutch roads, so I can only imagine how tough it was for the riders in Belgium.

I have been in an information vacuum last week, hence the lack of updates on this blog. They say February is the toughest month. The weeks of fatigue catch up with the New Year’s motivation. My training has been going very well, however, this blog and hence you, my readers had to take the toll of my February blues. I will correct that, and there is plenty of new content coming up so stay tuned!

Back to the weekly summary. I have been feeling quite recovered and fit and besides the weight training on Friday I have been able to finish all workouts without any hunches. Although the volume is only a little higher than last week, I did two Z3 rides instead of a Z2 and Z3 ride midweek. Therefore the training stress is higher. The coming week will feature a similar pattern and since the weather is still icy and cold I will be spending many hours on the trainer. My Stress Balance is remaining slightly negative so I should be careful if signs of overtraining start creeping up.

You can find explanations of the terms here together with explanations of the Training Zones.

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Home » The Training Hours » Weekly Summary » Weekly Summary Feb 18 – Feb 24, 2013: Stijn Vanderbergh, Omloop het Nieuwsblad and February Blues

4 replies on “Weekly Summary Feb 18 – Feb 24, 2013: Stijn Vanderbergh, Omloop het Nieuwsblad and February Blues”

Hi! I just want to say thank yor for your blog. I’ve read over all articles and to me it is great source of motivation.
Keep it going and have a nice start into the spring (this or next week or so).

Hi and thank you for your comment! I am glad you found motivation in my posts.
Stay tuned for more articles especially once racing starts up (when the weather hopefully starts cooperating). I have just added a “Follow by e-mail link at the top right corner of the blog for convenience as well.

Good luck with your cycling endeavors this season!

I also want to thank you for your posts, in particular your weekly training schedules. I’m a complete amateur, so I find this fascinating.

A question: I’d be interested in more details of your particular workouts – your Monday ride of 45 minutes @ Z4 – was that one long interval, or did you break it up in to intervals, and if so, what?

Spring is coming, even in Ontario, Canada!

You are welcome.
To answer your question: I do the 45min as one interval with no breaks, sometimes i take a minute (stop the clock) after the warmup to catch a breather, drink some water, etc.

The key here is to build up to that level (of duration and intensity).
A very general way to periodize things is:
Week 1: Z2 rides, slow steady and easy; get back into it
Week 2: 20min @ Z4 (intensity 0.9 of your FTP)
Week 3: 25min @ Z4 (intensity 0.9)
Week 4: 30min @ Z4 (intensity 0.9)
Week 5: 40min @ Z4 (intensity 0.92)
Week 6: 40min @ Z4 (intensity 0.92)
Week 7: 40min @ Z4 (intensity 0.94)
Week 8: 40min @ Z4 (intensity 0.94)
Week 9: 45min @ Z4 (intensity 0.94)
Week 10: 40min @ Z4 (intensity 0.96)
Week 11: 40min @ Z4 (intensity 0.96)
Week 12: 2x30min @ Z4 (intensity 0.96)

The idea is that you are working near your “redline” (or FTP, lactate threshold). You are still using oxygen (aerobic) and not producing much lactate so that your body eventually supercompensates by pushing the redline higher. It is important to gently build the volume (how long) first and than the intensity (how hard). As a result you will be able to do the shorter durations harder. As you can see after the 45min it is back to 40min, however, the intensity is higher. Some people brak up the 40min into 2x20min with 2-5min rest. The ideal workout is a 60min TT, however, this is mentally very challenging and unnecessary to be performed often in my opinion. Breaking it down in smaller pieces of 30min is doable. There is no single road here where I can do 20min uninterrupted so the indoor trainer is a very helpful tool here. How many weeks and how steady to build up with those Z4 workouts depends on when you want to be at your best fitness. I have done a 10, 20, 30min @ Z4, 4 week build period with great results. (Periodization is a topic I will cover in the future.)

The take home point is that the body supercompensates to what is asked from it. By “asking” the body to push the redline higher you develop a higher capacity (to use oxygen) so to say, I am simplifying here. Therefore you can push harder without going past the redline (and getting tired quickly).

Measuring the intensity is ideally done with a powermeter AND a heartrate monitor. You need to know/realistically guess your FTP (which would be intensity of 1.0) and lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR) (NOT your max heartrate). You should be hovering around your LTHR for the interval and as you get fitter the power output will increase, while the average HR remains roughly the same.

If you do not have a powermeter, you can use a heartrate monitor and perceived effort. It should feel tough and challenging to finish, though not impossible. Remember you should be able to sustain the effort, not hang by the skin of your teeth to finish it. It is simpler to figure out than it sounds. The one caveat is that you will have to find out what is your LT. That involves going past it. How would you know? Once you are past the redline you fatigue very very fast. So with some observations you will find out at what point you were past the redline. You need a ballpark number, so don’t get hung up on the small details. Of course perceived effort is subjective so not ideal, however, it will get you close enough. Just be honest with yourself and do not ask superhuman feats. I repeat myself, however, sustaining and steady rather than bursting.

I hope that clarifies it a bit, if you have more questions you can post in the comments section below.

Good luck!

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