So, for those who have been doing base training over the last few months, the winter Sportives (Hell of the Ashdown, Kentish Killer for those who are Kent based) provide the first opportunities to “test” your 2018 fitness, and get a good boost to confidence, or a wake up call  over sessions you may have missed in the past few months, for whatever reason, holidays, illness, weather, work commitments etc.

First thing to remember, is that it is FEBRUARY! We are still in the base training phase ( for those aiming for mid-summer events) and as such have not done a lot of work over threshold, for a while.

Pacing for these events is going to be key, keeping a lid on things and not getting carried away in the early part of the day.

Use your Garmin to help you with pacing. Set up your screens with a “climbing page” that you can swipe across to, to help you pace the multiple climbs on these events.

Select the following data fields for your climbing/ interval page.

3 sec power ( some smoothing helps stop the number jumping around tooo much)

% ftp ( a useful metric- if it says over 100% of ftp too much of the time you are heading for a fall in endurance events)

Lap power- this will help you to regulate the effort over the climb ( you will need to start easy, not go super hard and cling on as you fade)

Cadence- remember the 2 components of power are force X velocity ie how hard you are able to push down on the pedals, and how fast you can get the pedals to turn over, either can increase power output.   ( This is why we do so much work on cadence as well as developing strength )

Current lap- keeps you informed how long you have been holding this effort for.

During the ride.

  1. Make sure you know your current ftp. “Outside” ftp is likely to be 5-20w higher than indoor tested ftp. Bear this in mind, but don’t be too gung-ho early on, or it may bite you on the botty later on.
  2. Use your lap button at the bottom of every climb.
  3. Keep an eye on the numbers all the way up, keeping to threshold. That way you may be able to keep this going all day. If you do the first 3 climbs at 110-130% of threshold ftp you are likely to be unable to keep this up all day. If (IF….)  you are still feeling fresh in the second half of the ride, then you can push it on a bit more then.
  4. Try to ride your own ride on the climbs, and not be influenced by riders around you.
  5. A couple of the climbs may be too steep to keep the power down, but keeping thing under control rather than pushing out maximum watts will allow you to do everything for longer.
  6. using the lap button also allows me to see how you held out throughout the day!
  7. wear your HRM- be aware that if you are seeing Z5 HR for a lot of the day then you are burning lots of matches.
  8. You have a limited number of matches throughout the day, the more time you spend above threshold ( power and/or HR) the more matches you use. When fully fit, you have an hour in any given day above threshold. ( that’s it) What we are trying to do, with all the training, is increase your ftp so that you can go along fast and hard, but it’s still below threshold.  ( this is the target for your A event)
  9. EAT. You will need lots of fuel, there have not been multiple long rides in the prep for these events, mostly regulated by the poor weather this winter, and you forget how much you need to eat to ride all day. Carry a couple of emergency gels as well as solid food, and eat both.
  10. The night before, eat well, a normal mixed healthy meal, some protein, veggies and plenty of complex carbs, brown rice/ potatoes/ sweet potatoes, etc. Refuel in the morning with porridge or bircher to replenish what stores your body may have used overnight. No prizes for riding starved, ( and no weight loss benefits according to recent research)
  11. Carry enough clothing for the forecast weather.

What I will be looking for when I analyse your event files. 

  1. Normalised power – is average power with topography taken into account.
  2. IF= Intensity Factor – ie at what percentage of your ftp you completed the ride. 65% would be an easy ride, 88% a challenging ride, 105% new ftp!!
  3. pr/HR – is the ratio of power to heart rate in the first and second half of the ride. This metric compares efficiency factors in the first and send half of the ride. The higher the number the poorer the aerobic fitness. ( taken with a pinch of salt, as this is an event not a aerobic endurance ride, but it tells me how you might have been feeling in the second half compared to the first..!)
  4. Any personal records ( for premium users only) I wont adjust ftp purely based on an event compared to indoor ftp , but its useful to know there is more in the tank! ( and it may expedite a raise!)
  5. I will be looking at each lap data, and comparing them. I f you dont press the lap button I can put one or 2 laps in manually for important sections.
  6. Time spent in HR and Power zones.
  7. I will glance at all the other data, and investigate anything abnormal looking!

Mainly, try to keep a lid on things and enjoy your first events of 2018.

I hope this was helpful.