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How to Train With Power on a Mountain Bike

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Many MTB riders are often perplexed at the use of a power meter during their training. How is training with power on a mountain bike and a road bike different? In this article I’ll show you how to train with power on a mountain bike and why it can be a valuable tool for increasing your performance—as long as you are on the right terrain to train a specific metric. Let me explain.

If you go out on a fast ride or do a race with a power meter on your road bike, the data collected is valuable. You can see what power and corresponding heart rates were produced for the entire ride and during key sections of the ride. Combined with your personal debrief of the ride (weather conditions, drafting comments, places on the course where you were strong or weak, as well as any other pertinent details)— training zones, goals and training objectives can be established.

Achieving your training objectives will go a long way toward meeting your performance or results goals. If you train with a power meter, one of your goals will surely be to hit certain power numbers aimed at improving distinct areas of fitness. Let’s look at these fitness areas.

Aerobic Endurance and Intensive Endurance (or Tempo Riding)

Keeping track of power numbers for endurance work on the road and mountain bike is very similar. Over the course of time, you are looking for the most speed for the least effort. For my riders, I will mix up assigning these rides based on power zones and heart rate zones. I do this so I can watch when average power numbers increase for a given heart rate zone, or when average heart rate decreases for a given power zone.

For road racing, aerobic endurance can be on completely flat terrain, rolling hills or tough hills. Endurance power demands for a flat course are slightly different than for a hilly course. The riders I’ve worked with tend to generate slightly higher power outputs in the hills than on the flats.

For mountain bike racing, there is always climbing involved in the power numbers, even for long endurance racing. When working on endurance, the challenge on the mountain bike is to select a course that isn’t so difficult that you are constantly riding at threshold or above. This is especially true if the purpose of the workout is recovery.

Threshold

The ability to maintain a high and steady power output at lactate threshold is tough. This effort is the power output required to go fast for a time trial lasting roughly an hour. Some people tend to think of this effort as only needed for time trials, but it is really a fitness needed for all races between 60 and 180 minutes.

I like to train this fitness marker by assigning intervals some three to 10 minutes in length, with easy recoveries (about 1/4 to 1/3 the time of the work interval). Finding a good stretch of road to do this kind of interval training on is relatively easy.

Off-road threshold interval training can be more difficult. On the mountain bike these intervals are best done on a good stretch of dirt road, two track or relatively smooth single track where power values can be more tightly controlled.

Aerobic Capacity

The next area of fitness is called aerobic capacity, anaerobic endurance, speed endurance or VO2max by various coaches. These are relatively high average power outputs sustainable in a race situation for some 30 minutes, give or take. Interval training for this might look like high, sustained power for three to five minutes with equal recoveries.

It is usually pretty easy to find a good section of road for intervals in this zone, not as easy on the mountain bike. The mountain bike section needs to be:

not too steep
not so technical as to drive power needs above this zone
offer a good spot to recover.

The issue with aiming to do structured, controlled training in this zone is that you need to be able to control power output and recovery is critical. If the terrain won’t allow you to control power or perhaps even look at the power meter because you need to keep your eyes on the trail, then the purpose of the workout is lost.

Anaerobic Capacity, Neuromuscular Power

On the road bike, this is an all-out sprint lasting for less than 45 seconds. On the mountain bike, it is most often an all-out power effort to clear an obstacle. In both cases, effort is the measure and watching the power meter is less of a goal. The real goal is to produce as much power as you possibly can, along with very generous recoveries of some three to five minutes.

It’s easy to sprint on a road bike and then recover. A good mountain bike course for this kind of power output would be a steep uphill where keeping a focus on terrain is not an issue, or, working on both skills and power at the same time by using a high power output to get over a technical obstacle. Recovery after the obstacle is key.

My preference is to first work on high power output on easy terrain, then moving to more technical terrain. It’s a lot easier to ride technical trails when your high-end power is trained.

The Bottom Line

You can use the same power zones on a road bike that you do on your mountain bike. However, doing intervals or structured workouts on the mountain bike is more of a challenge because you must select a course that will allow you achieve the goals of the session.

The post How to Train With Power on a Mountain Bike appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

The Peter Attia Approach to Dieting for Endurance Athletes (Part 2)

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In part one of this series, I outlined the background information on Dr Peter Attia, detailing Peter’s individualized approach to diets, and the importance of fat oxidation for endurance performance (normally through a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet).

Reading the first post provides important context for understanding the basis of the forthcoming examples and recommendations. As I mentioned in the first post, please note that while Peter Attia is fine with me trying to tackle the topic, it does not imply his endorsement of the approaches in this article as they are my own.

Continuing on from my first continuous blood glucose meter (CGM) example, my next case is from the lab, where I was volunteering for a study and was asked to do a maximal volume of oxygen uptake (VO2max) test. In this test, the power ramps up quickly to determine my peak aerobic power output along with my VO2max. Prior to this, I had done a steady state test to determine my fat and carbohydrate oxidation rates. kind

For the short 14-min test (only my heart rate is shown), what is interesting was that after I was finished, my blood glucose spiked to 8.9 mmol/L, which is a high number for me, and took an hour to get back down to baseline. This finding brought to light, for me, the impact of high-intensity exercise.

Imagine the situation where you were always training hard, coupled with other lifestyle factors known to raise blood glucose. The high-intensity exercise could potentially be adding to the problem rather than being a healthy solution. I’ve written about this issue in a prior TrainingPeaks blog post. High-intensity training is still important, but I suppose balance is the key.

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Stress comes in many forms, not just high-intensity exercise. It’s also due to poor sleep and the self-imposed stress we inflict on ourselves in today’s world of pinging emails and incessant social media updates.

Peter has reported on the impact of stress in his podcasts, where despite keeping his glucose low during the day, he can still experience high levels of blood glucose in the evening in line with stressful situations occurring in his daily life. Likewise, I could show another CGM trace with nearly the identical response to my VO2max test, but where the rise in glucose involved no exercise or diet manipulation whatsoever, but simply reading an email that was upsetting.

However, each situation shares a common cause, with the stress hormone cortisol most likely to blame. Thus, to combat against these environmental stressors that affect us, and in the name of maximizing fat oxidation for performance and longevity, Peter recommends practicing some form of meditation, an idea which was once dismissed by many as being a bit “out there,” but has gained greater traction in the science realm as the benefits are reliably proven. From personal experience, low-key meditation is something that’s certainly helped me control my response to stressful situations and also greatly improved my sleep.

Finally, I’ll share a nutrition example from my colleague Dr. Dan Plews. In this example, The Plews ate what we might consider to be a delicious, healthy pear at about 11 a.m., during work hours. We were surprised how high this spiked his glucose levels (6.7 mmol/L) for an hour before his lunchtime run (70 minutes long), which eventually helped return his glucose levels back to normal. Note the response of his pear in contrast his earlier morning LCHF breakfast (6:45 a.m.), which did very little to impact his glucose level:

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Alternatively, take again the example of The Plews during a seven-hour training ride we did in the Swiss Alps (shown below), with a clear break in the middle at which point we enjoyed a relatively high carbohydrate meal.

In this situation however, where a high workload preceded the meal (note the 42-minute climb at 300W just prior), there’s no noticeable impact on his blood glucose level. Thus, timing is everything. You can ultimately cheat the system if you know how it works.

Additionally, perhaps this is how professional endurance athletes, some known to train 35 to 40 hours per week, can be successful on high carbohydrate diets. However, we believe that it can be done successfully on a much lower training load when proper attention is paid to some of these principles.

History, 33 yr old male triathlete, 4 years LCHF

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As mentioned, everyone’s an individual, but here are a few key learnings from the N=1 data shown before getting back to Peter.

If fat oxidation is important, we should try to keep blood insulin (proxy glucose) relatively low throughout the day.
We can exercise at surprisingly low blood glucose levels if we are fat-adapted.
Stress, in many forms, including high-intensity exercise, poor sleep and even nasty emails, can raise blood glucose levels (heart rate variability can be an easy measurement to monitor this).
Even so-called healthy foods such as fruit can impact our blood glucose levels in certain states.
Higher-carbohydrate feedings are tolerable from a blood glucose (proxy insulin) situation where you’ve already exercised.
High-intensity exercise is attainable on an LCHF diet (keto-adapted state).

The Peter Attia Approach to Diet for Endurance Athletes

So how does this information affect us? And how does it relate to the Peter Attia approach to dieting for endurance (and longevity)? As Dr. Attia has said, at least for athletes 40 years of age or older, it’s a diet that keeps insulin low (along with some other biochemical markers you can learn about by following Peter; IGF, MTOR1, RAS, with AMPk high).

However, optimal fraction of these molecules will be different for each of us. For Peter, someone who is mildly insulin-resistant (like myself), it winds up being a diet that is about 20 percent carbohydrate, 20 percent protein and 60 percent fat.

Importantly, he recommends a diet that keeps your average blood glucose low, without major spikes throughout the day (or evening). He also recommends protein to be just high enough to maintain your muscle mass, but not any higher. The balance of the diet should be in the form of healthy fats, which he says is the thing people seem to find most challenging. To keep tabs on the quantities of these macronutrients in your diet, I recommend using a new free smartphone app (shown below) called Senza.

To finish, Peter’s approach has been revolutionary for my own health and performance, as well as those of the athletes whom The Plews and I coach. Thus, we value Peter’s leadership in this area. Of note, a couple of our elite male athletes, Kyle Buckingham and Jan van Berkel recently underwent a 180-degree flip of their diets using these principles, in concert with personal best performances at the recent IRONMAN South Africa. You can see more about the remarkable changes in their markers of health here.

I’ll be presenting on these topics, as well as the information from my first blog post, at the upcoming Endurance Coaching Summit.

Key points

Fat burning is important. To maximize it, aim to keep blood glucose (proxy insulin) relatively low throughout the day.
We’re all individuals, so find out where your glucose levels sit throughout the day by getting a hold of a CGM. If that’s not available, a morning-fasted blood glucose measurement can also be informative, a device that you can pick up at most pharmacies.
To learn about the quantities of carbohydrate you’re consuming in foods and how they relate to your blood glucose, use a food diary.
Even “so-called” healthy foods like fruit can impact our blood glucose levels (proxy insulin and subsequent fat burning ability) in certain states. Therefore, timing carbohydrate ingestion so that it occurs during/after exercise may be most effective in terms of having the least negative impact on your fat oxidation rate.
Stress, in its many forms, can raise blood glucose levels, and HRV monitoring can be an easy and practical means of understanding daily fluctuations.
If you, or someone you know has the signs of Type II diabetes, get in touch with experts at Virta Health.

Paul Laursen, PhD will be a speaker at the 2017 Endurance Coaching Summit, held Aug. 3-4 in Boulder, Colo. Learn more from coaches and experts on topics including physiology, race planning, marketing and more. Register now!

The post The Peter Attia Approach to Dieting for Endurance Athletes (Part 2) appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

VIDEO: Endurance Strength Roundup- Shoulder Stability Exercises for Swimming

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Welcome to the TrainingPeaks Endurance Strength Roundup video series. In each installment D3 Multisport coaches will show you quick, efficient movements with minimal equipment that are designed to be easily added to your multisport routine for increased strength, power and injury prevention.

In this installment, D3 Multisport Coach Laura Marcoux will go over two shoulder exercises: the scapula push-up and “snow devils.” These two moves target the scapula, a wing-like bone that attaches the upper arm to the clavicle. A strong scapula helps you not only swim faster but also avoid common swimming overuse injuries to the shoulder girdle. To do these moves you’ll need one set of light dumbbells (between three and seven pounds each). Try to do three sets of 10 repetitions of each move two-to-three times a week for optimal results.

For more TrainingPeaks videos, click here. For more D3 Multisport videos, click here.

The post VIDEO: Endurance Strength Roundup- Shoulder Stability Exercises for Swimming appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

How to Make the Jump from Marathons to Ultras

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With more and more people signing up for ultramarathons—are you starting to get the itch too? These guidelines will show you how to make the jump from marathons to ultras and give you some key tips for having the best race possible.

It All Starts With a Plan

Longer distances will require more time in lots of aspects, make sure you have the time to commit to training. Starting with a good training plan or a coach and an idea of how many hours you can train each week is key. Take some time to find the right plan and the right coach to suit your needs and your training availability.

Know Your Time Frame

If you’re currently in good shape you can prepare for a 50K (which is about 31 miles) in roughly 12 weeks. However, if you’re starting from scratch give yourself plenty of time, up to 24 weeks to prepare for your event. Add an additional eight to 10 weeks of training for events that are between 50K and 100 miles in length.

5 Tips For Your Best Race
1. Run where you race (or as close as you can!).

It can be hard to find trail access in urban areas, however it’s a pretty safe bet most ultras will take you off road and onto a trail. For some, finding a trail or technical section can require some creativity, but it is worth the extra effort and possible drive time.

Getting onto a trail and off the roads can beneficial in multiple ways; it helps break up training by taking you out of your comfort zone, gets you into new training situations, and will require you to think on your feet. Thinking on your feet and even getting a little lost is a crucial part of long-distance run training, and developing a strong sense of direction and the ability to cope in the event of a mistake is a necessary skill.

Take to trails in small doses if you’re not a regular trail runner. If you’re totally lost, remember that trail running offers the bonus of less impact on you and your body. Less impact and more time on feet will help increase your durability both mentally and physically. It won’t always be easy!

2. Throw away your ego.

The first thing you’ll notice is that mile splits and hitting very specific times go out of the window at first. If you think you’re going to run a consistent pace front to back in an ultra, you will come to a harsh realization at your first hill or technical section.

Ultramarathons require a “manage it as it happens” approach. While a road marathon requires supreme fitness, an ultra requires similar fitness with the added challenge of solving problems as you run. Running down a steep technical hill with rocks and roots, and then quickly back up a wet culvert requires good fitness and the ability to control yourself so you can get to the finish line in one piece.

3. Time on your feet is king.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use fitness markers to your advantage in a race. A majority of my ultra marathon plans are based on heart rate (HR), and require you to find a comfortable zone that you can run in, and then endure for four to seven hours to complete the course.

Keeping yourself in an aerobic zone allows you to utilize onboard energy more efficiently and will keep you feeling fresh longer. Tip over your HR threshold a few too many times, and you may find your race a lot tougher during those last 10 miles.

Mileage is not always the best marker when going off road; time on your feet matters more than the weekly mileage totals. You’ll find that if a majority of your work is truly aerobic, you’ll be running slower than you may have been in previous training build ups. This will require you to reframe what’s important in your ultra training. Looking at your total weekly hours and building up to more consecutive hours will be key to building yourself into an ultramarathon runner.

4. Pressure test the system.

Ultramarathon training on the surface simply requires you to run longer, pushing you out of your comfort zone mentally and physically. One of the biggest roadblocks for a successful first ultra is not having tested yourself at your race effort. You may find that you need to adjust for electrolytes after two to three hours, that you do better with solid food the first half of a race, or that you need to change shoes because your feet swell in warm temperatures. These small nuances can have a huge impact on your race—especially once you start looking at 50 mile, 100K, and 100-mile races.

hydration and fueling strategies should be tested on your long runs, and you should start to note what it feels like when you’re dehydrated or low on fuel. Your long runs are your chance to try out new fuels. Learning how to work through a bad stretch in a long run is a vital learning experience in many ways!

A key component to your success is getting in the training but also replicating what you’re going to expect to see on race day; think about the terrain, major elements like long hills, extended descents or race day conditions like extreme heat or cold.

5. You’re stronger and more capable than you think.

It’s hard to imagine what running 30 miles or more will feel like, and I can’t even tell you what you will personally experience. To some that extra five miles is an eternity, and to others it’s a natural and more comfortable progression.  Pacing yourself and taking the race aid station to aid station is going to help you break the race into manageable chunks. Give yourself a boost at each aid station as a reward, or imbibe in an aid station treat (believe me they have some amazing things at these trail races!).

An ultra requires mental persistence, self-affirmation and a belief that you can complete it. Many professionals utilize mantras to keep them focused and “in the zone.” Others like to use music, podcasts or other tactics to push the little monster out from inside their head. Using a motivational tool or pacer can be a huge help  toward ensuring your success on race day.

Recovery

First and foremost, ultras are longer than you’ve ever gone before. In both training and racing, you’ll be pushing your body into new territories.  This can come with its own aches and pains; post-race you’ll want to give yourself an extra seven to 10 days of low mileage on top of your normal marathon recovery protocol.

Following your first ultra you should allow yourself five days of low impact activity directly following and roughly 10 to 14 days before you return to your normal training or start to focus on your next event. Remember, the first one always takes the longest to recover from! In rare cases there can be minimal soreness; don’t let this fool you. Long distance racing takes a larger and more impactful metabolic, mental and physiological toll that can put you down for longer than you think.

Take this time to enjoy activities you missed out on during peak training, and maybe sleep in a little, and slowly introduce yourself back to training. After all, recovery is the second best part after the race itself!

The post How to Make the Jump from Marathons to Ultras appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

A Detailed Analysis of Cannondale-Drapac Rider Ryan Mullen’s 2017 Classics Campaign

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It is rare to get a glimpse into just what goes on behind the scene’s throughout a pro cyclist’s racing season, but by doing so we can get a clearer picture into just how much detailed work must be done in order to prepare and recover from each race fully. However, we were given the opportunity to do just that with Cannondale-Drapac Pro Team rider Ryan Mullen.

This overview will cover the starting point in his winter preparation right up to the end of his race at the 2017 Paris-Roubaix. We’ll be taking a look at the training, intensity and demands on riders as they build toward a peak fitness for the huge demands of the Northern Belgium Classics.

Ryan is in his second full year in the WorldTour ranks after competing on the continental circuit with teams such as the An Post – Chain Reaction and Team IG – Sigma Sport. With medals in the World Under 23 Time Trial Championships and a superb fifth place in the Elite Time Trial championships in 2016, it is easy to see where Ryan’s main strengths lie currently.

With age on his side, the 22 year old has the fantastic opportunity to develop into more than just a TT specialist, with his power and physique we can see the potential for him to be molded into a classic campaign rider, much like that of Luke Durbridge whose TT background has seen him breakthrough in 2017 as one of the best one day riders this year.

Race Season Preparation

Ryan started his preparation for the 2017 in earnest around the November 14, 2016, after a well-deserved end-of-season break. Ryan started to build his training load from the middle of November. He started from a CTL of 74 and his early ramp was to build toward the first training camp of the year which took place over eight days between the December 11 and December 18.

This early phase in November was aimed at building aerobic fitness and getting the body back into the routine of training. The emphasis was on making sure he was at a good condition and fitness so he would be ready to take on a high number of hours and kilometers during the first camp of the year.

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Early Season Training Camp

The first training camp of the year saw Ryan start from a CTL of 84 and build to 103 over an eight-day period. This was a big eight days in the saddle with a total of 900 km covered and over 31 hours of total ride time. In this camp they completed three two-day training blocks with two recovery days. The longest day consisted of 154 km and 5.25 hours riding, and the average training days lasted around 135 km and 4.5 hours of cycling.

The 19 CTL ramp over the eight days would be a lot for many amateur riders who have little experience in having this sort of high training load. Less experienced riders can find such a high load in a short period of time  to cause too much fatigue and little adaptation. Ryan, like many elite pros, has had his body adapted over many years to training for such durations and intensities, allowing him to absorb the training and come out of the camps with an increased fitness rather than a very fatigued body. He left the first camp of the year with a 160 ATL (and sore legs to boot).

With the first camp completed, Ryan had only a short two-day recovery period before starting his training during the holidays. The week after the first camp of the year and the week leading up to Christmas Ryan still kicked out 415 km and 14.5 hours in the saddle, which allowed him to maintain his CTL around 100 and have this increase after the new year just prior to the second training camp of the year.

Final Pre-Season Training Camp

The second training camp of the year started on January 12th, here he was at a CTL of 110, 26 points higher than what he started at during his first camp in December. With this higher level of fitness and gradual increase in intensity over the interim three-plus weeks, he had the ability to complete the more intensive second training camp of the pre-season.

The second camp of the year lasted a total of seven days and during this time Ryan completed a total of 950 km with 30.5 hours in the saddle. The camp had a different format to the first, consisting of two three-day blocks with only one recovery day on the fourth day of camp.

The longest ride of the camp consisted of close to 200 km and six hours in the chair as they powered their way around the Spanish countryside. The end of the camp saw Ryan accumulate a CTL of 122, which is a 22-point ramp over the seven days. He ended up with a low TSB of -50 as he left this intensive seven-day camp.

The Season Begins

With 13 days between the end of the last training camp and his first race of the year at the Tour of Valencia, Ryan needed to freshen up after a hard seven days in order to bring that TSB back to a reasonable level. Doing so allowed him to get in some quality rides as the intensity of the training started to increase toward the first race of the year.

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Tour of Valencia

Ryan had three recovery days after the second camp, allowing his TSB to come up to +7. From here he began a seven-day solo training block which moved his CTL to its highest so far (125 points) on January 28. A short three-day recovery period leading into Valencia meant Ryan had “fresh” legs to kick off his season in Spain. This meant he was then able to use the racing kilometers to hone his form as he built toward April. The five days in Valencia were particularly hard with a 12-point ramp in his CTL going from 123 on day one to 135 after the final stage. He also came out of the race with his lowest TSB reading for this period, going down to -60 and a ATL of 200, indicating a high level of fatigue.

The period after Valencia and before the next race of the year, Volta Algarve from February 15th to February 19th, was about recovery and adaption from the big month previous (from early January to start of Feb). In that previous month he had accumulated a team training camp, the first stage race of the year and big solo training blocks out of his home base in Girona in between.

The nine days between Valencia and Volta Algarve saw Ryan bring his TSB back up to -10 before he had some specific work in the lead up to Algarve. He was also able to lower his CTL to 125 over this from a high of 135 after the end of the first stage race of the year. By recovering adequately he was able to bring his TSB to +20 on the start line of Volta Algarve.

Volta Algarve into the Belgium Classics

The five days of Volta Algarve were again on hilly terrain with lots of climbing and aggressive racing, Ryan himself was in a number of breaks during the race, showing his fitness at the pointy end of the peloton and a 14th place in the Individual TT.

With only five days between the end of Algarve and the start of the Belgium opening Classic weekend of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, the ability to recover from a hard five days in Portugal was critical if he was to hit the ground running in Belgium.

Ryan finished Algarve with a CTL of 137 and a TSB of -50, indicating a high level of fatigue. The five days between these races was used to travel and do some short recon rides of the Belgium roads he would be racing on in the coming weeks. This allowed him to get his TSB back up to +2 in time for the Belgium Classics and get in two big days on the cobbles.

The two back-to-back semi-Classics saw Ryan put out more than 300 TSS each day with a Normalized Power of more than 330W on both days. These two big days of racing also saw Ryan edge up his CTL to a peak of 140 and a ATL of 185—his ATL jumping from 135 to 185 over two days shows the impact and intensity of these one day races.

Tirreno-Adriactico

The next phase had Ryan heading to Tirreno-Adriatico between the March 8th and 14th. This race is used by many in their final preparation for the bigger one-day races, which come in quick succession through the end of March and into the start of April.

Between the opening weekend of the Belgium Semi-Classics and Tirreno Ryan had nine days to recover and prepare. During this time we see a common trait in his recovery where his TSB is brought up to -10 before starting some maintenance sessions to keep the adaptations from previous races and still have his body ready and primed for Tirreno.

The main priority at this time is keeping healthy, absorbing the previous racing block and using training sessions to work on the specific areas that needed attention as he built toward the big one days. He started Tirreno with a +10 TSB and a CTL of 136 (similar CTL to what he finished Algarve).

The seven days in Italy were particularly hard with three stages over 200 km in length. Over this duration and intensity Ryan came out of Tirreno with his peak CTL of 153, which is a ramp of 17 over the seven days of racing. Going from a CTL of 136 to a CTL of 153 is not something you can handle unless you have the massive workload done previously, which Ryan had put in during the past months.

Finishing the race with a 9th  place in the final stage TT showed that Ryan had adapted well and his form and current fitness level were good enough to put out a big effort after six days of hard racing. He already was at -55 TSB going into the TT, which means it was a big ask for anyone to squeeze out such a big individual effort.

The Classics

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The Belgium Classics Begin

With all the “prep” out of the way, it was now down to eight days of recovery and fine tuning between Tirreno and the first Belgium Classic, Dwars Door Vlaanderen on March 22. Ryan was to play a key role with the Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team by aiding team leader Dylan van Baarle and close to the head of affairs during critical times within these Classic races.

Ryan hit Dwars Door Vlaanderen with a CTL of 145, and he was to keep this at a consistent level as he rode through Dwars Door Vlaanderen and onto GP E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem—all in the space of five days. Ryan spent much of Gent-Wevelgem in the lead break and having a Normalized Power of 335W for the 250 km and six hours of racing.

This mammoth effort brought his CTL back up to 150 with an ATL of 177. Between these races was recovery and full rest, as the harsh roads of Belgium have a massive effect on your ability to recover. 250 km in Belgium is different from 250 km in Southern Spain, when looking at the impact it has on your body.

The six days between Gent-Wevelgem and Ronde van Vlaanderen meant it was enough time to fit in two training rides, which consisted of two recovery rides of 40 km and 50 km on Monday and Tuesday followed by a big five hour, 150 km ride on Wednesday and a 3.5 hour, 105 km team recon ride of the Flanders route on Thursday. Friday was again a short ride along with Saturday being a 46 km ride while paced by team car. Ryan started Flanders with a CTL of 140 and a TSB of -2.

Ronde van Vlaanderen was a successful day for the team as Ryan’s teammate, Dylan van Baarle, finished in an impressive fourth place, with Ryan playing a key role in this success with his work early in the race. You can view Ryan’s full power file from this ride HERE or by clicking the image below:

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Stats from the race

Place: 82nd
Time: 6hr 30min
Distance: 260km
TSS: 437
NP: 342
Ave P: 272
W/KG: 3.28
Ave HR: 153
Peak 2 sec: 1368 W (W/kg 16.5)
Peak 30 sec: 810 W (W/kg 9.76)
Peak 05:00 min: 466 W (W/kg 5.61)
Peak 10:00 min: 410 W (W/kg 4.94)
Peak 30:00 min: 361 W (W/kg 4.35)

The lead into Paris Roubaix was a similar format to that of Flanders, building freshness and avoiding any unwanted last-minute health issues, as well as keeping the fitness gains from the previous big races. With two very easy rides of around one hour on the Monday and Tuesday after Flanders and a Roubaix recon ride of three hours and 95 km on Wednesday. Thursday was a complete rest day, followed by two short rides of 1.5 and two hours on both Friday and Saturday. This allowed Ryan to bring his TSB right up to +30 for Roubaix with a CTL of 135.

Paris- Roubaix is one of Ryan’s favorite races of the year, and one which he hopes to perform well at in the future. Again, he was there in the service of Dylan van Baarle (you can see my overview of how van Baarle’s Paris-Roubaix went here) and also to make opportunities for himself in the front selections during the harsh 256 km across Northern France. You can view Ryan’s full Power File HERE or by clicking on the image below:

05145-analysis-cannondale-drapac-rider-ryan-mullen-2017-classics-campaign-fig5

Stats from the race

Place: 50th
Time: 5hr 50min
Distance: 256km
TSS: 374
NP: 335
Ave P: 290
W/KG: 3.49
Ave HR: 180
Peak 2 sec 1252 W (W/kg 15.1)
Peak 30 sec 670 W (W/kg 8.09)
Peak 05:00 min 429 W (W/kg 5.17)
Peak 10:00 min 376 W (W/kg 4.53)
Peak 30:00 min 332 W (W/kg 4.00)

Spring Classics Concluded

The conclusion of Paris – Roubaix was to be the final part of his spring campaign and the culmination of all the hard work and dedication put in from the middle of November all the way through 24 days of racing between February 1st and April 9th. It is a great insight into the demands of a WorldTour professional and the requirements necessary for consistent training and focus toward major objectives throughout the year. Many thanks to Ryan for his input and to the team for sharing his insightful data.

The post A Detailed Analysis of Cannondale-Drapac Rider Ryan Mullen’s 2017 Classics Campaign appeared first on TrainingPeaks.

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