At the end of 2016 I bought myself a Wahoo Kickr Snap so that I could train in winter for Roth. I used it occasionally, but pretty soon the weather got better and the trainer started collecting dust.
As this season was such a nightmare, I think I could do with laying some base for next year nice and early. My cycling was realy weak this year, it used to be my strength, but this season I would frequently lose minutes to Michael, Basti and Christoph.
So I decided to start on the Trainer Road Sweet Spot base plan. There are three levels- low, mid and high. The low only has 3 workouts per week, which seems like it would be too little for me. The mid has 5 which might be a little too much and the high has 6, definitely too much.
I decided on the mid, thinking that I could always skip the easy ride if I want. The next step is the FTP test. I know that there is an 8 minute test and a 20 minute test, both of which aren’t much fun, but now TrainerRoad has a Ramp Test which it uses to quickly find your FTP. The Ramp Test kicks up quite a few watts every minute until you can’t go on anymore. My FTP was set at 325 from last time I had used Trainer Road, so I left it there. After not very long I was done, and my FTP was said to be 282w, a bit disappointing but not too surprising.
One weird thing was how the test showed up on Strava
It showed me not hitting the blue bar watts, although I was in Erg mode with powermatch. I decided to switch off powermatch after that so that I could rely on the Kickr Snap, even if it is wrong it should be consistent.
The first workouts didn’t feel too taxing, so much so that I decided to start eeking up my percentage for each ride until I found my level. After really struggling with a weekend 90 minute over/under ride at 105%, I was happy to set my FTP at 292w.
I’m not finding riding on the trainer too bad surprisingly. I thought it’d be incredibly boring, but even the 90min rides are ok if you always have something to do. During the easy parts I do 2-3 minutes in aero with 1 minute rests, whereas when it’s more difficult, I just try to survive, or do the cadence drills that the software suggests.
After 4 weeks of the plan, I was going to Nice for the weekend, I had rearranged the plan so that I would ride before leaving on Thursday, and do the hardest workout of the week (the over/unders of McAdie +1) on Sunday. I’d increased my FTP to 301w after feeling like the workouts were getting a bit too easy. But when I got home on Sunday, I suddenly felt really ill, so training was called off.
I was ill until Thursday, but on Friday my Dad came to town for the weekend, so I decided to take off until Monday, meaning I had 10 days off the bike. I jumped back into the final hard week of the plan and though the first couple weren’t great, I managed everything with my 301FTP.
This is the last scheduled workout of the plan, it’s called Galena and it sucks! it’s not that hard, but it is 90mins long and has 3×20 minutes at sweet spot. It is mentally draining, normally I have breaks or some change in effort to make it more interesting, but damn Galena is boring!
Strangely the 2nd last hard workout was this one: Palisade. It’s also 90 mins long, but it wasn’t too bad at all! The intensity is higher than Galena, but you can split it up into sections and something is happening quite often. I’m starting to think that indoor training is 90% pyschological!
Anyway, I should have had 1 easy week left in the plan, but due to me missing a week, and the easy week looking incredibly boring, I switched in a sweetspot week, along with McAdie that I had missed after Nice
McAdie was tough, 4×12 mins with 1 minute under FTP, followed by 2 minute over FTP, 4 times in a row. I managed it ok though. The next day, and the final day of my amended plan, I decided to do Carson +2.
The final workouts
I have done Carson a few times, it is 6×5-7-minute intervals between 88-94% FTP totaling 36 minutes of Sweet Spot work. Carson +2 is 90 minutes long though instead of 60 and had 9×5-7 minutes instead of 6. With tired legs from McAdie, it was a real fight to finish it, I was even ready to bail out after 1h, but managed to talk myself out of it!
So that was Sweet Spot Base I Mid. It’s 80% fairly easy/manageable, with the over/unders sometimes being hard as hell. I’ll start on Sweet Spot Base II Mid after Christmas, that looks like it starts sprinkling of VO2max stuff, which should be interesting!
So the only thing left to do now is the Ramp Test again. I had a 282w FTP before the training plan, and afterwards… 330w! I think that’s a bit high, but wow!