January 2014 in review.
January has been a good month. I began my 2014 cut almost three weeks ago (January 13th), but I started doing daily rides on December 31st. I’ll be riding today, of course, and that means January 2014 is the first time I’ve ridden every single day without fail for a full calendar month. Even though I often didn’t have more than an hour to ride (many times I had to settle a one hour ride on my lunch hour), I still made sure I was on the bike every day.
Yesterday I broke the 1,000 kilometer mark for January (1,019 kilometers), and today I expect to ride approximately 40 kilometers. That will put me well north of 1,050 kilometers for the month, making this my second biggest riding month ever (my personal record is June 2013 with 1,167.4 kilometers).
Here’s my January 2014 cycling log (click to enlarge).:
I resumed my indoor TrainerRoad cycling training program this month, and none too soon. My ego was dealt quite a blow when I re-tested my FTP at the beginning of my current training program: it dropped from 294 all the way down to 243 (see “FTP test served up yesterday, with a side of humble pie.“). I knew the break I took in December would impact my fitness, but I never would have suspected I’d drop that much!
Based on my FTP test, I decided to go back and do the Intermediate Base I program on TrainerRoad. I’ve done this program a couple times before, and it’s a great program for re-focusing on form and reinforcing good habits (and making sure bad ones don’t develop). Also–and most importantly–because Intermediate Base I has so much “sweet spot” work (intervals ridden just below FTP), it’s the fastest path to getting my FTP back where it needs to be.
Just three weeks into the program, and I can tell my fitness is coming back quickly. With each workout I’ve felt stronger and stronger; this is especially cool because I’m cutting and eating below maintenance.
Hopefully by the end of my current six-week program I’ll have my Stages power meter (assuming it fits my bike). If the Stages does work with my 2013 Madone, my new FTP (which will be re-tested in about three weeks) will be based on actual power, and not TrainerRoad’s Virtual Power. It will be very interesting to see if the change in how my power output is measured skews my FTP one way or another.
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