Week #10 of my 2014 maintenance program is complete, and it’s time for my weekly progress report. Please note that last Sunday I was providing continuing coverage of the “8 Days in California” cycling challenge, and there was no maintenance report; so, when you see “last week” below that actually refers to two weeks ago (May 11th)
Tools of the trade
This is the exact equipment I use to track my progress every week
My scale weight this morning (as measured by the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale) is 166.2 pounds. That’s a +3.8 pound change since last week’s weight of 162.4 pounds, and a +7.8 pound change from my 2014 maintenance starting weight of 158.4 pounds.
My 7-point body fat reading this morning (as measured by the FatTrack PRO Digital Body Fat Caliper) is 7.2%. That’s a +0.8% change since last week’s body fat measurement of 6.4%, and a +1.0% change from my 2014 maintenance starting body fat measurement of 6.2%.
Over the past week I’ve gained 1.58 pounds of fat and gained 2.22 pounds of lean mass. Since the beginning of my 2014 maintenance program I’ve gained a total of 2.15 pounds of fat and gained a total of 5.65 pounds of lean mass.
My tape measurements (as measured by the MyoTape) indicate a quarter inch gain to each my waist, hips and thighs. Since the beginning of my 2014 maintenance program I’ve gained a quarter inch to my waist, a quarter inch to my hips and a quarter inch to my thighs.
This report seems pretty ugly, but it’s not quite as bad as it seems on the surface. I definitely added a little fat over the past couple weeks–no getting around that fact. The quarter inch gain to my waist (30.25″), hips (36″) and thighs (21″) back up my body fat caliper reading. Apart from the ~1.5 pound fat gain, the rest of the scale weight is water weight from last night’s cheat meal (my scale weight yesterday morning was 163.2 pounds). I normally don’t consume a splurge meal the night before my weekly maintenance report, but after yesterday’s long, fast and and hot 113 kilometer ride I was feeling a pizza and a couple beers.
Diet over the past couple of weeks has been extremely clean. During the “8 Days in California” (8DC) challenge my caloric intake was very high, but my diet was ultra-strict and very clean. After completing the 8DC I consumed one splurge meal (last Sunday night), and then returned to my usual clean diet all this past week. In order to ensure that I was performing at my peak, I ate above maintenance all during the 8DC. This resulted in some fat gain.
To drink over the past couple weeks I have consumed only water (about 1.5+ gallons per day), Gatorade, 2-3 cups of black coffee each morning, a cup of warm Yogi Peach DeTox tea each afternoon and a cup of warm Yogi Bedtime tea each evening before bed. Three Fat Tire ales were consumed with my weekly splurge meals.
Activity level was a bit unusual over the past two weeks. The 8DC cycling challenge involved less distance than I usually cycle, but the rides were extremely intense. The week of the 8DC I only rode 280 kilometers (174 miles), but there was a disproportionate amount of suffering packed into that distance!
This week I’ve cycled a total of 345 kilometers (214 miles) so far, and I’ll be riding today (of course!)
After the 8DC, I spent most of this past week doing recovery rides, gradually increasing the distance and intensity as the week progressed. By Friday I was feeling fully recovered, and gave my legs their first real post-8DC test. The bulk of Friday’s 82 kilometer (51 mile) ride was ridden at a 35 km/h (21.6 MPH) pace, and I felt fantastic. Yesterday’s 113 kilometer (71 mile) group ride was at a bit more relaxed 32 km/h (20.1 MPH) pace, but there were some some very intense race-level effort tossed in here and there. Again, felt amazing yesterday.
My 2014 riding streak continues unbroken with 145 straight days in the saddle starting December 31, 2013.
My cycling totals for 2014 (144 days) currently stand at 7,436.3 kilometers (4,620.7 miles) with 36,063.02 meters (118,317 feet) of elevation.
I’ve set 195 cycling personal records for time so far in 2014.
My total riding time for 2014 is 247 hours in the saddle.
I’m a little torn on how I want to proceed here. Even though there has been a small amount of fat gain over the past two weeks, I’ve noticed that my intra-ride nutritional needs have been drastically reduced. When I first finished my 2014 cut I was starving most of the time, and consuming a lot of food on my rides. On yesterday’s 113 kilometer ride I consumed just 1 Clif bar and 2 GU energy gels.
Putting aside the water weight gain from last night’s cheat meal (which will be gone by Tuesday), I seem to have stabilized at around 162-163 pounds and 7% body fat. A big part of any performance-minded cyclists’ training is striking the “perfect” power-to-weight ratio. It would be trivial for me to shed these 4 or 5 pounds and get back to my post-cut weight of 158 pounds, but based on my performance the past couple of weeks I’m not sure that would net better results. My last measured FTP was 288, and it’s probably closer to 300 right now. Even with the small amount of scale weight gain, I feel like my FTP/kg is actually higher now.
I’m going to see how things play out over the next week and make a decision by the weekend.