Not being able to run has given me an opportunity to fast track my cycling. I am currently where I thought I would be in June next year with both my cycling threshold and my VO2 MAX. I feel that over this current four week training block, I will also see my swim CSS move up one or possibly two levels and this makes me happy…… and I like to be happy.
When I created my KPI chart and goals, I wanted to have a FTP of around 295 by June 2020. With all the threshold training I have been doing this past three weeks as well as all the riding I did during the winter cycle challenge where everyday was a ride, I have just seen my riding improve faster than I ever thought it would of…… If only the Ironman bike was under two hours…. I would nail it.
The 92 rides in 92 days really helped increase my VO2 max ceiling and built a load of cycling strength so when I decided to do two 2x 20min @95% of FTP & 2x 40min @ 90% of FTP each week for the past three weeks, everything has lifted and has lifted fast.
I have broken so many peak power times over the past three week with my 30min, 40min and 60min being broken every week at least once over the past three weeks. Personal bests are meant to be hard to break but I am breaking so many each week, I no longer get excited when I see a new peak power number. The peak personal best that was my favorite however is the 10min power I did on Monday breaking the previous power by almost 40 watts…. I did pop for that one.
This week I saw my FTP go from 288 to 295 and keep in mind that this was 275 back in May.
Talking about back in May, my VO2 MAX was 53ml/kg/min in May and now it is currently 61ml/kg/min. This puts me around the top 15 in my age group if we were to look at “average”.
I did a CSS test on Wednesday and while my CSS score didn’t change (1:38), I was faster in both the 400m TT (6:25) and the 200m TT (3:09)
Why am I excited about this? Because this tells me a lot. If my 400m TT was 6:23 (2 seconds faster) my CSS score goes down to 1:37 and if it goes down to 6:20 (5 seconds faster), my SCC score goes down to 1:36.
In the past couple of months, most/all my swim sessions have been a lot of short, sharp, fast sets of 25, 50 75 100 and I would have some 200s within my warm up. This is the reason my 200m TT time showed the greater improvement and my 400m TT wasn’t as impressive. Makes sense.
This shows that I need to start including a threshold session once a week into my program and I can move up one or two levels within my swimming.
This is why I am a fan of CSS and I am not a big fan of the 1000m TT, you can’t take a lot away from doing a 1000m TT whereas a CSS test will tell you want you need to work on.
The Critical Swim Test (CSS)
200m with fins of 50m broken arrow, 50m free
200m pull and paddles breathing per lap 3/5/7/3
100m with pull of 12m scull, 12m doggy paddle, 25m free
4x 50m of 25m MAD, 25m easy
4x 100m mad with 20sec rest
400m Time Trial
5-8min rest with some easy laps and stretching
200m time trial.
You take your numbers and punch them into a CSS calculator to get your results.
While I am a head on the bike and I feel like I am about to make a break through in the swim, I need to start working on my power to weight ratio and building back my run as soon as my ankle is right and things should start to even out within a few months.
Here is my current KPI