After almost a week of ilness I am back on the bike again. It also made me make the decision not to do the 122km time trial in September. I was still struggling to get my setup right and if I have to build it up from now -with basically a bad form- to September it's just not going to work. I am constantly feeling pressure from myself to keep pushing and pushing and it gives too much stress. Enjoying rest of the cycling season is my main objective now. There are 3 more races to do and I will focus on a nice result on those. One is next week (which I consider one to just get the racing feeling back), other one is end of August and the third beginning of September.
So, currently my form is not that good. No wonder. After two weeks of holiday of the bike a week of training with a race and then a week ilness is just very stimulating. Current CTL (50) is at the level of March of this year, in a phase I was building. Apart from the bad form my moral also went down. So how to change that?
By starting off very easy again and working up step by step. My first ride (1.30h) after ilness was just a ride to get the feeiling of the bike again. Nice sunny ride. Looking around. Halfway of the Endurance level in terms of wattage. O yes, I haven't changed my FTP which I already brought down after two weeks of holiday. It's still at 295. Reason that I haven't changed that is that based on CTL values and peak power values for 60 minutes this FTP is about OK. Not too high, but also not too low.
So, first ride to get a nice feeling. Second ride was about trying to ride 45 minutes in the Tempo level (halfway) in a 2 hour ride. Rest of the two hours at Endurance pace. It's OK to do something like that and again because you will be able to hold on to it, it will give a good feeling again.
Third ride. Just one hour. One hour with 3 small sets of 10 minutes just around Treshold with 5 minutes rest in between. So I did three sets at 300 watt. This is just about enough. I felt that and the end of each sets I got the same feeling when doing VO2max sets; you know the feeling...the heavy breathing comes in. But again. Since I did not push myself to the limit it gives a good feeling to see you are able to hit the numbers.
Fourth ride. Try to get VO2max 6 x 3 minutes back into a 2 hour ride along with one 40 minute Tempo / beginning Treshold level. VO2max intervals were NOT at the level I used to do. That is they were around 20 watt lower than normal. But hey, that's the way it is and at this moment it is just good training. Again when you see you can hit the numbers it's a good feeling. And yes, I did not reach the numbers in the last two sets, but hey, it's OK. Next time I will and I will do 10 watt more. The 40 minute ride was tough, but achievable.
Every training from now I will add again another step in intensity. First I want to raise the ceiling again, but slowly and realistically.
In all. My advise after illness. Don't stress out; adjust some of your goals (in other words be realistic towards yourself). Build up with numbers you can ride. Try word count on ''good feeling''. I hope it works for you too.