Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Training and Racing this Winter

Racing

The main thought behind racing during the winter is that it provides great training. A hard training sessions is a good training session, and I personally never go as hard as when I race.

As of writing this blog post I have in fact already done three races: A cyclocross race which I did on my mountain bike (as I don't own a cyclocross bike... yet).  Then a race in Hässleholm CK Wintercup. Also a Marathon MTB Race in Denmark, but I punctured there. However before puncturing I recorded my best FTP yet!


This of course again proves that racing is the best training as you're never as motivated to give your all as you do when you race.

How can I have FTP data from a race then? I got myself a Quarq power meter for my MTB!



Vintercuppen.dk

This Danish MTB Cup has six races of about one hour from November to March. I raced in this cup both in 2015 and 2016 and places 2nd and 3rd respectively. It's a great length of time to race because an hour gives you absolutely max intensity but also quick recovery.

Heino Fall Race

This Danish MTB marathon in the beginning of November is a lot of fun. I've raced it for many years. All the good riders always turn up and the trails are quick and flowy. The only problem was in 2015 when there was so much snow that I wasn't able to complete both laps of the race.

Hässleholm CK Vintercup

A local Swedish Cycling Club, Hässleholm CK, have their own winter MTB cup. It's only an hour's drive away and a good opportunity to get race pace training.

Training

In-door training and Motivation

When I still lived in Malmö my main winter training was doing spinning classes at the local gym. The bikes there had watt meters and so it motivated me to score as high on the watts and kcals as I possibly could. This led to good intensity workouts. However since we moved outside the big city there are no spinning classes nearby. 

Last year was the first time that I started using the stationary bike (Monark 828 Strip) at home. The Monark is an excellent training platform but it's sort of weird to set up for a training session: The bike has to be set to a certain resistance in watts at a certain RPM. After that you can't touch the resistance lever or you ruin the calibration, i.e you don't know what watts you're running at. Last spring I got a Stages watt meter for the Monark and that made all the difference: I didn't have to set a certain watt level to run the training session at because the Stages had the watt output. Also this meant that I had a log of the watts after the session. Since I got the Stages getting on the Monark has been a lot more interesting and motivating.

Looking at my training sessions from last Winter I felt that perhaps I wasn't all that motivated. My training discipline has never been my strongest side and I always need a clear goal to shoot for. So this winter my goal will be... WATTS! I've already done a few training sessions on the stationary bike where I've really felt motivated in achieving the highest possible wattage and it has worked great! The intensity (heart rate) has been super high!


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