T – 3 days

It’s nearly upon us. In 3 days I will be assembling my bike in Geneva and preparing for the prologue time trial. 10 months of hard training is nearly over. And I can’t wait!

The ten months of training has been really good. I’ve made it this far without getting bored or pissed off with riding my bike. I think it’s helped that I’ve seen consistent progress throughout that time. Having a power meter has really helped me both in terms of managing the effort of a workout and of quantifying the improvements I’ve made.

I’ve shown great improvement in almost all the areas from 30 second power to 3 hour power. Interestingly the one that’s shown least improvement is the 20 minute measurement. I’ve been focussing on my threshold and sub threshold power so this should have shown improvement. However I think that’s due to the lack of proper testing at that timescale (it hurts!). Something to think about for next year.

A lot of the improvements are in what I’d call real world measurements. My PB home from work over a 4.5 month period has dropped from 1 hr 23 minutes at a respectable 27.8 km/h to 1 hr 7 minutes at 34.5 km/h. That’s a speed I never thought was attainable. My best hour power (bearing in mind I’ve not been doing all out time trials for an hour) has gone from 163 watts to 216 watts. My 5 minute power from 268 watts to 300 watts.

The most relevant measure came from a day trip to the alps I did back at the end of June. There I was able to do four climbs over the course of a day (Joux Plane, Joux Vert, Ecrenaz, Ramaz) and on all of them I averaged between 200 and 210 watts. If I look back to the post I did on my objectives for the Haute Route and what that would mean in terms of requires power output I seem well ahead.

My weight loss has also been quite successful. When I started training back in October I was 75kg. Slightly above a healthy weight for someone who’s 170cm tall, but no one said I was big or needed to lose weight. since then I’ve lost nearly 12 kegs and now am somewhere between 63 and 64 kgs (my weight fluctuates a lot!). My body composition has changed dramatically. I now have the shape I used to think I had! Walking up stairs I can see the individual muscles in my legs. It’s a bit scary that.

So I feel ready. I don’t think I could have done any more training. Not without losing a wife anyway :-). It also means I need to revisit my goals. Originally I said I wanted to come top 2/3. Now, looking at where I am top half if the field should be achievable and top 1/3 would be an awesome result.

There just one outstanding question. How will I recover each day. Have I go t enough distance in my legs. I won’t know until day three or four. But I have a target. Now it’s time to go race!

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