Week 3

Things have taken a turn for the pear shaped.

I’ve managed to keep up all my Sufferfest training. Mental toughness, yoga and the actual bike training. But my weight loss stalled. The plague weakness is making it impossible for me to stop shoving food in my gob.

I’m trying to take a revised view of my plans. Try not to eat too much on weak days, (tons of fruit and veg to try to bulk out) then make gains (or rather, losses) on the better days.

In the first week I lost 5lbs, since then I’ve regained 2 and lost a 2 more. I got up to 11.5, today I was 10.12.

It going in the right direction.

Obviously there has been no swim training due to the lockdown.

I gave in this week and bought a power meter so I can do the fitness test (4DP) on the Sufferfest, accurately.

I did it today. An hour’s beasting, containing within it 2x 5 second max efforts, a 5 minute max effort, a 20 minute max effort, and a 1 minute max effort.

Individually not too terrible, one after the other… wow.

The inaccurate power reading I’ve been going off had my maximum sustainable effort as 154W (measured over 20 minutes) today I held it to 199W. I think I had a bit more in the tank. Slight gearing issues (had to set the other bike up on the trainer and change the gear cassette, don’t think I did it right) meant I dropped into no-gear a few times, and had to quickly build my power back up again. Also the power meter is fitted to the left hand crank arm. If you’re right handed I assume you put more power through your right leg,so I had to keep remembering to concentrate on my left leg stroke. Otherwise I was working just as hard but my left was just carrying the power round from my right, so it wasn’t registering.

Anyway, that’s nearly a third increase in my power settings going forward. Which puts me at 2.88 W/Kilo, for the same power I’ll be 3.13 W/Kilo when I’m down to 10 stone.

I was watching a vlog from some young guy, looked like a mad-for-it cyclist, said he’d started a 3 month training plan with Trainer Road (a no frills training app) and had gone from 224W to 286W!

I’ll stick with the Sufferfest to get myself fit and used to pushing through the pain. I really like the way they beast the best out of me. But when I get fit enough I’ll try the Trainer Road.

The Sufferfest has videos with a story, and loads of encouraging messages, that cajole and demand greater efforts from you. And it has a sense of humour, which good in the dark places. The Trainer Road has nothing. It’s just a rolling bar chart. This much power at this many revs for this long. Times however many.

Apparently there are thousands of different training plans, and lots of top people recommend it, but it looks as dull as ditch water. I’ll see what sort of gains I make in 3 months on the Sufferfest, then give it a go.