[Pre, postscript] that turned into quite a ramble. Cathartic maybe, but I don’t know how much can be derived, particularly as I can’t see my TR history any more]
Going back a way, 2016 was my ‘best’ year. Had a coach. Trained a lot, nailed IM Copenhagen.
Best as I can see looking back over training peaks, I averaged over 10hrs a week, with plenty in the 12-14 range, av TSS 670 and .82 IF (obviously that’s broad brush… I spent a lot of time in Z2, but did plenty of threshold and some Vo2 work), plenty of weeks of 900+ tss.
2018/19, I used trainerroad plans. half distance base, full distance base, build, speciality, all mid-volume. Given the history and my previous TSS that didn’t feel like it was going to be punchy, however…
Quite early on in the full distance base I was really struggling; vo2 workouts would wipe me out, and I’d struggle to do subsequent workouts. I went down several rabbit holes with respect to power numbers from outside (25 mile TT), trainer, quarq… ramp and 20mins… but fundamentally there’s maybe a 20w spread between the ‘best’ and ‘worst’. I went down the road of turning down some of the Vo2, but eventually as the weather got better started going off-piste and riding outside more at the weekends, while trying to keep the TR stuff in the week. TP gives me a weekly average of 600TSS at .88, with a bit less time invested, perhaps not surprisingly shorter and sharper.
In considering TSS, worth mentioning that my run TSS comes from training peaks based on pace. It gives way more TSS than trainerroad indicates, even when doing trainerroad run workouts. That probably inflates the numbers somewhat.
5 weeks out from my IM I did a half and it went (very) well. I felt utterly broken going into it, trained the whole week, took saturday off and raced sunday. Didn’t feel great, but went OK on the bike and blew all my expectations on the run. So far, so good.
Past that I stuck to the TR plan and taper as much as I could, under cooked during taper if anything.
Come race day, it took 10mins on the bike to know it was going to be a s**t day. Power wasn’t there. Was probably 20mins slower than I should have been. Sucked it up for the first half of the run, but when it dawned that basically all my goals were out of the window, I decided there was no point in trying anymore, and just walked/chilled the back half. Pretty sure I could have held pace if the mind hadn’t called time.
In 2016, I was surprised how I coped with the volume (subjectively a lot), but didn’t notice the intensity being demanding. This year on TR the volume felt (subjectively) a lot less. But I was dreading most of the workouts. Both years I’ve reached ‘heartily sick of it, and it’s all a bit much’ around the 6-8 weeks our mark! But it’s one thing putting in the work if you get something out. Another if you’re just banging your head on a wall…
For context, I’m 44; age may be starting to bite! After 3 months licking my wounds, and not really training I’m trying to figure out if there’s a different way forward, better way of doing it, if I can find some mojo for 2020 or if I should really just quit while I’m still somewhat sane…