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Training With an ErgVideo Plan - Week 05

I'm rather late with this post for reasons I won't bore you with but week five on the ErgVideo Plan went just fine, not easy, but fine. To view the usual graphs of the intensity distributions, TSS etc. for the plan so far follow this link.

As you can see the weekly TSS and work done (kJ) are back up again and my average weekly HR remains higher than it was at the start of the programme and this simply reflects the ongoing increased time in training zones L4 (threshold) and above.

I've made a decision about the plan and that is that I'm not going to complete it "as is" for the full 20 weeks but I'm going to start using it as a guide and will tailor it to suit my own requirements. The reason for my choosing to do this is that I feel that the plan as it stands "off the shelf" is making me spend too much time at the higher intensities at the present time and definitely too much time at these intensities for this stage of a twenty week plan, for me at any rate.

As you can see from the above distribution charts for the week I've spent 21% of my training time this week in L4 and a further 27 minutes in L5 and above and I feel that this is just too intense for this stage of the plan, falling as it does in late October. I would normally be reserving significant volumes of higher intensity training for the later stages of a training cycle.

So, I'll use next week as a sort of transition week and I'll achieve this just by knocking the AT setting back on some of the higher intensity sessions and I'll also be rescheduling things to ensure that I don't end up doing 2 threshold sessions (long intervals) a week with just one day between them which is the scheduling that the Training Advisor Tool has produced for me.

I suspect that the issues I'm finding are related to the Training Advisor Tool generating the programme based on TSS, perhaps with less emphasis on the overall IF of the schedule and the actual time spent in the various training zones. That is pure speculation as I've got no idea how the tool actually does what it does, but it's still damned clever!

On with the plan...

Training With an ErgVideo Plan - Week 04

Week four of the ErgVideo Training Plan generated by the Training Advisor Tool is now completed and it's been another challenging one. The data generated from the week's workouts has been entered into the Training Plan Spreadsheet and if you are interested you can look to see how things are shaping up, just open the graphs using the tabs at the bottom of the sheet.

As you can see the overall TSS for this week has dropped significantly, just 357.4 this week compared to last week's 417 but this isn't the whole story, not all TSS scores are equal. As you can see there was actually quite a bit of threshold training, a total of 85.6 minutes of the total training time. There were again two scheduled threshold sesions this week, both at 100% of FTP, which I don't enjoy.

Here is a summary of the power and heart rate distributions for the week, in power terms a pretty even distribution between Levels 1-4:

The average weekly training heart rate this week was also higher than previous weeks, at 139. So this, in spite of the apparently reduced volume and TSS, has not been an easy week. Well, 4 weeks out of 20 done so I'm 20% of the way through. Next week looks to include two threshold sessions again, one of which is an FTP test and the other is longer then previously. On top of that I have the climbs of Hautacam and the Port de Pailheres to contend with, entertainment aplenty in week 5!

Training With an ErgVideo Plan - Week 03

The plan rolls on and I felt this week there was a very significant jump up in the intensity of the training which I must admit took me by surprise. Remember that this plan was produced using the Training Advisor Tool on the Ergvideo website which looks at the ErgVideos you have in your library and develops a plan for you based on the parameters you select in the tool. I'm just trying out the system and the plan for my own interest to see what it delivers in terms of actual training sessions and intensities.

In terms of ease of use and how the whole ErgVideo system works in conjunction with the training plan it can't be faulted. What will be interesting will be to see what kind of shape I am in at the end of the 20 weeks!

This week's plan included 2 threshold sessions ridden at 100% of FTP which was a very significant introduction into the plan and which left me feeling a bit tired but I seemed to recover Ok. If you look at the time spent in the power zones and the percentage of total training time spent in those zones you can see that there was indeed a big jump in intensity, I wasn't imagining it!

If you would like to view the graphs below on their original spreadsheet, which shows the actual percentages and numbers etc. when you hover over the columns use this link and simply click on the tabs at the foot of the page that opens to view the graphs.

On top of the significantly raised intensity there was also an increase in absolute total training time and as you can see all this resulted in an overall modest rise in the overall average HR for the week which comes as no surprise.

Finally considering the total work done for the week and the overall training stress score, as expected both have risen significantly in week three.

So, all in all a challenging week with increases across the board in pretty much everything one can measure when monitoring a training programme. Next week looks to again be challenging but with a substantially reduced overall training volume though there are again 2 threshold sessions scheduled to be ridden at 100% of FTP, now won't that be fun!

Training With an ErgVideo Plan - Week 02

The ErgVideo plan rolls on, this is a short summary of week 02 which has gone well, I'm actualy finding the plan quite interesting to follow and I'm enjoying the variety but it remains to be seen whether that continues as winter draws closer and the plan unfolds. This week saw a small increase in the overall TSS on last week (12) but the overall training time and the energy consumption for the week were both slightly down on week 01.

In terms of time spent in training zones the emphasis was on L3 training with a total of 02:15:56 being spent in this training zone which made up just over one third of the total training time. In comparison with week 01 the time spent in zones three to six were all higher than in week one so a slight shift to a generally higer intensity in terms of time spent in power zones.

A summary of the power and heart rate distributions by zones for this week is shown below:

Week three looks to be challenging, it includes two threshold sessions working at 100% of FTP as well as some other quite long sessions, hard work for so early in the programme, it will be interesting to see how I get on!

Training With an ErgVideo Plan - Week 01

I decided that over this winter I would try doing as much of my training as possible using the ErgVideo system developed by Paul Smeulders. One of the main reasons for this is that I have a good selection of ErgVideos and I reckoned that this would be a good use of them and I am hoping that this approach would keep me motivated over the winter months.

I've used the ErgVideo Coach Tool in the past and taught myself to draw up plans of my own but this time I thought I would experiment with a plan generated by Paul's Training Advisor Tool which looks at the videos you have in your library and then draws up a plan based on data that you enter into a simple web page.

Anyway, I downloaded my plan which you can view using this link and I am now in week 2 of the plan and all is going well so far. This is an incredibly slick arrangement for following a plan, I simply click on the link in the plan for the appropriate day in the plan, review and accept or modify the session and then the ErgVideo3 package on my computer is automatically configured to deliver the scheduled ErgVideo workout and all I have to do is ride and watch the scenery go by.

The plan is in it's early stages so far and I am sure it will get a whole lot harder but you can see from the plan that today being the 29th of September I climbed the Col du Soulor at an easy pace. I'll continue to work my way through the plan day by day and see where it takes me.

The power and heart rate distributions for the first week of the plan (5 training sessions) are shown below for interest, plenty of endurance and tempo intensity work: