So what template do I follow to get pro level fitness, why do I follow this template and what inspires me to keep going on days where I’d rather not roll out of bed?
I begin by setting specific goals for myself that I know I can achieve yet will still get me out of my comfort zone. I like to be specific because it allows my RAS (Reticular Activating System) to zone in on that with laser focus and as such maximizes my potential of achieving the goals.
In the physical body area of my life I set 3 goals for myself which is to get the fastest time on Doi Suthep and Doi Kham. Doi Suthep is the most popular Strava segment here in Chiang Mai and possibly all of Thailand. The latter is a lesser known segment but still incredibly challenging to conquer. The third goal is a weight target which is 65 Kg. The reason that I am so specific with this number is because I know that wattage starts to decline significantly when I drop below this weight.
The current fastest time up Doi Suthep is 25 minutes and 20 seconds. My PR (Personal Record) is 27 minutes and 42 seconds so I am 2 minutes and 22 seconds down on this time. The fastest time was done with a pace line and a 6.5 Kg bike so in order for things to be fair I will be motor pacing for this one with my 8 Kg bike. I have calculated that it will also require a power to weight ratio of 5.69 watts per kilo or 370 watts at 65 Kg to be beaten.
The fastest time on Doi Kham is 3 minutes and 43 seconds. My PR is only 2 seconds slower so it will require just a little bit more to take it. I’ve calculated that I will need 470 watts which is 7.23 watts per kilo to take it with a small margin of a few seconds.
So what is the training template that I will follow for the next 4 weeks to fine tune my fitness to the demands of these segments? Why do I structure the training so simply and why these specific sessions? Here is the spreadsheet of the training that I will stick to religiously. I’m not religious but I do worship my life purpose.
As you can see it is a really simple template and is designed specifically for the goals that I want to achieve.
Why are most of the sessions at endurance pace and why does the endurance wattage increase by 10 watts each week? Endurance riding or zone 2 riding is the foundation for higher energy systems and can be sustained for extended periods of time without producing significant fatigue. It is the intensity between 56% and 75% of FTP (Functional Threshold Power).
The main reason that the majority of my riding is in this zone is because it allows my body to constantly adapt to the training stimulus whereas if I just rode in zone 1 or sub 55% of FTP between all the high intensity sessions I wouldn’t be getting any adaptations from that. As a result I wouldn’t be improving my aerobic endurance and I wouldn’t be laying a solid foundation for power at higher intensities.
Zone 2 training has a rather significant effect on muscle mitochondrial enzymes, lactate threshold, muscle glycogen storage and the interconversion of fast twitch muscle fibers. It has a less significant effect on blood plasma volume, hypertrophy of slow twitch muscle fibers, muscle capillirization, max cardiac output and VO2 max.
I increase the endurance wattage by 10 watts each week because naturally my power at threshold is going to increase and as a result I need to increase the intensity at the lower end to still get an effective training stimulus. Because I have been riding at a high level for 12 years, I am able to improve my fitness rapidly after a break.
For the Doi Kham effort I ride at 130% to 135% of FTP or around 105% of VO2 max. Since the effort is so short I like to include 2 sets of 40’s or 2 sets of ten 40 second repeats with 20 seconds of recovery between each interval. Between sets I recover for 10 minutes so that I can repeat the intensity. These efforts also average out at a similar intensity to Doi Kham in terms of average power. I add the 2 sets of 40’s because the Doi Kham effort is so short so it makes sense to accumulate more time at that intensity to become accustomed to it.
For the Doi Suthep repeats I simply do 2 repeats all out. The reason I do 2 instead of 1 is to accumulate more time at that intensity. When the day comes that I only have to do 1 effort it will feel relatively easy because I am used to doing 2. As an additional bonus this gives me more mental reserve to push myself to the max.
You may have noticed the crazy 4 hour session at 300 watts average power. This is more just a personal challenge for me and not something that is necessary for the goals I am going for. I added it with thought though by leaving enough time to recover for the efforts of the following week.
For the weight loss I simply eat the calories that I need for the day which is around 2100 calories and add the calories burned from training. If the hunger is uncontrollable I simply eat fruit till satiety. This is extreme and I don’t recommend doing it so please don’t haha.
So that’s what I do to get extremely fit in 4 weeks. Bear in mind that this is extreme and it’s not something that is sustainable for a long period of time so if you feel the need to replicate this then do it as a peaking phase of training. Stay alive out there, go vegan motherfuckers and ciao for now.