Training Analysis: March

I ended up making a few breakthroughs in the month of March! Most importantly, I FINALLY got over my five-week-long illness that destroyed my fitness and training in February. This means I’ve been able to start building up my fitness again, and I plan to start racing again as early as late April!

Cycling was undoubtedly the least difficult sport to train whilst I was sick, and thus it received the most attention this month. In contrast, swimming under the weather felt almost impossible, and thus I decided to spend that effort elsewhere. I’m starting to rebuild my running base and am already seeing some improvements in my speed. 

A summary of my training month is outlined below:

Total: 33 hours (7.5 hours/week)
Swimming: 1200 yards
Cycling: 22 hours, 317 miles (5 hours/week, 72 mi/week)
Running: 76 miles (17 miles/week)
10 days off, mostly due to illness at the beginning of the month.

A couple key sessions are outlined below:

  • On March 3rd, I did a hill time-trial on my bike up Tunnel/Skyline in Berkeley, CA. This is 3-mile climb that accumulates 830ft of elevation gain. I rolled through the finish in precisely 16 minutes, producing a normalized power of 240 W (4 W/kg). This gave me a good reference point for my current fitness level on the bike.
  • On March 24th, I completed one of my standard cycling routes that travels through Redwood and Moraga. I ended up riding the final climb (Wildcat Canyon) in 13:40 at 105% of my functional threshold power. Although this effort absolutely crushed my legs, particularly after two hours of climbing, it gave me confidence that my endurance is starting to come back.
  • On March 31st, I did three hill repeats of Wildcat Canyon on the bike. I completed the 2.5-mile climb in 13:40, 13:20, and 13:25 (approx. 6 minutes rest), accumulating 600ft of elevation gain in each go. Over the course of these intervals, I spent a little over 40 minutes at 105-107% of my functional threshold power.

Comparing the key workouts I did on March 3rd and March 31st demonstrates my improving cycling fitness: it took all my effort to hold 240 watts (4 W/kg) over 16 minutes at the beginning of the month, and by the end of the month I was able to do a controlled ride holding approximately 235 watts for three 13-minute intervals.

Looking ahead, I’ll continue to build my running base and slowly integrate track sessions into my training. I’ll also get myself into the pool again and put in some solid mileage. My next race is at the end of April: a sprint triathlon in a Moraga, CA, a local town that I’ve biked through more times than I can count.

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