>Winter Series race 11, TRIMP and a reliability trial

>I’m trying to work out training loads and have found a formula to calculate training impulse (TRIMP) in a plug-in to SportTracks. I don’t use either product, but they are an useful source of information. A bit of Googling brought me to this blogger‘s attempts to harness TRIMP data to calculate acute and chronic training loads (ATL and CTL: roughly fatigue and fitness). I realise that this is a much less reliable way of doing things than using power data, but a power meter would cost more than any of my bikes, so I need an alternative. I’ve used MS Access and Excel to generate the numbers for the last 18 months and, lo and behold, I’m behind where I was this time last year. I’ve got into a rhythm of easy training and have ‘forgotten’ to make it progressive.

What the data does show is that my best rides come when CTL is fairly high, but ATL is low – i.e. I’m rested before the big event. Now I knew this to be a fact, but now I have a crude metric to measure these factors.

In my effort to catch up I put in some harder than usual sessions on Thursday and Friday and arrived at the start line of Winter Series #11 with sore legs. Ten minutes later they were even sorer. Someone had a cunning plan to take the race out as fast as possible. I was not in on this plan. It took me until the hairpin to clip my foot in (note to self: never change pedals just before a race) and when I looked up the bunch was strung out and I was last man. We hit nearly 32mph on that first lap. After three miles I was detached as were many of the field. I worked with someone until the bunch came through and then sat in for a couple of laps (things were much more sedate by this stage). I dropped off again and finished two laps down. Why? I wasn’t up to it. The photo (‘race face’ or ‘face of pain’) is by Lucy Collins.

Race stats: position – 34th of 39 finishers, my race distance – 16.21 miles, race time – 45:58, average speed – 21.2mph, average HR – 156bpm, maximum HR – 168bpm, top speed – 31.2mph (the first mile), fastest mile (the 2nd) – 2:25 (24.8mph), slowest mile (the 13th) – 3:14 (18.6mph).

The winner was Thomas Sutherland (Twickenham CC).

Sunday was the Team Quest reliability trial. I opted for the softer 90km option. With the ride there and back it was 65 miles – the longest ride I’ve done since mid-November. It was a cold day with some flurries of snow, but I was with a good group and we kept a good pace going. Good cakes at the HQ as well.