I’ve written about the “stuff,” my new Power2Max power meter and my new Cervelo S5. What I haven’t written about yet is what the heck I’ve been doing with these things. Well, I’ve been riding and building base miles.
Typically, base miles are ridden in the winter, after a break at the end of the season. Cyclists build base in the winter months and then ramp up training and intensity as the weather improves to get ready for the road season, which around here starts in late March/early April. I had high hopes after my surgery that I would be off the bike just a couple months and would be able to start building base miles right on time. That didn’t happen. Hip flexor tendonitis kept me from doing ANYTHING until the middle of March when I got the all clear from my doctor. I started riding more and spent the better part of April figuring out what my hip could handle. When I would first get on the bike, I could feel tightness in my hip flexor. After 20 minutes or so, the tightness would go away. The more I rode, the better it would feel. Sure, there were a few times where if I would go too hard, I could feel it tighten up and I’d have issues. One ride I headed out on the trail on my SSCX and came back on the road over a few hills, 44 miles in total and it was hard. It took me a few days to fully recover from that one, but I did. Figuring out that sweet spot of cycling performance and what my hip could handle has been crucial to my recovery.
I firmly believe that one of the keys to my success has been the core workouts and stretching that I have been doing after every ride. I spend about 40 minutes or so doing a routine of stretches and various core exercises that target the muscles around my hip flexor. These are strengthening the area and my improvement has risen dramatically. Last week, on my 40th birthday, I rode over 50 miles for the first time in two years. I went 40 kilometers out, and 40 kilometers back. Here’s a pic of the 40th kilometer:
The last 5 or so weeks have been amazing. I’m riding 5 days a week and have had little to no pain in my hip. I can go hard if I want to, I can climb up hills, I can hold a tempo, you name it. I’ve ridden with my team a few times, which I haven’t done in two years. That has been a great feeling.
Very soon I’ll be performing a threshold test to determine my Functional Threshold Power (FTP). Once I have that number, my new coach and I will be able build a proper training plan that will increase my performance and get me ready for cyclocross season in the fall.