Welcome to the first day of your training plan! The first day is a test day to determine what your fitness is now and to offer you a benchmark for your future training cycles.
We will try to control this as much as we can so that we know we are comparing apples to apples. We'll make sure the lead in to test day is pretty similar, control the warmup, and it will be up to you to eat similar foods.
(PRO-HACK: write down what you ate in the post-ride comments after you upload you file)
In addition to helping you track your progress, testing will also help you to determine training zones as you start your program.
Choose a road nearby that is easily repeatable on a safe section of road with no stops. Do this on the same bike every time. Using a MTB is OK. If this is uphill you will be able to pedal more steadily (less coasting) but flat or rolling terrain are fine if there are no stops or changes of road.
Get in a 15-minute warmup as follows: 5min easy seated pedaling- 10s acceleration with high cadence RPE~7 - 2min easy pedaling- 15s acceleration with slightly higher RPE, high cadence - standing pedaling for 2 minutes with heavy gear @50rpm ~RPE 5 – 5s acceleration just below max – 5min easy seated pedaling.
Record start location and begin the test, shooting for a steady power at a maximal rate for 12-20 minutes. Record stop location, elapsed time, power output, weather, perceived exertion, heart rate, bike and tires used.
If training with heart rate, take average heart rate from test portion only. This is a good estimation of your lactate threshold heart rate. Zone will be as follows (derived from Andrew Coggan, PhD):
Zone 1: <68%
Zone 2: 69-83%
Zone 3: 84-94%
Zone 4: 95-105%
(PRO HACK 2: you can enter these zones on your Training Peaks profile and the metrics from your rides will be appropriately calculated.)
If you are well-versed with your smart trainer, you can instead test indoors on it! Set your trainer to ERG mode and complete a 20 minute time trial after the controlled warmup. Record your average power and multiply it by 0.95 to set your FTP to control all workouts in TrainingPeaks.
Head out to the trails and have fun!
Aim for 2-4 hours of moving time.
No need to go hard today. Try to stay in your HR/Power Zone 2. Riding at this intensity will help you to become more efficient with your fuel utilization and help you be able to do more short efforts over time.
Yes, even by riding easy you can get better at doing repeated hard efforts we need in MTB!
Have fun and enjoy the ride
Try to stay in HR/Power Zone 2
Aim for 2-4 hours of moving time
The first several 5 minute efforts are not that hard, but note the cadence (low). These have short recovery bewteen. Then after that set, bang out some hard 30s efforts, but again at a low cadence. Ouch!
Note that recovery intervals are normal cadence