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Showing posts from 2020

Basecamp

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And so, just ten days after the 10K vEveresting, I set out to conquer a Basecamp challenge IRL.A mini redemption.As it happened, my friends from the club I ride with on/off were planning a cumulative group Everesting challenge tagging it "Neveresting."Sort of like relay, but not.The idea was to split into groups, and each would tackle their portion of the required 20+ ascents of the proposed climb.So groups of 3 would have each rider do seven repeats, 4 would do five each, etc.The nice thing is that they all start together, and the club-ride feeling is maintained because you're continually passing your guys going up and down.This was also a fundraiser, so all the better.
As I also happen to be the first international 7Summiting member, I set my goal on the "Mt. Vinson" climb challenge, a mere 4892m.So the plan was to tag along to the "Neveresting" challenge but do my own thing - and that is hit 5000m in total ascent.We hit off at 5 am, in 100% humidit…

Keeper Of The Cloud

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It had never occurred to me to consider what this Cloud was all about. Now I know. It's not about climbing above the clouds, or other astral aspirations. It's not about being high, or similar altitude-related (or dopamine) ambitions. It's certainly not about anything light and soft that carelessly floats where the wind might randomly blow.
No, none of those. It's about Winter. It's about Pain and Misery and Agony. It's about Dedication and Consistency and Determination. It's about Commitment and Single-Minded Focus. It is Winter. Dark and cold.
The Cloud is a lightning-charged, rain-loaded, heavy cumulonimbus. The sort that rides in slow from the sea, so massive that light cannot penetrate to its base. Looming darkness, low and steady, thunder rumbling far in the distance, as if trying to catch up with the floating behemoth. As it clears past the shoreline, the floodgates open, and rain falls in thick sheets, seeming to flow from an infinite well.
The Keeper is on a jo…

32T

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Some things must be done. Some things only you can do. Some things can only be done one way.
As a Knight Of Sufferlandria, our glorious Nation, I must continuously improve and seek Glory. The path is painful, challenging, and miserable - but I won't have it any other way. Seeking perpetual improvement demands higher and higher goals. And now, at the foothills of my personal Mt. Sufferlandria, a lumpy mound awaits.
This bump in the road, a virtually snow-capped knoll of sorts, goes by "Alpe du Zwift" in the patois. And, on June 9th, I'm going to ride it no less than 10 times.
Such a feat will get credit both for a vEveresting, as well as a 10K Everesting, AKA "High Rouleur's Society".
These past 12 weeks I've been training for a 100 mile (160km) race with The Sufferfest. As part of this plan, I've ridden multiple centuries, imperial and metric, and spent over 6 hours on the longest rides.  So far, the training program I started towards the end of March has…

and....it's gone.

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Apologies. Been a while. What can I say? Been busy. The COVID-19 "situation" resulted in a spike of internet-related sales, and as a result, professionals such as myself have become extremely busy. I help people on Shopify sort out their online sales, advertising, shipping etc - so what little spare time I had now turned into Work. I'm not complaining.  Well, I am, actually. Don't like work, or to work. Prefer not to, given a chance. Not lazy, just have a hard time with the concept of wasting time on doing things I don't like just to make some money that is spent on things that I don't like or want either (aka "necessities"). Bloody hell, that's what cashflow is good for, but it's the black hole of my financial competence I've only begun to learn at my pristine age. Yes, I've got a BA (magna cum laude) in Business Management but don't know the first thing about budgeting myself, saving, personal financial management or anything in the vic…

The Great vOutdoors

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#OutsideIsFree they used to say, but it has become rather expensive these days, even criminal.
As such, many cyclists have turned to indoor cycling and the virtual world to replace the "outdoors."

While some PROs are more than happy to churn away on their indoor turbo trainers, other Professional riders I know said that they started racing professionally for the love of riding their bike; riding indoors on their trainers is not "riding their bike."
These Pro Athletes are having a tough time, especially mentally, as maintaining a Pro-level training volume indoors is undoubtedly a challenge if that's not your thing.
I won't mention the fact that WorldTour Pros are losing races on Zwift because of inexperience and noob mistakes, we'll leave that for a later post perhaps.

Anyway, these are all problems I'm sure we'd like to have - Pro level training volume, albeit indoors.

In today's post, I want to walk you through creating workout files for Zw…

Where the wave finally broke.

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It has been an odd couple of weeks.
My solitude has been revoked.
It's like I had a world to myself, and now suddenly, everyone's come over.


~30K simultaneous riders on Zwift. Wow.
I remember when there were 500. I remember the 1000 milestone. I rode those roads a little after Jarvis on the Open Beta, well before the Ocean Route, KOM & Mountain route, the Volcano, and the Alpe du Zwift, of course.
We had the flat route, the hilly route, and figure 8 basically.
(Zwift newbies will always complain that there "aren't enough roads"... sheesh, you know nothing).
I took a little time off Zwift right after the Volcano release because my 3rd infant had something against me sleeping at night, and I struggled to maintain a routine, let alone train at the level I wanted to.
Brief strength/weight sufficed for that period until my comeback in June 2018.

I've ridden well over 20,000km on Zwift, unlocked nearly everything, and have ridden all the routes. With the recent…

This Is How We Do It.

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I did the 4 Dimensional Power Test again today.
The new plan I'm on (100 Mile Gravel Grinder) has this on the 2nd day.
The 4DP Full Frontal test protocol is the stuff nightmares are made of. A session so painful and demanding it can bring grown men to tears.
I tested with another protocol, "Half Monty" just two days ago and will discuss how the two compare.

The previous 12-week plans all ended with the fitness test. Instead of a race or event, you go ahead and set new records to make your future workouts even harder.
You see where this is going, right?
There's a good reason it's called "The Sufferfest."

Usually, there's buildup, and some planning for the test is involved, much like a real race. It includes pre-test prep, physical and mental, event strategy, mindfulness work, and more.
Going through the motions is priceless and can undoubtedly push one through those horrid dark places a Full Frontal 4DP Test takes you to.

Nonetheless, I stepped up to…

Cherry Picking.

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After a pretty "bad" 4DP Full Frontal test, where I aimed high but instead maintained my results (albeit in a very fatigued state), I decided to take a week to prep, and do the Half Monty Fitness Test.

(* At this time, The Half Monty test is only available to Knights Of Sufferlandria in The Sufferfest App, but is slated for release soon).

The Half Monty is a ramp to the max, followed by a heart-rate constrained effort. The aim is to determine Maximal Aerobic Capacity (MAP, 5min power) and Functional Threshold Power (FTP, 20min power), as well as Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR).

So no sprints or 1-minute all-out effort. Yay, I guess.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect.

My #1 worst nightmare is a ramp test.
Why? Because it will ALWAYS be as hard as it possibly can be. Failure is the only escape.
("Ramped to Failure" - for my headstone, please.)

So I've been deliberately avoiding ramp tests, much like a sneezing and coughing stranger these days*.
(at t…

Rest is Best (for separating intervals)

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Last week I completed another 12-week cycling training plan with The Sufferfest.
The grand-finale, yet again, is the excruciating Full Frontal 4DP test session.
As a brief reminder, since most who endure this go deep into denial, you undergo a series of 4 maximal power output tests to get a complete and comprehensive profile of your abilities.
And these are:

Neuromuscular Power (NM): 5-second max powerAnaerobic Capacity (AC): 1 minuteMaximal Aerobic Power (MAP): 5 minutesFunctional Threshold Power (FTP): 20 minutes

It looks like this:



More info: https://thesufferfest.com/blogs/training-resources/4dp-full-frontal-fitness-test-faq

Completing the test creates and applies a "4DP Profile" to your training plan and subsequent workouts.

Right. Moving on.

So last week I completed the third instance of the test.
The first was upon my arrival at Sufferlandria, part of the immigration process.
I then followed a 12-week plan (General Road Cycling, with all the toppings), which concluded …

Welcome To The Castle (we got fun and games)

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The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.
My journey started when I decided to ride the 2020 Tour Of Sufferlandria.
I had my hesitations because I'm in the final block of a 12-week training plan and wasn't sure about the ToS' impact on the training load and how it would affect my upcoming 4DP test.
The "Focused" option answered my concern with overall slightly reduced intensity across all stages of the ToS, to keep things hard, near impossible at times, yet manageable. And so I plunged in with joy, murmuring a poem by Grunter von Agony to myself.

On the morn of the Attempt, my remaining rides for the ToS were 14 Vise Grips (Stage 8b); and Power Station + Angels + Thin Air (Stage 9: Grunter's Gran Fondo). I went right ahead, a wee bit sluggish at 4 am, with muted audio and darkness overpowering.



(As an avid reader of The Scrolls of A Knight To Be, you already know all this, of course, so thank you for bearing with me as I recap for the weary trav…

Tour Of Sufferlandria, Part 2

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Violated. Quite simply.
That's what Violator will do to you, for two primary reasons:

64 sprints.What Rest?
The complicated thing about Violator - the 5th ToS stage, is that a sprint is a sprint. Meaning, you go all out.
Sure, The Sufferfest app gives power targets, but this session is done in Slope/Level mode because the timings are too fast for my Tacx Neo to respond, so yeah, the target might be one thing or another, but I'm eating stem anyway so whatever.
I did reduce the slope for each set to match the reducing slope of the power curve, but it hurt nonetheless. The last set has just 5sec recoveries, so it gets silly.
So that was ToS Stage 5...

Then came Wednesday.
Because of domestic obligations, I can only ride in the late evening after the kids are asleep on Wednesdays.
Today though, I fell asleep before the kids :D
So while I had the Torture Chamber ready to go for Stage 6, I involuntarily took a rest day. I earned this rest day earlier by riding multiple stages on the …

The Tour Of Sufferlandria 2020 - Part 1

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Funny how I wrote about wanting to increase training volume... careful what you ask for...

Stage 1 kicked off with It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time (ISLAGIATT). While I haven't ridden this as a standalone too many times, I've done ISTLA (the extended mashup with Thin Air) many times, so I'm very familiar with it.
Mostly, I'm doing these workouts on the "Focused" mode, so they are slightly reduced in their power targets not to derail the training plan by too much.
I'm not looking to utterly destroy myself during the stages, considering that I plan on riding into Knighthood on the last day and have a 4DP test coming up in two weeks.
So ISLAGIATT was solid tempo fun at ~3.1 w/kg weighted average for the 2 hours.



Then, stage 2...
I was looking forward to The Bat. The new workout that replaced the NoVid "Batman Intervals" with this Mental Toughness themed workouts. Good marketing!
There are 6 intervals with 30sec MAP efforts at the start and en…