See my notes in my last post on double centuries for why I need to drop 15 pounds of body fat and links to how to track body weight (fat) and lose it.
By mid-January I sensed that this year might be different; my body was giving me signals that after several not so great seasons, 4 days ago I did a ~2150 calorie ride while maintaining outstanding power (for me, this time of year).
Maybe my gut biome is finally happy after the gross insult it endured back in 2015—new research suggests that some athletes may be faster than others because of gut biome. See also The High-Performance Secrets Inside Athletes' Guts.
And then today, I repeated that, only made is significant harder (hard repeats, then high power output for 25 miles), burning about 2400 calories. Thing is, I got about 4 hours sleep last night and enjoyed an entire bottle of red wine over 6 hours or so that night... believe it or not, some of my very best efforts have come after a poor night’s sleep (such as the 2016 Davis Double with ~1.5 hours sleep night prior!), plus red wine (or champagne) have proven to be excellent for recovery if consumed over some hours.
Both days I could feel that the glutes and quads were not exactly in peak shape, but overall I was getting a two-thumbs-up from my body as a whole, making great power and riding 5 repeats up and down with a summer jersey on at 47°F. I mention that because staying warm at 30 mph on a descent at those temps means the body is just cranking out the heat, which ONLY happens that way if everything is spot-on physiologically.
When the body indicates “ready for a beating” (you have to know your own physiology), give it as hard a workout as possible—that’s how big leaps in fitness come—when the body is rested and can accept the overload and recover from it.
However, there was one lingering problem: small airway impairment, not quite gone from an end-of-December “insult” to my lungs which prompted treatment more than I’ve had to do in 10 years or so, including a 4 day course of prednisone. I coughed up some phlegm in the last hour, showing the issue plainly, and breathing took noticeable effort (deep full breaths) and was more rapid than usual under high power output—I actually had to concentrate on that too. I am certain it will go away, but the rest of my body is hitting on all cylinders.
Shown below, the green line is power in watts, and the red line heart rate. This is very high power output for me in January—exceptional really. The ascent times for the repeats are up to two minutes slower than when leaned-out and in peak conditions (my personal best is 8:09 for this particular ascent of upper paved Alpine Road). Seven years ago, my power output was higher on a far more demanding climb, and I wonder if I can get back close to that incredible level of fitness.
Note how the workout ends with a sustained high power output (the dips are stop signs, the last 5 minutes or so is cool-down).
I’m showing my diet for the day thinking it might aid someone to both see how I record it and the kinds of things I eat and when. Seems to work for me.