Note: This blog post was written about two weeks prior to Para-Nationals
Since we looked at the emotional side of this roller-coaster lead up to Para Nationals last time, I figured I’d get into the numbers this week!
It was all going well pre-surgery. I was all on track - I was happy with how I was going. I was able to get in a 320 W 10 min effort up Bobbin Head, my 20 min was close to 300 W and I was around 82 or so kg. This was about 7 weeks out from Para-Nationals. My race-time goals were 320 W for 20 min and 78 kg, so I was on target and happy. However - I then needed that other surgery that I discussed last week.
On the 16th of March, just over 6 weeks out from nationals I went in for surgery. At the time, I was sitting at a CTL of just over 80 (for more info on what CTL is check out this previous blog http://www.neroracingbike.com/single-post/2017/03/30/ROAD-TO-PARA-NATIONALS-IS-CTL-EVERYTHING). The good news is that the surgery went well.
I recovered well and was back at work just 4 days later. However, it was over a week completely off the bike, then another week or so of just rolling the legs over and gently increasing duration.
After these 2 weeks of essentially lost training, I went away for a week to help out on the Pain Revolution Ride (http://painrevolution.org/). This was a charity ride with some amazing physios and other medical professionals doing a charity ride from Melbourne to Adelaide giving presentations to clinicians and the public about chronic pain along the way.
While professionally it was enlightening and a great experience, my riding suffered. I hoped I would be on the bike more, but only managed three two hr or less rides over the 9 days, which just wasn’t enough to kick start the training again.
I did prioritise some decent efforts, which allowed me to minimise losses to my fitness. In all though, over 3 weeks of lost training, plus some seriously average eating resulted in a stabilisation of my weight.
I accept I haven’t really progressed with my training, but I take heart that I haven’t lost too much. My style of training pre-surgery was always with an eye on long term gains rather than short term reward. If I focused more on the short term gains it may have had me riding better earlier, but the gains would not have lasted as well.
Even after the 3 weeks of minimal training I was still able to get close to a 290 W 20 min effort - while I didn’t progress in the last 3 weeks, I didn’t lose much either. After a re-evaluation, my goals are now for a 20 min effort over 300 W, and shooting at a 330 W 10 min effort. Hopefully I can combine this with some great eating, and ideally weigh in at around 80 kg.
Dealing with these continual setbacks isn’t easy. I was hoping to be able to put out some great advice about it, but really you just need to keep pushing through. There aren’t any magic bullets with this sort of thing - it’s about mental strength and having the perseverance to push through the hurdles.
I absolutely appreciate the support of my friends and family around me for helping me get through these setbacks, without their constant support and encouragement I wouldn’t be where I am.
Now I have 2 weeks left - fingers crossed I can bring it all together and make it happen!