It all started same as normal, long rides, short fast rides, some hill running, mountain biking for da skilllzzz and cutting out all the nibbles. Weight was slowly dropping down to race weight i.e. the weight I was 7 years ago (last 3peakscx attempt) and the running was feeling good.
Then disaster; whilst on holiday I dived off a high board into Lake Annecy and burst my eardrum. That hurt. Lots. Worse than that though was it affected my balance and exercising made it agony (raises blood pressure? Dunno) Sore though.
Lost nearly 4 weeks due to that silly little thing and started to panic. So much so that I contacted my friend Gary Macdonald to ask about training advice, he recommended his coach - David Lines (Espresso Coaching). Davie and I then had a chat about 'everything' and once he'd seen my background data and FTP results decided on a predominantly indoor turbo based training phase for the time we had left - 7 weeks.
Now, I'm not an indoor training sort of a guy (I mean, I live in the Cairngorms!), but with the amount of hours I had available each week and the relatively short time left I saw the logic in it, gritted my teeth and did exactly as I was told!
I borrowed one of those modern 'posh' wheel-off direct drive trainers, hooked myself up for power, hrm, on line training software, tunes, fan and towels to mop up the copious amounts of sweat and basically left it all set up to avoid any 'putting it off' excuses.
I had on average 7 hours a week available and my coach made sure every minute of that time counted.
Sweet spot work, threshold work, strength endurance, VO2 max, tempo, long Z4 intervals, short and nasty flat out high gear max power intervals, you name it, I suffered it.
And suffer I did, some sessions made me sick and some made me fall off the turbo when finished and lie down curled up in a ball making really bad noises.
It was brutal, but effective, FTP has gone up 'a lot' and I now have veins and muscles on my legs.
No running, no hill climbs carrying the bike, virtually no outside riding, every minute was dedicated to chasing the WATT.
Weight dropped off shockingly fast, I'm normally 69kg, I'm now 64. I weighed that when I was running marathons at 21. Wife says I look scrawny and weedy. Perfect.
Power to weight is now 'respectable' for a mamil. HRM strap no longer gives me 'moobs' I've had to buy new jeans and some of my once very tight lycra - 'that' Castelli top, now fits nicely.
New outfits ordered.
My Stigmata also went on a diet; carbon everything, lighter cassette, silly light pedals, Cross Boss tyres instead of those awful 3peaks only Landrover tyres and it now looks as lean as me. 7kgs, hope it survives.