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2015-11-17 5:52 PM

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Subject: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Hello BT,

If you're interested, a couple of us will be doing the BT Winter Cycling Program over the winter.  It's a 14 week program (starting at week 3) to get stronger on the bike with 3-4 workouts per week.  Official start date is Nov 30th, but you can join in at any time that may be convenient for you.  Note, the 1st two weeks of the program are optional prep weeks, which this challenge is not officially doing.  You can do these if you which but week 3 is the official starting point of the program first test week for Phase 1.  Please read the programs description here if you are not familiar with it. 

This challenge is intended to be a power based using either actual power from a power meter or using virtual power (VP) based on your trainer's speed vs wattage curve. You'll need a few things to do this indoors:

  •  Trainer, PC, trainer program, power meter or ANT+ speed sensors, and USB ANT+ dongle

Regarding trainer programs: I know the MaximumTrainer program has the BT Cycling Program included.  I don't know if TrainerRoad has it available, but it wouldn't surprise me that someone has developed it. GoldenCheetah is another program but last time I used it (early 2014) all the workouts were not in the database.  There are some other trainer programs but I'm not familiar with them.  If anyone can expand on any of these or others please do.

Back to the program. This program has 3 main phases and uses the Critical Power (CP) metric (not FTP). Phase 1 has mostly shorter interval workouts (e.g. 5x1 min, 10x30 sec), Phase 2 morphs to longer mid duration interval workouts (e.g. 6x4', 3x8'), and Phase 3 gets into longer duration workouts (e.g. 4x10', 2x20').  There are 4 test weeks in the program, at the start of each phase and at the very end. Each test week has two tests: a 5 minute test and 20 min test.

For tracking gains, I setup a Google spreadsheet (here) to enter your weight and 5' test result and 20' test result and it will calculate the CP value.  It will also show you the CP percentage gains made phase to phase and the overall start to finish gains at the end.  Please see if you can view it and enter you name in the left hand column.

So let's encourage one another here, ask any questions you may have, and get stronger on the bike. 

My goal upon completion of this is to ride a local St Patty Metric Century and get then jump into sprint race training.



Edited by Donto 2015-11-17 5:54 PM


2015-11-18 9:44 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

I guess a little bio would be good to get everyone somewhat familiar with each other, so I'll go first.

Name: Tom

Story:  Married with 3 kids and 2 grandkids with the Family being the center of it all.  Currently 57 years old and was a couch potato until age 50.  After seeing a lot of folks in a retirement facility who were basically sedentary, not because of injury or illness, I decided I was going to get fit and age well.  Started with running and have done 10's of half marathons and 5 marathons.  Moved into Tri a few years ago and have completed Olympic, HIM and IM distance races.  Was training for a 50 mile trail race last Feb when I got a combination hamstring and piriformis injury that killed my entire 2015 season.  It wasn't until September I could ease back into training and am now back on track.

Current Training: Log is current and last few weeks have been 10-12 hrs with a good mix of SBR.  Bike has been largely low intensity/endurance focus as I wanted to get some aerobic base in place and think I am now at that point. 

Goal of this program:  Build FTP in prep for next season and gain a good understanding of POWER and how to get the most out of using it in training and racing.

Goal 2016 race: IM Vineman in Sonoma, CA 7/30/16.

 

If we wanted to try and find the workouts for this challenge on Trainer Road, what should we be looking for?  I did a search of "BT" but found nothing useful.  Didn't look on GC, so I guess the same question would apply there.

I'm new to power with my only previous experience being TrainerRoad and virtual power for use during their workouts.  Couldn't carry that over to my bike as I had no power there, so did not really do any analysis or planning based on power.  I just recently got a early Christmas present from my wife in the form of the Garmin Vector S and have gotten a few rides in now not really watching power on the ride, but checking out the data post-ride to get a feel for it compared to RPE and HR which are the tools I've used in the past.  It has become abundantly clear that I need to do a lot of work to understand how to view the data to get the most out of it - what is important vs what is interesting - so was wondering if we will be using a certain program/site to look at results (GC, Training Peaks, etc.)  I'm in the process of reviewing the older Power Mentor Group from a few years ago in the hopes it'll help get me started.  Recommendations or suggestions welcome and appreciated!



Edited by TTom 2015-11-18 10:12 PM
2015-11-19 5:34 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Hi Tom,

Nice bio, late starter! 

Regarding TR I'm going to do another post following this one with a zip file that will have the workouts for the 1st phase. 

I wouldn't be able to help all that much on the power front, I only train with VP on the trainer.  Others in the main tri-talk page can be of great assistance.

Curious what type of trainer do you have?

2015-11-19 6:04 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Hello group,

(attached BTWCP-Phase1-weeks1-4-mrc-files.zip)

Trevor from TrainerRoad said the BT Winter Cycling Plan is not in their list of programs.  So I went ahead and made the .mrc files for the first 4 weeks (phase 1) that "can be dropped right into the TR Workout Creator" (I don't use TR so not sure what this means!).  He did also say that BT does have a pretty active team on TR (https://www.trainerroad.com/teams/105-beginner-triathlete) so if someone here can post them there they should be able to be found (again I don't use TR so not sure what this means!).

These files can be imported into any program that accepts .mrc files.  Let me know if you find any issues with them.  Thanks.





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BTWCP-Phase1-weeks1-4-mrc-files.zip (7KB - 46 downloads)
2015-11-19 11:05 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

My trainer is a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine - built like a tank and smooth as silk when riding.  If you can't tell, I'm pretty happy with it.

I downloaded the workouts and tried to get them uploaded into Trainer Road, but am missing something in the process.  I've sent an email to the support there and based on past experience, think I'll get a response tomorrow.  Once I get them in, I'll let you know.  I'm hoping I can get this resolved tomorrow as I want to do the 5 minute test on Sunday and the TR platform makes it easy to execute to plan.

Here's a link to the TR page that talks about importing a workout.  It has some guidelines you might be interested in: http://support.trainerroad.com/hc/en-us/articles/201944204-Creating-a-Workout-from-an-ERG-or-MRC-File

 

X



Edited by TTom 2015-11-19 11:07 PM
2015-11-20 12:02 AM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Update to TR upload.  I figured out what the problem was.  Apparently special characters such as - and + are not allowed when importing, so I got rid of them and got the files into TR.  One file seemed to have an error in which the last segment actually started in the middle of a previous segment, so I changed it to where it started at the end of the previous segment instead.  Sorry, didn't think to note which one it was.  Other than that, everything looks good now.

In naming the files, I used the file name you provided as the basis, but had to eliminate the "Phase 1" in all as there was a character limitation.  So the nomenclature I used was as follows:

BTWCP weekworkout - name

an example being:

BTWCP WK1WO1 - 5 min CP Test

So when searching, all can be found by typing in BTWCP then scroll down to find the appropriate one by week or name as I'm not sure how you will be referring to them.  I'll try to get a screenshot of this uploaded.

 

 

 



Edited by TTom 2015-11-20 12:12 AM


2015-11-20 7:09 AM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Tom,

'You da man!' Thanks for your help with this.  I was hoping there wouldn't be any character limitations, was this for the headers and/or file name?  Trevor didn't say anything about character limitations, oh he also forwarded me that link about making the files.  I'll ask him about characters and file name length.  I also made the optional prep weeks with "Phase0" so we need to look into how to rename them so they all line up in a file list properly.

2015-11-20 8:46 AM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

The limitation was in the file name you used in saving the files and occurred when I tried to drop them into the list in BT.

Here's what they look like now in the app:

 

For the Phase0 we could use WK0WO1, WK0WO2, etc. as one option to make it line up I suppose 

2015-11-21 1:35 PM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Originally posted by Donto

Tom,

'You da man!' Thanks for your help with this.  I was hoping there wouldn't be any character limitations, was this for the headers and/or file name?  Trevor didn't say anything about character limitations, oh he also forwarded me that link about making the files.  I'll ask him about characters and file name length.  I also made the optional prep weeks with "Phase0" so we need to look into how to rename them so they all line up in a file list properly.

Don, for clarity, starting 11/30 will we be doing the Phase0 workouts you mention above or the phase1?   Also, how many participants do we look like we'll have?

 

2015-11-22 8:42 AM
in reply to: TTom

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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Originally posted by TTom

Originally posted by Donto

Tom,

'You da man!' Thanks for your help with this.  I was hoping there wouldn't be any character limitations, was this for the headers and/or file name?  Trevor didn't say anything about character limitations, oh he also forwarded me that link about making the files.  I'll ask him about characters and file name length.  I also made the optional prep weeks with "Phase0" so we need to look into how to rename them so they all line up in a file list properly.

Don, for clarity, starting 11/30 will we be doing the Phase0 workouts you mention above or the phase1?   Also, how many participants do we look like we'll have?
Officially no, but if one starts with the prep on 11/30 then that person will officially be starting with Phase 1 two weeks later with the test week. No biggie as people can start this whenever they want, its a long challenge! 

I guess I should post those prep .mrc files.  I didn't I uploaded them to my OneDrive so when I get back to the office I'll post them and you can check them out and include them in TR.  I'll name them with WK0a and WK0b

Looks like starting out on 11/30 there's a potential of 9 and maybe others will join in.  So far only myself and 5stones have entered names in the spreadsheet, but of course there's you and from the feeler thread:

kloofyroland (late December or right into January)
GAUG3 (undetermined)
tluckey
johnthecat
SHTri
TriPatrick
Hook'em
Bradleykd

 

2015-11-22 10:00 AM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016
Thanks Tom for the background info. Here is just a little background info for myself.

Outside of this site I go by the name of Hinkel. I have been involved in tri ever since my younger brother challenged me to a race about 7 years ago. Well, I got hooked my first race & now am working on passing on this addiction to my kids. I focus mostly on short course, although I am considering another long course race this season. I followed Jorge's BTWCP last winter & found it to be very useful. I credit the foundation I built last winter for a good season of cycling last year. Although the plan is optimized to improve CP, I am planning on using it with a focus on improving VO2Max & above efforts. I am more concerned with upping short term power at this stage of training.

Hope to engage in some good interaction with guys as we work through this plan.


2015-11-22 10:35 AM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

I hadn't put my name on the spreadsheet yet as I was going to do that after the first test, but have done so now. 

I want to make sure I did not get things messed up in translating data.  On what you posted you have the 5minCP as Wk1WO1 and the 20 minute CP as Wk1O|WO3.  On the plan at BT it shows that the 20min test (day 16) precedes the 5min test (day 20).  Just want to confirm that the order has changed so I don't mess anything up.

2015-11-22 12:58 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Originally posted by TTom

I hadn't put my name on the spreadsheet yet as I was going to do that after the first test, but have done so now. 

I want to make sure I did not get things messed up in translating data.  On what you posted you have the 5minCP as Wk1WO1 and the 20 minute CP as Wk1O|WO3.  On the plan at BT it shows that the 20min test (day 16) precedes the 5min test (day 20).  Just want to confirm that the order has changed so I don't mess anything up.

Yeah I did that because it spaces the tests out better, if one (me) hasn't been riding for awhile doing the test 2 days apart doesn't provide the best results.  If you look at weeks 7 and 11, they are setup like I did the 1st test week, WO1 and WO3.  I also inverted the tests, did the 5' first then the 20' to allow the 5' result to provide a better estimate for gauging the 20' effort as discussed in the Feeler thread:

Here's what I like to do;

  1. Do the 5' test first.  Since its shorter I find it mentally easier to go "all out"and hang on.  Note that 'all out' is not 100%, its relative to the time duration as you can't go all out for 1' and expect hang on for 5'!  After 1' you should feel "ah no problem I got this", after 2' "dang its getting hard, after 3' oh @%#^! I can't do this, 4-5' hang on and suck the wind!
  2. Then do the 20' test.  Knowing the 5' average, you can be a bit conservative if its the 1st time and start somewhere in the 85% range of the 5' power and build from there or go from a higher level around 90% and see how it goes.  My personal worst case ratio has been 85% coming off of no training to 93% at a peak in training.
2015-11-29 12:24 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Did the 5 minute test today.  Tried to follow your guidelines from above:

Here's what I like to do;

  1. Do the 5' test first.  Since its shorter I find it mentally easier to go "all out"and hang on.  Note that 'all out' is not 100%, its relative to the time duration as you can't go all out for 1' and expect hang on for 5'!  After 1' you should feel "ah no problem I got this", after 2' "dang its getting hard, after 3' oh @%#^! I can't do this, 4-5' hang on and suck the wind!

 But was a bit too aggressive in the beginning.  30 seconds in I was at the "no problem" stage, but by ninety seconds in I knew I went out too fast so was at the just hold on and suck wind stage.  Seriously considered stopping at 2:30 in as I knew that this was far from an ideal test, but chose instead to gut it out to see how deep I could dig.  Was able to stop the decline of power and actually finish the last minute with a (slight) increase in power.  Ended up with an average power of 230W but a really crappy power profile for the test.

 I was DONE after the 5 minutes and cut the just spun for 30 seconds before shutting it down.  Info entered onto the Google spreadsheet.

It was my first 5 minute test so learned a lot with the two most important being to moderate the start and that I had deeper reserves than I thought.  In retrospect, should have started at the 225-230W level. 

Side note:  I started this test once but noticed in the first couple of minutes my power and HR values dropping to zero periodically.  Stopped the test and did some web research and found that this happens often when your ant+ devices are being interfered with by other 2.4 MHz radio frequency devices, with Wi-Fi routers being a main cause.  The suggestion I found was to reset the Wi-Fi router to channel 1-6 as Ant+ operates on channels 7-12.  After resetting the router, the Ant+ signal was strong and steady.

2015-11-29 8:07 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Good work there Tom, yes the 1st time is a bear to get "right". You have 3 more times to get it right!

I'm going to attempt getting mine done tomorrow.  I did a prep workout on Saturday after cleaning up the garage some and getting the bike & PC back together.

 



Edited by Donto 2015-11-29 8:13 PM
2015-11-30 7:26 AM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016
I'll get my trainer set up after work and my run tonight. My 3 days of the week for this challenge will be Tues, Thurs, and Saturday. I usually go mountain biking on Sundays, so that will serve as my optional workout.

Thanks for putting these up on trainerroad.com! I'll definitely use those. Starting tomorrow with the 5 minute power test!

Also, I can't access the spreadsheet at work, but I'll make sure to put my info in there too!

Edited by Bradleykd 2015-11-30 7:27 AM


2015-11-30 7:47 AM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016
A little bit of info about myself:

Name: Brad

Story: I'm married for almost 5 years now. No kids. I started cycling to lose weight back in Oct. 2012. This was when I was at my highest weight ever: 256 lbs. (I'm 6'0" tall for reference). After I lost 20 lbs. I bought myself a real road bike and started cycling more. This is when I saw a triathlon while out riding one day and looked into doing one. June 2013 I completed my first triathlon. An Olympic distance. I finished in 3:10. I was pretty disappointed that I didn't break 3 hours, but loved the sport and started doing more tris and training harder. I built up to my first and only HIM (Silverman in Las Vegas) in October 2014. Almost exactly 2 years after I started exercising for health, I finished a HIM in 7:42. I weighed 204 lbs. (my lightest). After doing that race I kind of fell off the wagon. I don't know if it was from the race or just bad luck but in late November 2014 I suffered a pretty bad case of ITBS. I couldn't run more than a couple of miles without pain for days. I got discouraged and quit exercising all together. I went to PT for my ITBS at the beginning of this year and got that taken care of. Unfortunately I'm back up to 234 lbs. I've been at this weight for a couple of months now and have half-heartedly tried to get back in shape. Now is the time to jump in with both feet again!

Current Training: My log is way behind, but currently I'm in the middle of the couch to 5k program. I can run 5 miles without much problem, but I have always been slow - like 11:00 miles slow. I decided I would do the C25K program from the beginning but push myself to run in the 8-8.5 min/mile pace. It has been working so far! I also mountain bike a couple of days per week. The winter will slow that down because the trails will be sloppy, so I'm glad to have a program to build bike fitness over the winter.

Goal of this program: Get back in good biking shape. Jumpstart my training routines again. Lose some weight!

Goal 2016 race: Several sprint and 2 Olympic tris in my area.


Edited by Bradleykd 2015-11-30 7:49 AM
2015-11-30 9:08 AM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

OK, my 5' sucking wind test is done, 242w avg.  I really had to focus with 90 sec to go as the mind was begging to stop, I swear time stops with 30 sec to go on these tests!

2015-11-30 10:10 AM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Hey Brad, this'll be fun, right?  Answer after your first 5 minute test :-)   I've been through the ITBS mill myself forcing me to miss the Chicago Marathon.  Now I never miss a day of doing my preventative rolling of not just the ITB, but all the hip/glute/hamstring muscles.  

Don, great finish on that 5-minute segment.  Looks like the clock may have stopped on the last 30 seconds, but you just accelerated!  Was the outcome about what you anticpated?

2015-11-30 11:57 AM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

For anyone planning on using Trainerroad to do the workouts, in order to view the workouts you may have to join the Beginner Triathlete Winter Challenge Team there as I'm not sure the workouts will be available to all users.  You can first do a search to see if they show up, but if they don't, joining is easy.  To join, just sign in to TR, click on the "TEAMS" button at the top, choose 'browse teams' and type in "winter challenge".  Then click on the "join" button and you should be good to go.  This is all new to me and I can't test it since I started the team, so if it doesn't quite work that way and you figure out the fix, please post here so others can see.

2015-11-30 12:07 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Originally posted by TTom

Don, great finish on that 5-minute segment.  Looks like the clock may have stopped on the last 30 seconds, but you just accelerated!  

Thanks, I put my head down during the last 30 sec and embraced the pain!

Was the outcome about what you anticpated?

Yeah pretty much, I've done about 5 or 6 of these now starting from scratch and have been around 237-246 each time.  You'll notice that I setup the 5' CP test to be 125% of CP.  I inputted a 195 CP the other day to have a 5' target around 240.

Not looking forward to the 20' test!  Weather here on Friday won't be ideal with high humidity, oh well.



2015-11-30 6:01 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016
Got my little pain nook set back up for the year... After the stall mat gets some heat in it and lays down flat, I'll put that psychology book under the front tire. Its all in your head!

Also, I just flip that computer around for the screen. Looking forward to tomorrow!

 photo 59BA07A6-0EF4-4B2C-B441-64DFF5D21EFC_zpshpjn8rrk.jpg

Edited by Bradleykd 2015-11-30 6:07 PM
2015-11-30 6:48 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Brad, looks like you are ready to go.  I've got the same trainer and love it.  Discovered a neat trick just recently, probably the last one on this site to know it but I'll share anyway.  I found that if I just rotate the bike up and against the wall it stays there and gives me ready access to all the stuff on the other side.

 

2015-11-30 7:17 PM
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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016

Originally posted by Bradleykd Got my little pain nook set back up for the year... After the stall mat gets some heat in it and lays down flat, I'll put that psychology book under the front tire. Its all in your head! Also, I just flip that computer around for the screen. Looking forward to tomorrow!  photo 59BA07A6-0EF4-4B2C-B441-64DFF5D21EFC_zpshpjn8rrk.jpg
Brad, where are the fans!?!?

And yes it is all in your head, LOL!

2015-12-01 4:25 AM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: BT Winter Cycling Program Challenge 2015 - 2016
Originally posted by Donto

Brad, where are the fans!?!?

And yes it is all in your head, LOL!




LOL! The wall that the bike is facing is one giant window. I open that baby up about a foot and have one fan in the corner of the opening. It creates a pretty good whirlwind of fresh air.
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