andy: 2015年5月アーカイブ


Like last week was my first "race" week. This was my first "transitition" week.

Tokyo~Itoigawa yielded a TSS score of 500. Roughly equivalent to 5 days of solid training.

The transition week is all about recovery. I feel fatigued for days after the event. A few early nights. Easy riding in zones 1 and 2.

This is also a chance to set up the GS Astuto aero bike. These bikes are so adjustable. The seat has a sliding position on the top of the stem. The aerobars can be set up in so many different ways.

A few days of testing it, I do the final tuning on Saturday morning.

I think I've got it set up right.

The next thing to do is try riding it hard and fast.

I hope to test it out at a track meeting and the Uchinada TTT next month...

Monday's training: Road 1h 40
Tuesday's training: Road 2h 20
Wednesday's training: Road 4h 20
Thursday: rest (commute 30 mins)
Friday's training: Road 2h
Saturday's training: Road 5h (bike set up, 3h riding)
Sunday: rest

toal: 16h


I had a meeting with my coach on Monday night. The last few times I've been explaing away a crash or missing the mark on my FTP test...

It was nice to have something positive to talk about. Like he said "You got it right when it counts!"

Here are the notes I made:

Tokyo~Itoigawa analysis

My observations:

I was very happy with my performance. I felt I knew how to win the race regardless of how it unfolded.

The first lap was in a group. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th laps were solo efforts.

I rode on feel and kept an eye on real time heart rate. As always, I had time splits on bike to compare my pacing to previous years.

I observed that I was mostly riding in HR upper zone 2 and lower zone 3, around the 145 HR mark. In previous years I have averaged around 150 HR so I knew this kind of effort was maintainable.

Zones 2 and 3:

  • 2 Endu 175 - 233 W (120~145 HR)
  • 3 Tempo 234 - 283 W (146~164 HR)

On the climbs in the group, I was pushed into zone 4 a few times (I noticed a HR of 175).

On the 3 big climbs I tried to ride mostly tempo, allowing myself into zone 4 and around 170 HR for the steepest sections.

This year I wasn't using power to gauge my efforts. Using this year's data and with experience gained of power training, I expect power will play a more important role next year.

Individually I thought my best effort was CP1 to CP2. I felt strong during this section.

On the last coastal section I felt I was fading a little. Soreness in the neck and shoulders and general fatigue after 8 hours in the saddle slowed me down a little.

Data analysis:

We analysed the data in trainingpeaks.

  • Lap 1 218 Av Power / 249 Normalized Power / 146 av HR
  • Lap 2 205 Av Power / 239 Normalized Power / 144 av HR
  • Lap 3 190 Av Power / 223 Normalized Power / 147 av HR
  • Lap 4 218 Av Power / 212 Normalized Power / 146 av HR

Comparison of the lap data is difficult due to the changing terrain, weather conditions and other dynamics.

For example, the first 1h 50 mins of the race to the top of Fujimi Pass:

  • start ~ fujimi peak 238 av Power / 261 Normalized Power / 152 av HR

(As a group, I wonder if we could have maintained this kind of intensity to the finish?)

However, we think we can see a general trend of declining power. Of course this is to be expected in a long event. The drop off in power is at a relatively constant HR.

The "Power to Heart Rate ratio" analyses this relationship.

  • For the entire workout there was a drop off of 10.5%.

We also looked at the efficiency factor for each lap:

  • Lap 1: 1.71
  • Lap 2: 1.66
  • Lap 3: 1.52
  • Lap 4: 1.44

Again, it is difficult to interpret these values. However, I hope that they will be useful for comparative purposes in future races on this course.

The Annual Training Plan

We modified the annual training plan due to a change in date of Fuji 200. We also tweaked the training plan so that upcoming races will fall at the end of a rest week.

The lead in to Uchinada

This week is a Transition week. This will be easy riding. Trying to recover from Saturday's big effort.

Next week is a Base week. I will increase the intensity a little and do some upper zone 2 riding.

This is followed by 3 Build weeks.

Then comes a Build rest week. I hope to do an FTP test near the beginning of the week before the race on Sunday.

  • Transition (10 h)
  • Base (15.5 h)
  • Build1 week 1 (17.5 h)
  • Build1 week 2 (17.5 h)
  • Build1 week 3 (17.5 h)
  • Build1 week 4 (10 h, including FTP and race)

Specific training for Uchinada

There are 6 weeks before my next race. I will enter the TTT and RR at Uchinada.

We expect the effort required for the TTT will be interval sessions with high resting power. For the road race, some punchy 2/3 minute power efforts will be necessary.

In the three weeks of Build before the race, I will do one or two hard efforts during the week, and one at the weekend (TTT training). We will analyse the TTT efforts to see if they are effective enough. Based on last year's TTT training, I expect that they will be.

  • Build 1 week 1: 95% FTP 20 mins x 2 (or 15 mins x 3) x 1 + TTT group training
  • Build 1 week 2: 95% FTP 20 mins x 2 (or 15 mins x 3) x 2 + TTT group training
  • Build 1 week 3: 95% FTP 20 mins x 2 (or 15 mins x 3) x 1 + VO2 max x 1 + TTT group training
  • Build 1 week 4 (rest): If possible, I will do the final TTT training on the Saturday, the FTP on Tuesday or Wednesday and race on Sunday.

Body weight

I reached my target of 75 kg before Tokyo~Itoigawa. A few weeks before I was still 77 kg, but the weight came off quickly in the last 2 weeks. I was surprised by this which was timed with a 3 week period of reduced intensity training. I hope to keep this weight or go even lower during the summer months.

Since starting working with a coach last Novemeber, Tokyo~Itoigawa has been the race we targeted so I'm very happy to win it. I've won it before but this was perhaps my best performance. Of course it's never easy. The weather was perhaps the worst I've ever ridden it. But I felt confident in myself and the training I had done. Riding hard to the very end...

Tokyo〜Itoigawa on Saturday. My first target "A" race this year.

the preparation

Working with a coach I've been focused on this since November! 3am riding the trainer, in the garage, on Christmas Day... it was all about Tokyo〜Itoigawa in May.

I've done the training. I've done the resting. At 74 kg, this is the lightest I've ever been.

The final piece in the puzzle was a GS Astuto aero bike. Much to my disappointment I didn't get the bike ready in time. I was going to smash the record on this. They've supported me with wheels for my last 2 victories in this race. The very least I could do now was to win on the latest version of the superb 50 mm tubulars. Complete with ceramic bearings! The wheels won't stop turning even if my legs do!


race week

This was the first "race week" in my annual training plan. All easy riding.

Monday: Road (2h)
Tuesday: Road (2h 30)
Wednesday: Road (3h)
Thursday: rest day (commute x 30 mins)
Friday: rest day
Saturday: race
Sunday: rest day



We set up base camp in Kofu on Friday night. A winery complete with onsen, bbq dinner and "nomihoudai" ("drink as much as you like") wine and beer. I'll burn 7000 kcal tomorrow. Any source of calories is fine by me.

race format

304 km. 3 check points / aid stations. Racing on open roads. Part Paris〜Roubaix. Part Cannonball Run.

Riders go off in small groups at one minute intervals.

Start times are seeded. Fastest riders go last.

I'm in the last group. A 5:32 start. 4 riders. Me and 2 teammates:

  • 100 km TT specialist Hayakawa san
  • Hill climb rocket Oba san

And a new friend:

  • Meiji University's All Japan University Road Race Champion, Nishizawa san

The plan is to work together from start to finish.

Raining on the start line. Under shirt, jersey, arm warmers.

I decide against a windbreaker. Pocket space is reserved for food. 5 x SIS gels. 5 x soy joy bars. 2 x bananas. 2 full bottles on the bike.


CP 1 to CP 2 83 km

3,2,1 GO!

The new start to this event is perfect. Slightly downhill. Get up to speed quickly. High cadence. Raise the heart rate. Rain slick roads make it super fast.

I do a long pull from the start. 3 on my wheel.

My rival in previous editions of this race, Team Rogers' Suwagara san, set off 1 minute before us. I catch him in just 2 minutes. He and another rider jump on. 6 of us now.

The 4 of us start to rotate. 2 hitchhikers on the back.

Hayakawa san is smooth as always.

After a while I force the other 2 guys into the rotation. But they can't hold the pace. Suwagara san returns to the back. The other guy is dropped. 5 of us now.

University champ Nishizawa san is a classy act. Really smooth on the bike. Difficult to hold him on the climbs. HR is up to 175. Going too hard? I wonder if he'll go the distance.

Oba san is also strong. Particularly on the climbs. Impatient he forces the pace a few times.

The first test is Fujimi Pass. I've attacked here before. But today's plan is to ride together as far as possible. I sit on the front. Tempo pace up the climb.

Over the top Nishizawa san is on the front. But it's not fast enough on the descent. I take the initiative. My favorite part of the course.

Lake Suwa. About 10 mins down on my solo effort two years ago. But riding in a group I must be fresher.

  • CP 1, 1st (2 h 32)

CP1 to CP 2 66 km

Our well oiled machine falls apart here. Nishizawa san throws in the towel. Hayakawa san goes to the toilet. Oba san and Suwagara san shoot off up the road!

No choice but to go. We ride easy for a while. But Hayakwa san doesn't come. The steep climb through the park. Shiori Pass.

It's been raining all the way. And now we are in thick fog. Up to the top. 1000m elevation. 3 of us now.

The descent is crazy fast in good weather. But visibility is down to about 5 m now. No risks. Safely to the bottom.

Through Matsumoto city. The fastest part of the course. Like being on a motorbike here. Hammer time.

At one point I look back. Oba san isn't there (later I learn he dropped his chain). Suwagara san is chasing hard about 100 m back.

He's no use to me. And he ruined my race a few years ago. So I go full gas to get rid of him. Taking a few risks. Cannonball time.


I'm surprised he gets back on.

"Don't worry Andy, you have a minute on me."
"You can sit on, but don't attack."
"Okay, 1 and 2."

A deal struck with 200 km still to go! I'm suspicious of him though. Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

We get talking though. And he's a nice guy! I even give him a banana. And a promise of a beer at the finish.

A solo TT from here then. Suwagara san on my wheel.

  • CP2, 1st, 2h 01

CP2 to CP3

I always find the first section to Nagano city a challenge. Up and down. No flat.

On the way we pick up Otsuka san. He set off at 4:30 but has been held up by two punctures.

"Gatorskins!" I tell him.

So many riders are by the side of the road. Flat tyres. Mechanicals. I have complete faith in my kit.

Otsuka san is a strong rider to have on board. He does a pull so I can stretch and fuel.

Raining until this point. At last some dry roads through Nagano city.

Next up is the big climb to Shinanomachi. A 5 km pass with a few sections at 10 percent. I want to take this on at tempo pace.

Suwagara san is dropped early. Just Otsuka san. 2 of us now.

We are going hard through the steep sections but enjoy chatting where the gradient eases. A real nice guy. We share a few stories about his Ovest team mates. Another beer promise.

Once over the pass we press on for CP 3.

  • CP 3, 1st, 1 h 42

CP 3 to finish, 86 km

It's all downhill from here. Well not really.

Again we are in the fog. Can barely see at all now. Heavy rain too. It's fast. 50 × 11 isn't big enough at times. We have to be really careful though.

We pick up a HCC rider. Physical Monster Okamura san too!

The HCC guy wants to do a pull. But I know he'll be more useful when we hit the flats. I ask him to wait.

Coming off a long descent onto the windswept flat is always tough. The HCC guy does a huge pull here. 40-45 kmph. It's tough to hold his wheel. But I know it's worth it.

Now we are on the coast. The last sector. 3 on my wheel.

Now is time to empty the pockets. Eat everything. And then go as hard as possible. 40 km to Itoigawa.

On the coast it's nice to climb a little just to enjoy the descents. Pushing on the rolling sections, I drop the other 3 along the way. Solo now.

Team mate Daito san started 30 minutes before me. He's still up the road. With no one on my wheel, catching him is my motivation now.

I go as hard as I can. I'm fading a little. The aches and pains. The neck and shoulders. But the legs are still going. Dreaming of the finish. Put it all out by the end.

  • Goal, 1st, 2h 40

Just missed out on catching Daito!

First to all 4 check points. 1st overall. Win no. 7! Nothing beats the feeling of finishing this one.

Tokyo~Itoigawa 2015, 304 km, 8 h 55, 34 kmph


Into the onsen. Onto the beer. Back to Kashiwazaki for the party.

On Sunday morning we collect the prizes. Maybe the best prizes of any bike race in Japan? A set of Fulcrum wheels, an MET helmet, a 3T handlebar, bottles, lights, sake.....

Thanks to the organizers and of course Enosan and everyone at じょんのびTIME for helping to make this a great event every year.

Bring on 2016!


A brief meeting with my coach on Monday. A chance to talk before Toito. We'll talk in more detail after the race.

Here are the notes I made:

May's FTP tests

I did two FTP tests on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd.

Friday's test was aborted. My feeling was that I went too hard on at the start. I thought I could go the distance holding around 370 W. I felt great for the first 5 mins or so. But I blew up and pulled the plug after 14 mins.

We looked at the data from Friday's test.
First 3 mins NP = 386
First 5 mins NP = 380
Last 2 mins NP = 330

The HR was very high from the start, around the 180 range. In previous tests I have built to around LT 170 to 175 HR before a big push at the end. This data supports my feelings that I went too hard.

Personally I feel that I was very well rested (which is why the HR was so responsive?) so I got a bit overexcited.

On the second test I tried a more conservative effort, but I feel I was tired after the hard effort the day before. It felt like a good steady effort. But the power wasn't as high as I was aiming for.

FTP value and power zones

We will adjust the FTP to:

  • 312 4iiii / 342 power tap

The power zones (4iiii) will be:

1 Active Recovery 174 W (119HR)
2 Endu 175 - 233 W (120~145)
3 Tempo 234 - 283 W (146~164)
4 Lact T 284 - 330 W (165~183)
5 VO2 max 331 - 377 W (184+)
6 Anaerobic 378 -2000 W


We talked about the lead in to this year's first big target.

Tuesday: road (I did 2.5 h in zones 1 and 2 on the aerobars)
Wednesday: easy ride
Thursday: equipment check
Friday: rest
Saturday: race

We looked at the long ride data from May 5th. There was lots of variety in this ride. We are looking forward to analyzing the TOITO data.

3 days to go!


Late to write the blog again. This is more to do with resting than training! Trying to get an early night every night.

Last week was the peak week. I planned to do two big rides in preparation for Tokyo〜Itoigawa.

Monday is asaren. On the aerobars. I try to simulate the effort. 3 × 35 mins in zone 3.

I'm flying. 38 to 40 kmph regardless of wind. A big 215 TSS ride.

strava data

Monday's training:

Road (4 h)

Tuesday is the big one. I leave at 3 am. 75 km solo.

As a group we ride fast through and off.

Komura Pass comes with 140 km on the clock.

From here it's up and down all the way. I should have checked the course beforehand. I don't have enough fuel. Me without enough fuel! I'm fading, losing time on the climbs scraping it back on the descents.

At last a 7-11 after 210 km!

A master of fuel injection, I come good after that. Sore neck and shoulders for the last 10 km, the finish couldn't be timed better.

Home for lunch with 260 km on the clock.

strava data

Tuesday's training:
Road (9h 30)

Wednesday has to be a rest day. Breakfast down the beach.

rest day

Following my plan after Tuesday's big ride, an easy ride on Thursday. Can't beat an easy ride in the sun!

A new aerobike came in time for Tokyo〜Itoigawa. I'm very lucky to have the support of gs astuto.

The build begins on Thursday night.

Thursday's training:
Road(2.5 h)

Some easy riding on the aerobars on Friday.

Friday's training:
Road(2.5 h)

I take Saturday off in preparation for a big ride on the new bike on Sunday.

rest day

The build of the new bike takes a long time and I'm at Enosan's till midnight on Saturday night. No point getting up early on Sunday. Rest is the most important thing at this stage.

Just a test ride. There are lots of small things to deal with when setting up a new bike.

Sunday's training:
Road (1h)

weekly total: 19 h 45

Next week is race week. Easy riding. Lots of rest. Bring on Tokyo~Itoigawa!


I've been training hard / resting hard this week. Too busy to write up last week's training. Here it is:

Last week was build 2, rest week. Friday was an FTP test so it was important to rest up for that.

A day off on Monday. I still have a sore back from the JCRC crash. The huge bruise makes it look worse than it is. Just a commute.

rest day, commute (30 mins)

On Tuesday I have time to do a longish ride. Beautiful weather (beautiful weather every day recently). A ride up the coast. Easy pace.

Tuesdays training:
Road (3 h)

Wednesday is a national holiday. Still I feel tired. I often feel tired in the rest week as I back off from training. I take another rest day.

Wednesday's training:
rest day

Thursday is the day before the FTP. A short spin in zone 1.

Thursday's training:
Road (1 h)

Friday is this week's focus, the FTP test.

I aim for 365 W. I have the power tap and the 4iiii for comparative purposes.

I'm flying at the start. 370 to 400 W. I feel like I'll hold 370 av.

But it's too hard, too early. The power drops off gradually. The strava data shows a gradual decline in power.

strava ftp 1

Ideally we should have a gradual increase or a controlled steady effort.

The high HR at around 180 shows how hard I was going from the gun.

Fighting a losing battle. I pull the plug after 15 mins.

Friday's training:

Road (3 h)

Saturday we head to Nagano for a few days. Leaving at 7am, the window for training is 4am to 6am.

A retest this early in the morning is not ideal. Minimum time to recover from yesterday's effort.

I plan a more conservative effort:

360 w for 10 mins > 365 w after 10 > full gas at the end

At first it feels easy. But I don't have the legs I had yesterday.

I'm determined to finish the test. A constant hard effort. But I can't get the power out.

strava ftp 2

Result: 353 W power tap, 322 W 4iiii

That's 10 watts lower than April's 365 W for the FTP test.

For the time being we'll reset the FTP and power zones based on this test.

I'll raise the mark next time...

Saturday's training:

Road (2 h)

Sunday is another rest day. The third this week. An onsen stay in Nagano. One thing I've learned this year is how to rest!

Sunday: rest day

weekly total: 10 h



前のアーカイブはandy: 2015年4月です。

次のアーカイブはandy: 2015年6月です。





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