Since March my training has focussed on two things: Improving endurance and raising my FTP.

With the help of Transition Cycle Coaching I’ve achieved this mostly through advanced aerobic workouts. On long sustained efforts I’m now the strongest I can remember being with the ability to turn bigger gears at higher speeds than ever before!

The National Hill Climb is only twelve weeks away. That means it’s almost time to focus on my hill climbing. I’ve got the engine. The tank is full. And so begins Project 450.


Aerobic Engine

Before you can really start work on the vO2 Max or anaerobic systems you need to be fit. Your body will have to cope with the huge stresses training at that intensity is puts on it. You’ll need to dig deep each session, and then recover fully in order to push yourself even further next time.

I’ve been steadily improving my fitness in preparation for this over around five months.

Right now I’m like a Duracell bunny. I can ride at high intensity for hours without running out of juice. Sure, it’s not always pleasant – the legs are begging you at times to ease up – but I can push on and find enjoyment in being able to tell those legs to shut up and pedal. The culmination of the months of preparation will be this weekend. Saturday 1st August, 2015.

I often find the voice in my head telling my legs: “You’ve got one job legs: To keep the pedals turning. Now get on with it!”

On Saturday good friend Phill Sharpe and myself are going to see how quickly we can cycle across the country. We’ll start at Morecambe and make our way to Scarborough over 123 miles and 7,000ft of hills. It’s going to be an epic ride and I can’t wait!

c2c

Most of my training the past few months has been leading up to this ride. I’ve done a lot of 90 minute rides at tempo or sweet spot, paired with longer weekend rides of increasing distance and power targets.

A few highlights below:

245w / 4.3w/kg for 3 hours (65 miles)

A photo posted by Ross Malpass (@rmalpass) on

225w / 3.9w/kg for 6 hours 25 minutes (122 miles)

A photo posted by Ross Malpass (@rmalpass) on


450 watts for 4 minutes.

This is what I hope to achieve by October. That’s 8w/kg. Seems insane right now, but if Transition believe that’s what I’m capable of then I do too. The National Hill Climb course in October should take roughly 4 minutes to complete. So our focus will be on four minute power.

I’m going to Mallorca for a week of training (holiday with the Mrs) early August and that will be the start of project 450.

The plan is to gradually condition my body and creep towards our target of 450w for 4 minutes. My current personal best is 400w for 3 minutes this time last year. This is going to be tough.

We’ll be starting off with intervals at 75% and progressing from there. Here’s to some real suffering over the next few months!

Clean & Lean

I’m also going to focus more on nutrition again. I eat well, and I eat a lot. When I get back from Mallorca the focus is going to be on getting lean. Shed the (small) amount of excess fat I’ve gained and keep all the muscle. Lots of quality protein, no more (not as many) chocolate biscuits, and barrels full of greens and veg.

I’m going to look like Bruce Lee come October!