Discussing my own season progression and plans

i’ve been training pretty good this spring… i am now in peak phase for my first A race of the year…
I’ve been hitting a really smooth and steady ramp rate of 3.0 XSS/week for the last 3 months and i’ve had a nice progression of intensity as well…
I’ve just decided the best focus duration for my event is 6 minutes…

I am a bit heavy at 230 lbs… I was 240 this past winter… my usual race weight is 220… the weight i alway thought to be healthier was 200 or 210 lbs for me… I haven’t been able to lose any weight since i started pushing my 3.0 improvement rate and I am coming to learn that this is just par for the course for me. I can’t be ramping up my training load and have a caloric deficit at the same time.
I have always been ramping up or ramping down my Training Load every year… i’ve hardly truly done much “maintenance” ramp rate.
So this is what i want to try for the rest of my peak phase and for 2 weeks after my peak phase:

  • Either run maintenance or even a slightly negative ramp rate. I want to see if i eventually become so accustomed to my current training load that I might even start to be able to run a very small caloric deficit and lose 1 or two pounds along the way without having problems with my RPE getting way out of hand… Is this a plausible strategy?
  • I’m even thinking that maybe after this peak phase and these races, i’ll continue with maintenance ramp rate or taper ramp rate as needed for the rest of the season… then take a couple weeks of 100% no bike time… and start a serious diet with a taper ramp rate to lose maybe 10-15 lbs… Hopefully I could get to 210 lbs by thanksgiving. gain back maybe 10 lbs over holidays and come jan 1st, lose that 10 lbs to be at 210 for the start of base phase… i would then try to go back to a 3.0 improvement rate and maintain 210 lbs or lose a little weight accidentally as training load increases…
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This sounds very reasonable to me. I’ve also been working to lose some weight and have been on Maintenance for a number of months now. It seems to be working for me as I can avoid eating back the calories I burn on my rides and rely on a bit more recovery to get back to being able to do high intensity.

I found that sticking to 20-30W below LTP on indoor rides for me was the best at burning fat vs. carbs and I didn’t feel the need to eat after these rides. That’s another approach you can take: do longer, easier rides that don’t burn as many carbs. You don’t feel as hungry and can still do higher intensity / tempo rides to keep your fitness where you want it.

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Agree you shouldn’t skimp on calories when ramping with intensity, but I actually think if you are riding easy as suggested by @xertedbrain you can run a small calorie deficit even with a ramp rate, since you don’t burn (proportionally) as many carbs, and you train your body to use fat which we all have in abundance. And the deficit needs to be relative to expenditure including training, which can actually still be a lot of food if training a lot. Can also help to slightly adjust diet to be have a bit more (healthy) fat and protein and a bit less carb (and no, I’m not saying low carb as that’s needed to fuel endurance efforts too)

Also worth looking at nutrition strategy (do you eat on the bike allowing you to otherwise eat normally, or feel the need to over-eat after under-eating on the bike, what do you eat on and off the bike / is it good quality etc) and also how you know whether you have a deficit or not eg are you already tracking food and counting calories relative to expenditure, or just inferring that because of the resulting weight change? I think some fluctuation in weight throughout the year is normal eg when reducing training and through holidays, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be significant

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