Thursday, December 14, 2017

Training for Taipei 21k & Trainerroad

My runs have been quite successful pace-wise lately, but much has has to be said for my long runs. As I am about 2 weeks away from race day, I would have to start tapering off by next week. My long runs have been wanting (16k was my max a few weeks ago) so I would have to log a solid 18k this Sunday to prep me mentally and physically for Dec 30th.

The endless kainan (parties, lunch outs, weekend binging, etc.) are not helping to resolve my weight problem ---I have even gained 3-4 lbs. Ugh. I am trying to do some semi Keto eating but the semi part of it is just not making it lower my weight (I love desserts too much).

This festive season will definitely add more pounds but what's keeping me from falling off the wagon completely (I am still clinging onto it for dear life) is that I am still motivated to run, which burns more calories vs rides, due to my upcoming race. At least, somehow I think, it offsets the calories I put in.

Hopefully, I get to resolve this mindless eating soon so that my running pace is not affected dramatically.


I am 3 weeks into the Low Volume Sweet Spot Base plan from Trainerroad (TR) that I started subscribing to since Oct (as a bday slash motivational gift to myself) along with an Elite Qubo Smart Trainer. It was either I bought a new bike frame (aero road) vs the smart trainer. After endless debates on my head, I opted for the latter due to a cheaper cash layout and, hopefully, a better way to increase my FTP instead of improving my rides aesthetically.

TR is a software used for indoor cycling training similar to Zwift and The Sufferfest.

Having been a user of The Sufferfest (video download versions) for the past 3 or so years, I decided that I needed to improve on my cycling for races. Sufferfest (video download versions) don't have that structure for me as I just tend to put it on my training schedule as I wished. There had to be a better way I said to myself.

Recommended by a friend slash semipro cyclist, I found TR to be more "present" in terms of training structure. Its dashboard is pretty basic, i.e. not much to look at except for the ride data. It doesn't have the "badass" theme that The Sufferfest has but TR makes up for it by way of endless number of workouts, and a very structured Base-Build-Specialty phase workout plans that you can follow on your own. Plus, the dashboard grows on you eventually. ;-)

Screenshots from the phone version c/o

The on-workout messages prepared by the people at TR is very good as it guides you throughout the workout. It "talks" to you on how to improve form, how you breathe, and what the workout is for. It helps you on what to do should similar difficult situations are encountered once you ride outside. It teaches you to be relaxed even if deep within you are suffering, to pay always attention to your form, and guides you through improving your own pedaling with consideration of the 4 quadrant phases of the pedal cycle.

You can play YouTube videos that you like (especially for 1.5 hour workouts) on the background and minimize the TR screen so that the two (YT and TR) share approximately 75/25 of your screen which is good enough for me. Alternatively, you can also install Spotify on your phone or laptop and play it while you do the TR workout.

I hope to see increases in my FTP in the coming months as I prepare for my 2018 racing season. Even without an aero frame or a tri bike (for now, hehe), the training that TR will provide will hopefully give me that edge to improve on my bike race speed and mental toughness.