It's been 4 months and half since my surgery, around 2 months and half since I started training and with this post I wanted to do a review of this first part of the training season just before my first C-race, the Sprint Triathlon of Bertrix next Sunday.

The recovery

Recovery went a bit longer than expected: my surgery was on the 2nd of December and in theory I should have been able to run by End of Year, but the wound got infected and I had to go every day to the hospital get the wound meshed till almost the end of January. So start of training got delayed for almost a month. Luckily I could train on the home trainer over that time, so not everything was lost.


My goal for 2017 is to try and do better than last year at the IM 70.3 Otepaa, which is going to be my A-Race, so I decided to hire a coach, Rudi Frankinouille, to increase my chances, especially after the long stop caused by the surgery.

After a test race at the beginning of February (Hivernales RCB), which I finished with a decent (considering the almost 5 months of stop) 53min over 10km, I started the training with Rudi. We started increasing first time and later power on bike and distance on running and I was impressed with the results and especially with the workload I was able to sustain without crashing. During my hardest week I reached 15hrs of training.

We use TrainingPeaks for both scheduling the trainings and for analyzing them. Probably a bit on the wrong side using not the exact thresholds, I went from 20 CTL to 90 CTL in 2 months. Then probably with more correct thresholds (and also with a reduction of workload due to holidays and too many meetings at work) the CTL started to decline a bit, but still at around 80.

Performance Management Chart

Lactate tests

After 2 months of training mostly on estimate based on HR Max, I did some functional tests to get better training zone:

  • lactate and VO2Max test on the cyclotrainer
  • 30 min swim test
  • lactate test on the treadmill

Swimming performance

It turned out my swimming performance is the worst. Over 30min I did 1300m, so a swim FTP of 2'20" min/100m. Luckily no swim race I do is longer than 1 hour, so my pace would be faster than that. But lots to improve here.

Bike performance

The real lactate test gives you zones for both power and HR: this is much more precise than the zones estimated using the FTP measured with the 20-min TT test. But without this "number" the TSS cannot be calculated. So my coach said to take the value of power at 4mmol. And this was an unexpected 256W. I say unexpected because after 2 months of indoor training mostly in the Endurance zone I almost reached the same FTP I had last year after the end of the Build period. I still have to see how this lab-based measure compares to the real performance. I guess the first sprint race will give some clue.

Running performance

I did the running test one month after the bike test since I started running training one month after. Running flat out on a treadmill is scary since you can't just stop when you are about to give up, or you are thrown into air by the belt. So probably I chickened out a bit before than my real max, but still I got a pretty interesting threshold pace of 13.3 km/h (or 4'30" min/km, or 45min over 10km or 1'48" min/400m) which is I pace I never thought I'd have been capable of.

I've a 10km race (10km ULB) this weekend, so will try to test and see if I can keep a 13km/h pace for the whole duration of the race.

What's in the future

I've the 10km run this weekend, and the sprint triathlon the following week. And then May will be another busy month some some holiday and almost one week at a conference, so not much training is going to happen in the first half, and the second half will have an Olympic distance triathlon and the 20KM of Bxl.