Quarter 1 Review 2024

At the end of each quarter since the start of 2023 I have reviewed and reflect on my previous three months on the bike. This allows me to see how my fitness and ability is progressing on a wider timescale than week to week. For previous quarterly reviews please click here

However, because I started doing these only in 2023, it only just dawned on me that by making my Quarter 4 review also be my Yearly Review, the category seems like it’s missing the last update. Whoops. Oh well, far too late to correct that now, so on we go.

I think it’s fair to say that Quarter 1 2024 has not gone to plan.

I started the year with injury – screwing up my knee – and then got ill on top of that.

At Christmas time I’d made up my mind to get into running, with the aim to complete the New Year’s Tour de Zwift 2024 event series as the 5km runs.

Whilst I initially struggled with this, I got into it as the weeks went on, and by the end was comfortably able to complete the 5km runs in around 28.5 minutes. I knew I still had more in me, and continued on with the running after the Tour de Zwift ended. My current plan is to continue on with this – and get up to running 10k’s by the end of Quarter 2.

At the end of the Tour de Zwift series, perhaps as a result of the lighter activity with the knee injury, and not doing as much cycling because of the running, I found that my cycling power output had fallen. On top of that, I was struggling to see out SST sessions at my FTP.

I came up with a revised strategy to build back up from around 95% FTP, and progress up – fairly slowly – back to 100%, with the aim of completing an SST session at 100% FTP being the goal.

This was all going quite well.

Unfortunately on the last day of February I then whacked my head, and that set me back further.

Another week went by with that injury, and when I got back on the bike I took it fairly easy, only for me to pick up covid mid March and that put me out for another two weeks.

The worst of those symptoms lasted about a week, with another being cautious. I learned from previous covid that it’s simply better to take it easy rather than jump back on the bike immediately, because that can make everything worse ultimately leading to even more time off the bike.

Sense won out. But I still have a horrible cough which I cannot shift.

As it is, I’ve now been back riding for a week, and things are noticably down on where I was. As I said above, this is expected because of all the time off the bike, but equally frustrating because I was already not where I wanted to be before all of this.

It’s interesting in that the effort I am putting in now feels no harder (and certainly no easier) than when I was putting out my all time best numbers. Admittedly those numbers were never anything special, but right now I’m down 40 watts on my previous 20 minute PB, which is pretty massive.

The good news is, if I continue to be unaffected by injury and illness, I do think things will pick back up and I can resume what was becoming a fairly steady upward trend back towards my targets.

As I say, I want to continue with the running. I have found some enjoyment in there, which surprised me. I won’t say that I enjoy it as much as cycling – and I’d say it’s not even close – but I do get something from it, though I perhaps couldn’t tell you what that something is, exactly.

A quick Goals Review then, as this is what I set at the end of 2024 for Quarter 1:

My Goals Recap For Q1 2024

  • ✅ Protein shake after each ride
  • To understand how much protein I should be eating
    • And to start eating that much per day.
  • Continue racing weekly
  • ✅ Complete at least one session of the Tour de Zwift 2024 as a run 
  • FTP test again in 3 months
    • 240w or greater FTP 
  • Get back up Parlick (hiking) – possibly not feasible in Q1

Two out of six (one wasn’t hugely serious so I left it off).

Pretty terrible.

I’d say getting back up Parlick is still very much a target. It’s not nice weather here lately, and I don’t have proper hiking gear – jeans are not a good idea for a wet hill hike. So I can either order some proper pants, or wait til the weather improves (any day now 🤞)

I didn’t even bother doing the FTP test – but I don’t think I will wait until the end of Q2 to do this. I want to do it in the next few weeks, once I have a few more rides under my belt, and once I can comfortable get through the SST session at 100% – otherwise the numbers I get out will be pretty pointless.

Right now, I think I’m down at least 20 watts on where I was fairly recently… which is bad.

The protein thing is the big fail really. I forgot all about it. I have been doing the shakes though. But that’s because they are yummy.

And the Zwift racing, well, if I’m not on the bike I can’t be racing. And when I have been on the bike recently, racing has not been the sensible thing to be doing.

My Goals For Q2 2024

OK, things to achieve in Quarter 2.

  • Run a 10k, ideally under 1 hour, but the target is currently the distance, not the time.
  • FTP test by the end of April
  • Get back up Parlick (hiking)
    • Maybe need some proper hiking pants
  • Complete the May Zwift racing series

I think I’ll keep it as that for now.

Based on the previous 12 weeks I don’t want to over commit and then miss it all.

However, here is to a much better 3 months. I can’t believe it’s already been 3 months since Christmas. Madness. So much to do, so little time to do it all.

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