Tuesday, August 14, 2018

That Was Burst A Blood Vessel Tough

Zwift Academy workout number five was tough. I completed it but by 'eck I was hanging on at the end. After a comfortable warm up phase, building to reps up towards 115% FTP the session started in earnest - god, I hate Ernest. Five, 1 minute reps at 150-170% FTP and despite a six minute recovery between intervals, I was dying in the last 10-15s each time. That difficulty is borne out by a nice new bulge - ooh matron - in my Strava power curve at 40-60s.

It probably wasn't ideal preparation for such a hard session to head out for an early morning 5k before work but when you've the bit between your teeth you gotta go with it. It was a decent run this morning and I'm pleased I'm keeping motivated. My legs feel somewhat broken right now but there's no rest for the wicked, I'm in the office tomorrow and I've scheduled in a lunch run with my colleague. If there's anything left in the tank once I get home, I'm going to try my third academy group ride.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Group Ride Number Two

and there were 307 starters!! More surprising was that half of them didn't shoot off the front in the first five minutes. Pretty much the entire group stayed together for the entire hour. For me, these group rides are perfect recovery rides as the target is 2.2-2.5W/kg. That's 80% FTP which is pretty ideal recovery.

Up tomorrow is workout number five and it looks like a leg burner with some one minute high FTP intervals...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Another Double

Managed to backup up yesterday's bike-run with another one today. Up for the bike was workout 4 of the Zwift Academy and again, I fared better than I thought I would. The anaerobic efforts looked scarier on the plan than in reality but I'm not going to get cocky as workout 5 looks even scarier. The 1 minute 150-160% FTP intervals look tough. After a couple hours recovery I knocked out 5k in a ramped increasing effort. Felt pretty good and it's been a good weekend of training.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Group Ride Recovery and Reps

More at the academy, the hour group ride recovery. That's one of the four mandatory group rides complete - and it wasn't a walk in the park. Not a hard effort but equally not a pootle. Power average 160W. Good recovery.

In the afternoon I hit the treadmill for some 500m 14kph intervals. They felt pretty solid. Probably should have had the mental strength to have completed a couple more reps but alas, I am weak.

Friday, August 10, 2018

That's Three

Zwift Academy workout three complete and it wasn't as difficult as I was expecting. The main core of the session was 12x10s, 6x15s and 3x30s at 160%, 150% and 130% of FTP respectively. For me I wasn't suffering enough at the end of each set. Sure, my legs burnt but the last couple should have really hurt and they didn't. The first two workouts really made me suffer so perhaps for such short blasts I need to up the workout factor. Zwift workouts allow a +/-10% adjustment so perhaps I'll try 105% the next time...

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Academy Workout Number Two

So that's two down, eight to go.. plus four group rides and two races... so many more kilometres to travel before I graduate the academy.

It was a mixedly hard session tonight. Five reps of 5 minute at 85% FTP with equal duration recovery - the easy bit. That was followed by six reps of 1 minute @ 135% FTP with equal duration recovery at 70% FTP - the hard bit. I felt like I wasn't really getting recovered during the final six but as I hit the start, I just about managed to pick things up in time to complete the rep without suffering too badly. The last 15s of each rep was a burn. Didn't feel quite as hard as the first workout but that was probably because I was more recovered. Hopefully I'll be okay for more training tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Legs Knackered

It's had to be the second rest day of the week. I really ripped up my legs on yesterday's run and bike. Workout #2 of the Zwift Academy tomorrow. Pretty sure my legs won't be feeling fresh but I's gots to do it guvnor...

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Difficult Double

My legs were not feeling great (even worse now) but I was in the office and when in the office with ones colleague what runs a bit, one is duty bound to go for the lunch run. Probably not the ideal move as I needed to complete session one of ten of the Zwift Academy training schedule - a 70min intervally/thresholdy/ftpy session - but it would have been rude not to.

So, the run wasn't too bad. Quite a surprise really because my legs felt heavy, the pace seemed slow and I collapsed on the gently uphill, final kilometre but I was a whole 10s quicker than last time out.

Tonight I was home latish but with time running out to complete the first session of the schedule I hit the turbo. The session involved a few short above ftp intervals followed by some longer ones, all with decent recovery before finishing with 4 short, sharp ones off short recovery. It was hard and I was hanging on in the last few but I completed the session. One down nine to go...

Monday, August 06, 2018

So It Turned Into A Rest Day...

My quads are shot and I'm feeling pretty weary. It has been a good few days of really good training but you've got to know when to take a rest. That rest came today which was unfortunate as I had planned a pootle around Sugar Loaf but I didn't think sticking to the plan was sensible so I will save it for another day. Added to that it's the first day of the Zwift Academy training schedule which I've signed up to do to provide continued motivation. Each session stays on the schedule for two or three days so taking the rest day today allows me to complete the first session tomorrow. Session two will be Wednesday through Friday.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

It's Working...

So I've been cranking out plenty of sessions on the turbo but very little running. The bike work feels like it's strengthening my legs but I haven't had much analytical data to back up the theory - until today, as I went for a run. It wasn't a long run. I just wanted to run a route I've run a few times to see where I'm at.

I ran the Longhope short loop, 5.5km with 160m ascent. It felt quicker and I felt a little stronger - the climb still defeated me but overall I felt like I was going better than of late. So it was fingers crossed as I uploaded the data - I was going to be mighty disappointed if I was slower than last time....

Two minutes quicker than the other times I've run the route during the last two years. Result. From this very limited, statistically meaningless data, I feel happy that the bike work is providing good training. So happy in fact, that I hopped into the saddle for a hilly training race, 48k, 900m ascent and subsequently totally ran out of steam but ground it out till the end, exhausted and shaking...

All my training data tells me I'm due a rest day but I've a day off tomorrow and was planning something, so we'll see...

Saturday, August 04, 2018

A Short One....

The virtual UCI Worlds Course Short Lap, that is. 24km, 500m. Again, another ride at the top end of my average power. Each session sees my average power creep a little higher and I'm feeling fitter.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Hour In Innsbruck

There's a new route in town, Innsbruck, and it's a replica of parts the upcoming UCI Road World Champs route. Apparently it's been fairly accurately mapped but I wouldn't know one way or the other. It's good to have another set of routes to add to the mix.

Took part in a four lap race on the flatter section of the route after work. The lap had a short, sharp climb followed by a short sprint towards the end. Despite a decently powerful ride, not totally all out but working hard enough, I was thoroughly whooped by the rest of the field. I wasn't last though! Riding pretty even splits, I managed to catch and pass a struggling rider on the last lap. He'd obviously gone off too fast. Having that rabbit to chase meant I worked a little harder, resulting in my fastest lap of the four. It was another decent hour in the saddle.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Job Done...

Well that's the full set collected. All seven stages of the virtual Tour de Oz complete and it was another pretty good session. I wasn't feeling strong - and I'm definitely having a rest day tomorrow. The field was down to just 15th of us so it was certain to be a solo ride. I guess most people interested in doing the full set had already completed, this being the last day.

Stage three was just shy of 30km and 250m ascent. My average power was within a couple of watts of yesterdays shorter ride so I'm happy with that. I surprised myself by pushing harder than I thought I'd be able to, not having the competition. All in all, another pleasing training session.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Entry Confirmed - Gulp

So that's it. The deal is done. The entry is confirmed (for the OMM). I've heard there are some lovely views to be had in the Black Mountains at the end of October - mainly mist, fog and rain....

So tonight, to keep my dream of completing the Tour de Oz alive, I needed to complete one of the two missed stages. With my legs feeling tired I decided on the shorter of the two missing stages, stage two at just 22km and 200m ascent. To be fair it doesn't really mean much but I've set myself the target and it'll be nice to meet the goal.

I wasn't feeling it at the start and set off pretty pedestrian. After a bit I started to edge the pace up a little. Then after a couple of kilometres in I found myself leading a pair of riders who just sat on me for about 2km without taking any of the work at the front (and yes, drafting, even in the virtual world, is simulated). That irked me a little. I know it's only a virtual little world but even so I wasn't having it. I put the hammer down and kept it down until they were but specks in my rear view mirror [don't actually have a rear view mirror but I never saw them again].

After that I caught up to a sporting Brit and we pretty much shared the work all the way to the end. We each tried to make a few break aways but neither of us managed to get fully clear before being reeled back in and so it came down to the sprint finish..... Which I took by no more than a metre or two. Bloody enjoyable and what I thought was going to be just going through the motions became a proper hard work out.

I'm thinking I may pay for the effort tomorrow but nothing is going to stop me completing the 30km of stage three to complete the tour...