Sunday, October 13, 2019

A Good Days Training

Started with a group ride on #Zwift around the virtual Harrogate UCI loop. Really enjoyed it. We rode as a group for the first 20k before hitting the final climb, from whence the fence was turned off and the racing began. I felt I was working reasonably hard during the group ride section despite my average power only being 2W/kg or around 65% of my old FTP. So it was a totally surprise to be able to put down power 'well' above that old FTP on the climb, and managing an average 3W/kg or 95% FTP over that last 7k. Really happy with that. Perhaps some of my perceived lack of power is down to being subconsciously afraid to push it in case I overdo it like I did before...

Anyway, I gave myself an hour and a half recovery before hitting the treadmill for a 5k 'race' effort. I almost didn't because my legs were definitely feeling it from the ride but I did despite that. No ramping this time - well almost none...

After a brief five minute pre-race warm-up, I was straight into a pace near the top of my last few ramped runs - which is admittedly still pitiful but it is what it is. Turns out even that was a bit ambitious at this point in my rehabilitation, having to resort to 200m recovery, 800m effort in order to keep going as my heart rate kept heading too high. As penance, I did at least nudge up the pace on each subsequent 800m section and covered the 5k much quicker than during my ramped runs.

It's still all moving in the right direction and I feel I'm getting a bit more balance to the training. Recovery and rest tomorrow....

Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Incy-wincy Bit More Pace

Another treadmill session, ramping to a slightly faster pace (from a slightly faster starting point as well). A little less distance though but I'm trying to keep things moving forward without overdoing it. Not gonna lie, it got hard - ooh er matron - towards the end - ooh er misses. Bike session tomorrow.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Back To It

After the long, tiring day that was yesterday I was back to it tonight after work as planned. I do like the way I can devise a session in TrainingPeaks and it shows up ready to run in Zwift. It really helps me stick to the plan. As to the plan, tonight's was another gently ramped session on the treadmill. Still keeping it at a pretty lowly pace but today's run added another 0.6km, taking the session up to 7.4km.

Up tomorrow is a free form bike session - aka, make it up as I go along, zero planning....

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Well That Wasn't At All A Slightly Stressful 13 Hours At Work!

Suffice, by the time I got home, there was no easy spin so a second rest day it was. Tomorrow should be easier so I'm hopeful I'll get home at a decent time in order to hit out the scheduled run.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Third Day In A Row Now Time For Recovery

So I finished my third day of training in a row with another slightly longer and faster session on the treadmill. We're not talking a massive increase and it's all still pretty pathetic, just a few seconds per kilometre pace increase by the end but every little counts. I'm being careful not to over do it. I was puffing by the end of the session but my legs weren't burning as they did. I'm so far back but I'm just going to keep plugging away. Full rest day tomorrow - apart from having to go to work - then maybe an easy something on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Feeling A Bit Better

and some reasonable training. I started with a 17km time trial on #Zwift. I'd not tried the new format since the upgrade, which now actually sets each rider off 30s apart. Catch or be caught....

I had a target wattage in mind and started slowly at 140W and wound it up to the target 170W with a couple of kilometres to go and maintained that to the finish. I had more in the tank but I was definitely working. No one in my category came past and I managed to catch one rider on the line. Pleased with the session, keeping it low key, making marginal gains and I definitely like the new format TT.

After a couple hours break I hit the treadmill for a gentle 5k. No reps this time, a continuous ramped effort at low intensity. Planning another run of some sort tomorrow, maybe slightly higher effort before a day off Tuesday followed by some recovery.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Been Feeling A Little Off

Missed a couple of days of planned training. Tried a bit of #Zwift yesterday but it wasn't happening. Haven't been feeling exactly topper today either. Went to bed nine o'clock yesterday and slept in till 10am this morning - and I still feel tired. Decided I couldn't miss another a day so did some easy work. It was more for my own sanity than anything else. An easy group ride of an hour and some easy reps for a 5k on the treadmill. Hoping I feel a bit better tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Definitely A Rest Day

My legs are feeling it today. Yesterday's run was definitely highest effort since I've been back at it. Likely to be just an easy one tomorrow unless my legs feel totally recovered.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Harder Work

My legs weren't feeling entirely fresh but not too bad so I decided on a real run. It's been a while and I found it hard work. Partly, I think, because my legs didn't feel totally fresh but more due to the fact it's hard to keep the pace low and I kept drifting too fast for my currently level of fitness. The beauty of the treadmill is that you can control the pace, out in real life, because my current capability is so low, I found myself going faster than I'm good for.

I used my power monitor to try and keep within my capability but ever time I glanced at it the power was too high compared to where it should be. That meant I blew up and struggled in the later half. It was my longest run to date though, 6.5km. Need to get more self control on the pacing but it was a start. More to come - but not tomorrow which is definitely a full rest day.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Easy Ride

Just an easy 60 minute recovery virtual group ride to finish this years #Zwift Academy. Despite not pushing things yesterday my legs didn't feel fresh hence the easy ride. All part of the master plan to factor in plenty of rest and recovery. Going to see how the legs feel before deciding on tomorrow's training...

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Double (but Without Overdoing It)

So I started off with a easy to medium effort on the bike. A short 13k #Zwift race. It was really just a warm up for the running but I did end up chasing a few riders down in the later stages. Just couldn't help myself. Didn't hit the burn so wasn't an issue.

I then followed up with another easy run on the treadmill. More structured this time as I programmed in the speeds and distances before hand. Five gently ramped efforts of 1, 1.25, 1.25, 1.25 and 1k with the pace of the ramps building up to the middle one and then back down again - probably haven't explained that well.

It's all very low key but it's another day and another small increase in distance, 5.75km and most importantly, didn't push me into the burn zone. I'm wanting to surge on and really test things but I'm sticking to the plan. Slowly does it, small gains and get to the final destination in good shape and ready to rumble...

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Putting In A Bit More Effort...

but not too much - lets not get silly. It was a race on #Zwift and I actually put in some effort tonight. My first proper test. Not anywhere approaching my best and I kept to the D category but I definitely knew I was working. Even got a little caught up in the racing, pushing hardish to break away halfway through the final lap of four - and I stayed away. I wasn't last tonight.

The good news, was that with the harder effort, with some at 150% FTP on the short climbs, I didn't get the instant burn of a few weeks ago. I feel like I've worked out tonight for sure but nothing too over the top. I'm pacing things. Definitely feeling more and more positive that the worst is behind me and as long as I build it slowly I'll continue to make my way back.

Might be an easy jog tomorrow. Might be nothing at all. Might be an easy spin. It all depends on how the legs feel....

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Another Slow One

After taking a rest day yesterday it was time for another go on two feet. I ran slightly longer efforts, around 1km each, hitting a slightly higher pace towards the end of the efforts but overall the pace was still very low. I added on an extra 250m to the total distance, 5.25km.

It's still very much baby steps at this stage. I'm taking it slow. Going to just keep edging things up week on week. Taking plenty of recovery along the way. I finished with a very short ten minute spin on the bike.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Yep, Definitely Back To Square One...

So after yesterday's very gentle return to running, my legs are a little stiff today. 5k at a paltry pace and my legs ache. Now that is pathetic.

Today was a very easy 1hr30 on the Zwift. It was technically a race but I dropped to the D category (from the C) and kept the power and heart rate low and spun the legs. I was last by a country mile but it was a recovery for me and the race was there just to give me a distance target to stick to.

Tomorrow is a gentle run if the legs feel completely recovered or another easy bike session.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

No Burn!

Okay, so it wasn't exactly a full on session as it was my first 'run' for over two weeks having taken my medicine. I'm not going to rush things. Baby steps but the signs from today's easy 5k give me hope I'm on the mend but I've lost so much fitness in the five weeks of reduced training, with the last two weeks of it being almost total rest. I think it's been necessary though.

The intervals were at a quite pathetic pace but the same pace was causing my legs to burn with lactic acid five weeks ago so I wasn't going to be stupid. Recovery was 250m and I gauged the rep length as I went. I wanted to stay well away from hitting the burn but really didn't know what to expect.

The first one was 500m and felt fine. The next about 600m, then a couple of 750m before a final 1k. At no stage did the legs feel close to getting the burn - happy days. I didn't find it too hard - just as well from such a low pace - and was within myself at the end of each effort. My heart rate rose to 160, which is pretty high considering the low pace but for the last weeks I've not been able to get it up - ooh er matron. During the last few weeks, it's only been reaching 150bpm before the burn hit. So the fact I was able to sustain a higher heart rate in itself I take as a sign of improvement (despite the low pace).

I'm pretty happy it's now time resume training and will be putting a schedule together. Going to start gently and build - plenty of recovery this time though. Rather than letting this blip put me off, I am more determined than ever to get back. What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger...

Friday, September 20, 2019

Slightly Higher Effort After Much Rest

It's been another easy week. In fact I've not even done a spin - until today. I increased the effort a fraction, seeing as how I've been resting. I didn't push into the burn although the effort wasn't without having to put in some work. I feel caught between losing fitness from too much rest and cranking things back up too soon.

I'm not going to be feeling like a run tomorrow on account of spending much of the day doing the race timing at the Black Mountains fell race. Might manage an easy spin when I get back. Sunday I'm going to test things with a gentle jog. That will be the real test of how well my legs have recovered from the over training...

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Got My Training For The Black Mountains Race Done....

Don't panic. I'm not running. I'm on registration, operating the Racetek timing system. And by heck there's a lot to it. Hopefully I've made enough notes so I get it right on the day. [Fingers crossed]

As to real training I did a short #Zwift race yesterday, 10k. I didn't push overly hard but did nudge the effort up a little as I wanted to 'feel' if I was able to increase the power a little without get the burn. My average power was a little improved and I didn't get significant burn. Today, I did hours recovery spin on low effort to get the blood flowing without putting too much stress on my legs.

Going to give it another very easy week before I attempt to start increasing things. Going to make sure I take enough rest days this time around...

Friday, September 13, 2019

Been A Quiet Week On The Training Front

It's actually been quite difficult not doing much and just resting. I did another gentle hours spin on Wednesday but other than that it's been rest and recovery all the way. Going to do something tomorrow or Sunday or maybe both, but again, it's going to be very low intensity. I can feel the gains made in the early part of the year ebbing away but needs must. Got to look to the long term...

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Easy Spin

Although I want to take a few weeks off. Well it's more a case of needing to rather than wanting to, in order that the legs recover. The trouble with not doing anything is that I might get out of the habit, and not to mention that I'll go insane not doing anything - well more insane anyway. So today I dialled down the FTP to 100W (from 212W) so I could spin out an hour's #Zwift Academy workout.

That provided absolutely no training effect whatsoever but it made me feel better. To be doing something without actually putting any stress on my frail and feeble body was definitely better than doing nothing at all.

More spinning to follow...

Saturday, September 07, 2019

The Lawson Influence...

So despite planning a loooong lie in this morning, I didn't - well not that long anyway. I was restless and couldn't stop thinking about all that dirt and grime on the bike. I wouldn't have worried about it a few months ago but I've been subjected to a bad influence so I had to get it clean again - not to mention coupled back to the trainer.... An hour later and a bit of elbow grease, the chain, front ring, cassette and all the other bits are back sparkly. Grrrrh.

As to my legs, they aren't sore or achy at all. I think that's down to the fact that despite getting the burn almost instantly when applying any effort I'm wasn't actually doing any muscle damage. Despite that it's been a recovery day. In fact it's going to be a recovery few weeks. I'm not going to do nothing, just nothing of any intensity.

Friday, September 06, 2019

About As Bad As I Expected....

The flat? No problem. The inclines? Big problem. The moment the road went skyward my quads were on fire almost instantly. Not ideal when your 80k charity ride has three decent climbs or 1060m asscent. Going to have take a few weeks near total rest me thinks to get this knocked on the head.

Looking at things differently, I only had one day of suffering, those in need of WaterAid's help have to suffer the effects of no or dirty water every day. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bw3lakeschallenge

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Three Lakes Challenge

It's going to be a very sociable ride this Friday in aid of WaterAid. There's about a dozen of us taking to two wheels with thirty or so on two feet, traversing from Cheddar reservoir, past Blagdon and finishing at Chew Valley Lake. The ride follows a circular route, anti-clockwise, starting and finishing at Head Office and taking in the same three lakes.

Taking most of the day, we won't be going at it hard [well I won't be that's for damn sure] but I'd like to try and hit the main climb pretty solidly - if my legs will allow. On that front, still feeling the burn too soon. I did an easy 30 minutes yesterday which felt a little better but somehow still not totally how it should be.

Ride stats for Friday are 78km with 1050m of ascent, the main climb being the segment up Cheddar Gorge - I've virtually ridden it so it'll be interesting to ride in real life....

The route is anti-clockwise starting and finishing at HQ

Here is a link to the collective team sponsorship page if anyone feels so inclined. We are raising money for WaterAid.

From the WaterAid Website:- 
"Right now, some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people don’t have clean water to drink, decent toilets or hygiene. Without these basics, overcoming poverty is just a dream.
But when you help us to dig a well or install a tap stand in a community, you're changing the lives of children for the better. They can dream again. 
Every child should have a bright future ahead of them and focus on being a child - not walking long distances to collect and drink dirty water.
785 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home. We'll keep working until everyone, everywhere has clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. But we can’t do it without you."

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Recovery Day And A Clean Chain

So ahead of Friday's bike ride [in the real world] I thought I'd get my machine in as tip-top a condition as my meagre bike maintenance skills allow. Exercise wise I did a relatively easy thirty minutes on, yes you guessed it, #Zwift. An odd one. My quads definitely knew I'd "ran" yesterday but maintaining the recovery 2.5W/kg wasn't overly taxing. I was expecting to be on lower power in order for it to be recovery rather than effort so maybe I'm over the nadir... 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Almost Needed A Sweeper Myself...

Well that was bloody hard work. Sweeper at the Fan Brycheiniog fell race. 15.2km, 750m elevation. As sweeper I was only just able to keep up. Still struggling. My legs don't seem to want to work. Even with an almost week of full rest - other than work - I still felt far from rested. I enjoyed being out there so it's not going to stop me and I'll just put with things and hope I get through it, what ever it is.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Better But Not Totally Convinced

I expected to feel stronger on today's easy Zwift. I felt less of a burn but I still feel like I'd have got the burn too soon had I increased the power. Definitely better but not what it should have been after four days rest. I guess sweeping the Fan Brycheniog fell race on Saturday is going to be interesting - I just hope some really really slow runners turn up...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

RHR Getting There...

So my resting heart rate is heading back towards 50 - or so my new gadget tells me. Sunday it was north of 60 - according to the same gadget. I have been resting - apart from the burden that is work. I might try a gentle bit of Zwifting tomorrow to test the water as it were but it won't be anything too energetic as I have to be capable of traversing 16km/850m ascent as sweeper of the Fan Brycheiniog fell race on Saturday. And if I survive that it will be all systems go again.... or not.... as the case may be......... We'll know come Sunday.....................

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Day Of Rest

and I still feel tired. Not looking forward to back to work Tuesday. The 05:40 alarm call is not going to help with the tiredness levels. Resting heart rate is elevated. Tomorrow is almost certain to be another exercise free zone and I'm going to keep resting until my resting heart rate falls back to normal levels and my 'body battery level' starts hitting 100% recharged - I love all the new data analysis bulls#!t reported by my new watch...

Sunday, August 25, 2019

That Was A Tad Hot

and not totally inline with my week of rest. I feel bloody worn out. It was so hot I practically steamed in my "marshals outfit" at the entrance to the finishing field at the Severn Bridge Half Marathon. Last year I got soaked and frozen half to death, this year almost got heat stroke. And then, with no rest for the wicked, I headed to work to sort out operational problems. Finally got home at five, thoroughly bloody worn out.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Forgot How Nice Dymock Woods Are

And there are lots of tracks and paths packed into a relatively small area. Plenty of room for route variations to keep it fresh. The nicest part is the variety of trees. The worst part? Well that's down to me being worn out. I think I'm suffering a tad from overdoing it. Not that I've been running particularly fast during the overdoing it, just lots of sessions and too little recovery. I've been suffering on the bike. My power is way down and today my legs were fatigued within a few minutes. My heart rate wasn't overly high. I'd normally register a higher average. It was just my legs hit the burn at a pitiful pace. I enjoyed the run on the grounds of where I was running but I think I'm going to take a week off. May be a couple of very short, low low effort sessions to keep me sane more than anything else but other than that I think I need the recovery.

Oh, and the new Garmin was good. The routing function was great. It was so easy to map up a route and then have it instantly appear ready to activate. Didn't need to concentrate at all on which path to take as the watch told me all. Giving me a beep at the appropriate point to make a turn. Made the navigation an absolute doddle. Didn't need to refer to the map and compass at any point.

Today's route (clockwise)

Friday, August 23, 2019

Six Of The Best?

Okay, so not really that good. My legs are still hitting the burn too soon. It was my final required #Zwift Academy Ride/Race and tonight it was six short laps with a sprint section. I like the short lap as you tick them off in quick order and before you know it you've finished. As I said to begin with, my legs were burning too soon and despite giving it solid effort my power was down - as was my finishing position. Normally I'm mid pack. Firmly in the bottom half tonight though. Anyway, I'm over to Oxenhall Wood tomorrow to try out my new Garmin with its built in mapping.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Just Easy One

Nothing special and I'm still puffing more than I should but I'm keeping on with it. 5k on the treadmill. My legs are feeling a little less heavy so hopefully I'll not get the burn so quickly in tomorrow's Academy workout.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Feeling Tired

But managed a short blast on the #Zwift - where, unlike the ad slogan, fun was slow tonight. It was one of the academy races but I didn't really race it. I did work hard enough to get some good leg burn but it was leg burn at lower power than where I should get burn. Definitely not feeling fresh. I will give myself a rest in a day or two. Sunday's definitely going to be a rest day on account of a prior engagement to go trooping....


Monday, August 19, 2019

Jog On

the treadmill followed by an easy twenty minute warm down on the bicycle. No great power laid down, it was just an easy one today. Aiming to complete another Academy workout tomorrow but I'm not sure my legs are going to feel totally rested.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Managed To Complete Today's Rematch

but my legs definitely didn't feel fresh. I chose a different Academy workout today, number 3 - couldn't face number 7. That one was some seriously f~*(ed up hard s#!t which I will fight another day. Number 3 was better. And despite the legs not feeling great I managed to complete it and rack up a new 25s power best, 625W - mind you, I almost blacked out when it was done. Finished off with 3k of 250m/r250m reps at 10% incline on the treadmill. Legs are done.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Going Through A Bad Patch

Not sure what's going on. My calf muscles felt tight when I woke. Had a good night's sleep and on the back a couple days rest and practically not really much yesterday I wasn't expecting that and I still felt somehow fatigued. I decided to give the Coppett race a miss as I knew I'd be struggling. Instead I decided on a steep incline on the treadmill. 10% rising to 15%.,slow pace with efforts.

My legs were tight for twenty minutes before they eased a little. The effort, at 10 to 15%, was a good solid effort and it wasn't a bad session. I didn't feel unduly worn out so after an hours rest I decided to try another Zwift Academy training workout. As it turns out I was totally worn out. I managed just 25 minutes before I had to call it a day. I was suffering. Legs burning on the early reps there was no way I could complete the longer ones. I was almost on the spiral of death as it was and aborted.

Feeling on a bit of a downer at the moment. I shall retry tomorrow....

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Couple Of Days Rest...

and I still feel bloody knackered. Not sure if I'm going to do the Coppett Hill race tomorrow or not. I'll make a decision tomorrow morning...

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Really Need A Rest

...but I want to keep cracking on. Tonight's workout number five of the #Zwift Academy was hard. My legs were burning on the sections when they shouldn't have been. Was a bit of an odd session culminating in two 1 minute all out power tests. I didn't get going on the first of those but really put it down on the final one. The initial surge was too much and I was hanging on but just held on to equal my best one minute power (as per my records - or Strava as it's known).

Yesterday was a short, sharp row interval session. Ten 30s hard, 30s recovery. A thirty second effort sounds almost nothing - but 30s recovery ain't much either and by the end of the short session I was more than happy to see repetition number ten sail past.

I've a run planned for tomorrow before a much needed rest day on Thursday and possibly Friday. The weekend brings the possibility of the localish Coppett Hill race. I've never run it before and know I won't be feeling fresh, even with a few days rest, but it'll be a good hard training session before maybe heading into what I think sense dictates must be a very light week...

Sunday, August 11, 2019

That's Me Done

Another double day. First up a group run with incline on the treadmill. Varying incline up to 8%. Legs weren't in top shape but not terrible. Decent enough effort. Then it was into the saddle for a #Zwift Academy race. I used the session as a recovery ride with a bit of an effort here and there - is that even a thing? I didn't want to sit and effortlessly pedal nor did I really want to race.

I got in a small group, working at about 2.5W/kg. That provided enough of a work out in order to stay with the group. A few times I started to get dropped on the short hill 'blip' but had enough to close back up - not without getting some good leg burn though and raising the heart rate for a minute or two.

Tomorrow is a rest day...

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bit Lacklustre

I was puffing sooner than I should've in today's run. My heart rate was higher verses the pace. I seem to be on a bit of a plateau. Ho hum. Finished off the training with the planned hours group ride and despite only being 2W/kg 'pace' I found it wasn't as easy as it should've been.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Solid Workout

Still had a bit of yesterdays intervals in my legs but I've a schedule to keep to - or more accurately #Zwift does. That's the problem with following a bike training plan while also trying to train for some two leg action. Tonight was the Team Dimension Data session two and it was hard work but doable - just about. Not sure I'm going to be in the mix for the Pro contract at the end of it all but hopefully I'll be a little fitter.

Up tomorrow, an easy run... and maybe a sneaky row interval session, but I'll wait to see how I feel on that one. Don't want to burn out.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Intervals

It was a bit of a make it up as I jogged on and ended up being ever increasingly pacey 300m, then 250m reps with 200-250m recovery. The peak of my pace was 3:50/km and I was blowing. The sad thing is that tha's slower than my long forgotten 10k pb pace and it lasted just 250m. Quickly putting that to the back of my mind. Can't dwell on what was, just got to keep pushing forward...

Monday, August 05, 2019

Even Harder Work...

and I probably shouldn't have but it's the start of the #Zwift Academy and I don't want to get behind. I'm going to struggle to fit training in tomorrow and by Wednesday I'd be feeling guilty for having had too much time off so tonight it ruddy well had to be.

My legs felt heavy but the session didn't look too tough. My mistake, it was surprisingly tough. Mainly, as mentioned, because my legs probably should've been resting. My heart rate didn't go too high but it felt really hard work keep to the legs turning. Job done though. Rest day tomorrow and then back on it Wednesday with a run of some sort.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

That Was Hard Work

Maybe not quite as hard as it was for those doing the real thing but with my legs a bit sore from yesterday, today's three times up the virtual Box Hill was hard enough for #Zwift's short course ride London event. My power was down on account that my legs were sore. Despite that I certainly didn't take it easy - although I did have to stop on the second ascent to take delivery of my new Solomon Speedcross 4s - so that gave me a slight breather. After some crap racing I thought I'd treat myself to new footwear to give me some motivation to get out there and use them...

Back to the virtual riding, it was a good 90 minutes in the in the saddle and despite that lack of power, I was dripping by the end. 45k, 600m ascent.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Not My Best

Llanthony Show fell race. I went but I was a long long way off conquering... It was only 6k and 330m ascent but I never really got going. I was puffing from the off. The climb was a struggle and then finally on the top ridge I started to cramp up. I got across the top and then almost came a cropper on the descent. Caught my foot on a stone and narrowly avoided taking a dive into a boulder but just managing to stay on my feet. Eventually made it to the finish a long long way behind the winner. Definitely not my best.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Gentle Jog

Back on the 'racing' tomorrow so it was just an easy 5k pootle on the treadmill tonight. I'm still getting the odd twinge on the achilles here and there. Sometimes I wake up to it feeling stiff - ooh matron, behave - the achilles. Not painful just stiff. Today was one of those days. It's not much trouble other than that. Tomorrow I'm off to battle for the wooden spoon at the Llanthony Show fell race.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Virtual World, Real Riders

Tonight's #Zwift training session was a pre-PRL workout led by Dani Rowe. I've not decided which one to do Sunday. The 70k or the lesser 45k?

I've been feeling a bit tired today and almost gave things a miss. I didn't want to aimlessly ride easy and equally didn't want to do nothing so the pre-PRL session was spot on. Mostly easy with a few efforts. The efforts shouldn't have burnt as much as they did but there was plenty of recovery. Up tomorrow is an easy run.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Eight Four Hundreds

Had a few technical issues tonight. The data recording kept dropping out which annoyed me but I managed to get to the end of the session without losing it, although I did curse once or twice. 8 x 400m with 150m recovery. It wasn't the fastest session but the recovery was short which never the less made it hard work. And that's that.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Enjoyed That Burn Up...

I was straight into the saddle after work for a short, sharp #Zwift race. Three laps of the 'hilly loop' - although it's not really much of a hill. 27km, 300m ascent. It took me half a lap to get into it but from there I picked up the pace. My power was down a little from my best but my legs were burning and I didn't have any more.

It was the first ride with the clean chainset and what a difference it made to the noise levels and shifting. Definitely going to be a bit more regular with the maintenance from here on. Next up, a run day tomorrow.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Bit Lacklustre

Wasn't totally feeling it this weekend. I completed the planned training schedule but wasn't feeling full of beans. Yesterday was a virtual hilly ride in order to complete the L'Etape du Tour mission. Fitting in 4563m of climb during the three weeks of the mission came down to the wire but the 600 plus metres clocked up yesterday took me over the line.

Today I treadmilled it to 10k. The first time I've managed that distance on the treadmill. Helped, to some degree, by Stranger Things. I'm up to episode seven. I fear there could be some binge-watching going down - but I'll not let it impinge on the training schedule.

Looking to be back on the racing next week. This weeks Four Fans would've been beyond me and I'm trying to be sensible.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Random Intervals

It ended up being eight random pace intervals. seven 250m's and one 500m rep at various speeds. Felt okay if still someone hot. It was another somewhat poor night's sleep so I haven't been feeling full of energy. I almost called it a rest day but intervals was on the training plan so intervals I did.

I'm giving Four Fans a miss tomorrow. The twelve rugged miles and that heart breaking final climb is beyond me at the moment. I know if I ran I'd almost certainly be in tears on that final Fan Fawr climb. So it's going to be more training instead. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Not The Weather For Me...

So I missed yesterday's training session because I was feeling wiped out. I hardly slept a wink Tuesday night. First, the thunder struck at midnight, and uncharacteristically the cat was out. She's a timid one at the best of times so I rushed outside, sporting just my undies, in the pouring rain to try and get her in. She came squeaking past but ran under the bloody car instead of through the open front door. Try as I might she wasn't coming out from there and despite looking like she was bricking it I couldn't get her in. Eventually I just had to leave her to it but by then I was wide awake - not to mention dripping wet.

I towelled down and went back to bed but struggled to get to sleep. A couple hours later, having finally drifted off to sleep, I was awoken by the cat yowling at the front door. I could here the solenoid on the cat flap triggering but she wouldn't come through. I think the click was scaring her after the terror of the thunder. I was up again to let her in and guess what? Yes, I struggled to get back to sleep again. Come 5:40 I was up and off to work, feeling less than wide awake. Suffice to say, after the day at work and then the drive home, baking in the car, any hope of the training session was out the window.

Tonight I fared better. I wasn't feeling full of beans but having had an okay night's sleep last night, had a modicum of energy with which to pedal my way to stage 4 of the #Zwift Off the MAAP Tour. I started slow and built. My heart rate monitor is playing up at the moment, rest assured I wasn't hitting 200bpm but I did start to build the power through the ride.

I targeted the hills, where I put most power which helped me move through the field. I ended up solo with about 6km to go and then got caught by a small group with 2km to go. I knew I had more power in the bag and latched on to them until one of them went from 900m to go. I matched him for 500m before going from 400m out and held on comfortably but not without getting the heart pumping towards max - but definitely not as high as the heart rate was reading. 30km, 275m ascent.




Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Back In The Saddle...

For stage 3 of the #Zwift off the MAAP Tour, 37km, 477m ascent and an uphill finish - wasn't expecting that!

I started out slow. Not for want of trying to go more workman like but the ol' pegs didn't want to work. Gradually I got into it though and got in with a decent group. I wasn't sure of the course for this one but after two 9k laps it looked like a four lapper. I was happy with that as I was starting to feel stronger and stronger.

Then things took a turn on the final lap - quite literally, and we headed off the lap and up... I realised instantly where we were headed and suddenly didn't feel so strong. The saving grace was that it wasn't exactly going to be the Torremolinos, um, er, I mean the Col du Tourmalet of stage 14 of the Tour de France but there was a bit of 16% action going down - or should that be up?

Anyway, the group splintered and I found myself a lot more towards the front than the back of the riders from said group. Heart rate thumping out of my chest. Over the line. Good work out.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Failed It

I gave it my best shot but it beat me. For me, the virtual 2019 L'Etape du Tour de France remains un-conquered. At 128km and 2335m of ascent it was 10km and 835m too far for me - but that 10km and 835m ascent was up the Alpe du Zwift (aka Alpe d'Huez) and was likely going to take me about two hours based on the speed I was going. Yes, by that point I was absolutely on my arse and crawling along. My tank was empty, my legs were starting to cramp and more importantly my arse was a little saddle sore.

Overall I'm happy to have attempted it but disappointed it ended in failure. On a positive note, I managed to clock up 118km and 1500m in 4:18hr and burn 2000 calories. The ride was 45km further and 500m more ascent than than my previous longest ride. I am exhausted. Next year...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Finally, After Two Push Backs...

I got the row session done. 10 x 1 minute efforts at 1:55/500m off 30s recovery with a 3 minute recovery half way through and 500m warm up and cool down. I struggled on the first few reps. My arms didn't seem to want to work. Perhaps I need to adjust the warm up to include a bit more effort.

Anyway, it was a good session but the evidence, the data export, was totally wonky. I did do the session, honest guv. Not quite sure what went wrong on the data front. Taking a quick look at the raw data all the reps and recovery seem to be overlaid on top of each other so I'm thinking that I somehow set the session up incorrectly in Rowpro. It did prompt the reps and recovery correctly during the row so I'm not sure what I did wrong. I shall investigate before my next session.

So it's going to be an early night because I have the long, long day in the virtual saddle tomorrow. Although, actually the saddle is real and so too will be the effort. It's going to be my longest #Zwift to date - assuming I complete it, the 2019 L'Etape du Tour de France. A virtual 126km ride with some 2400m ascent, finishing on Zwifts version of Alpe d'Huez. I have my Netflix play list at the ready...

Friday, July 19, 2019

Rejigged the Schedule...

Because I forgot about stage 2 of the virtual off the MAAP tour and today was the last day to get it done. So I did. The row is pushed back to tomorrow before a tough, tough Sunday...

I started today's ride easy, it being a group ride not a race. Although everyone treats it like a race but not me - at least for today anyway. I rode it harder than Tuesday, my legs feeling back to normal-ish, but nowhere near full on. I did pick things up in the last third but didn't get into any battles. Good solid workout. 42k, 330m. Pleased with that.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Easy One Back On Two Feet

My legs mostly feel recovered after my exploits on the weekend but not completely. It was a scheduled easy one on the treadmill tonight but I had to replace my broken door lock first. My first world problem of having to go in and out via the french windows in the Gym was almost too much to bear... I wasn't sure how long it would take but an hour and a half later I had myself a fully working locking door again. Please with that. Then it was straight on to the treadmill for 7k of easy intervals to stretch the legs out more than anything else. A session on the rower scheduled for tomorrow and an absolute beast to come Sunday...

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Should've But I Didn't...

Take another rest day as my legs are still sore and a little stiff but I couldn't not do something - now I've confused myself. Anyway, tonight it was the a group ride, stage 1 of the MAAP tour on Zwift - yes, another virtual cycle jersey is coming my way in another three stages time... Sad git.

I took it easy (at least at the start) but even that was quite hard work. My heart rate wasn't high but the leg effort felt like it. Well into the ride, I managed to get myself caught up in a small group of riders pushing and couldn't help myself, pushing harder to break off the front - so much for taking it easy. I suspect I will pay for it tomorrow - and not to mention prolong the recovery but heck, it was fun and I enjoyed it. 42km, 660m ascent 1:23hr. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Legs Hurt

So there is no training going on today. I'm itching to hop on the bike as I had a group ride planned but my legs really are very sore and it would be pointless, even detrimental from a training point of view. Going to shift things back a day and hope my legs feel less sore tomorrow. If improved but not totally chipper I'll probably just turn my legs over so at least it makes me feel like I'm not being lazy.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Duty Bound To Go Run...

As I awoke from slumber this morning the first thought I had was whether my legs would work or not... Unfortunately, although quite sore, I was able to walk - bugger, that meant I had to go race Pen y Fan (6k, 580m ascent). When I say race, what I mean is traverse the route.

As I set out, the front door lock broke. The door was locked but it wouldn't unlock so I couldn't get back in! Not a good omen. Oh well, off  I went to the the race anyway...

As to the race. I was crap with a capital K - yes, that's how crap I was, so crap I can't even spell it. Pretty much the entirety of the ascent was a gruelling, painful walk. I was nearly last to the summit. But at least I was there living the dream - or should that be nightmare? I knew I'd fair better on the descent and caught a half dozen runners but it was all very spread out by then. I finished, completing the double header and that's about all that can be said.

So will that be my last race till 2022? As that's what happened the last time I ran these two races. A total loss of mojo for running and a two and a half year break, only resuming this year. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.... [wink, wink]

Saturday, July 13, 2019

I Wasn't As S#!t As I Was Expecting...

I was still pretty s#!t, just not as s#!t as I thought I would be. I do however feel a little bit wrecked and I've blistered up my middle two toes on my right foot which burst during the final road section making the final run in a bit painful. They will need some taping up for tomorrow's Pen y Fan race. Yes, I'm still optimistically hoping I'll be capable of walking when I wake up tomorrow morning...

I was pants on climb - not a surprise - but I was happy to make a dozen or so places on the descent. Unsurprisingly, my time was my personal worst but you know what, I rebooting the records. This is running two point oh. All that has gone before is forgotten. I've got new time markers now, that began January 2019 and I'll see if I can knock a few minutes off at next years Fan y Big fell race (16.8k, 650m ascent).

Friday, July 12, 2019

So It's The Big Weekend Ahead...

The first double header of races for a few years. In fact, looking back through the records, it was this pair of races (Fan y Big and Pen y Fan) back in 2016 where I last raced back to back on a Saturday and Sunday - and it fact, after those races back in 2016, I never raced again..... Until the beginning of this year, when I got back in the saddle. I am hoping that they don't have the same affect again...

Anyway, I'm taking a very humble view as to my target time. I'll be happy to make it back ahead of the sweeper. On the upside, I am feeling less fatigued than as of a couple of weeks back. The last two weeks of lower intensity training has had the desired affect. Looking back at the schedule, perhaps I was being a bit ambitious as to how hard I could hit the training. Much pain to come on Monday....



Thursday, July 11, 2019

I Enjoyed That

Nothing quite beats getting straight in the saddle after work for a 3 lap race around the virtual Innsbruckring and I gave it some tonight. It was up there with my best. I bloody love racing on #Zwift

The first lap saw a group of six of us pushing hard, vying to break away but no one quite managing it - until the short climb. Hitting the hill we all went for it. Going into the red, four of us came over top clear. We continued to push hard.

Nothing changed through lap two until we hit the hill again. Although the racing red mist was descending.... as one of the riders, hence forth known as my nemesis, wasn't pulling his share on the front. And to rub salt into the wound he blasted it on the hill and got clear. I hit the top level with one of the other two riders left from the group and together we pushed hard on the descent to catch my nemesis...

Into the final lap, the rider who'd helped catch my nemesis got away and there was no catching him. So now it was just me and my nemesis and guess what? Yes, he was sitting back. Grrrrrr. Every little effort I put in he responded to, to keep in my draft without coming past. Then a late starting B rider caught us and I worked hard to go with him - so did my nemesis. More grrrrrhh.

Then the B rider broke clear and I made my final move. Make or break. 30 seconds of pain to try and get back to the B rider. If I could bridge the gap I'd get a draft and even for just a moment it would settle things. I didn't make it but I'd broken the draft of my nemesis and I was 20m clear - but he came back at me and the gap started to close....

The fog of war was well upon me by this point and I wasn't having it. I put in another effort and that broke him - to be fair, it nearly broke me! Heart thumping out of my chest, the gap started to grow and I knew. I knew the battle was won. I held it together on the final climb and pushed on to win the war. 26.4km, 43 minutes. It was a right fun one and you know you've given it a good crack when your legs feel wobbly for half an hour afterwards.

Did I mention, I bloody love racing on #Zwift


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Easy Group Ride...

A really easy one tonight in 600+ group ride. All part of the schedule but I find it really hard to ride quite as gently as that. It was 28k and clocked up in just over 50 minutes. Through the line I blasted off at 110% FTP to reach 30k. I like a nice round number. Need to fine tune the schedule for the next three days so I'm able to get round Fan y Big ahead of the sweeper on Saturday...

Monday, July 08, 2019

Row and Run

Some row intervals today. Short and sharp. 10 x 30s @ 1:50/500m pace off 30s recovery. I'll creep up the number of reps when I do this session again. After the row I hopped straight onto the treadmill for 5k. And that was that. 

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Easy Sunday

I hit my weeks TSS with a short burst on Zwift. Just a 10k ride to turn the legs over. In the week coming up I'm aiming to hit some hard work in the first half of the week before a likely total rest Thursday and Friday before I die on the weekend at Fan y Big and then Pen y Fan. There is no way I'm ready to take on a tough double header - but I'm entered so I'll be doing it anyway...  

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Solid Days Training

I kicked things off with a 30k chase race on Zwift. I've not ridden one before and it was good fun. Being a C category we set off 5 minutes after the D's and similar amount ahead of the B's, with the A's a further five minutes back.

We stayed well grouped for the first 4-5k before hitting the first climb. I was working hard to stay in the group and we had good speed but I couldn't keep the power high enough and got dropped. From there it was always going to be near impossible to prevent myself getting caught by the B's and A's.

I managed to keep the B's at bay until about 12k in, where upon they came firing past in a good sized group and I held off the A's until about 5k to go. I managed to catch most of the D's. It helped that I was able to stay with a smaller group of B's that caught me late on. I had to work really hard to stay there, almost begin dropped twice, but keeping in that group meant some good speed. I even held my own in the final sprint to the line, losing out to three of them but holding off the other two. Bloody good work out.

After a bit of recuperation I hit the treadmill for some hill intervals. 8 reps of 250-350m at 6-8% elevation. I kind of made it up as I went along but it was good solid effort.

Friday, July 05, 2019

It Was Very Hot...

as ventured out into the sun for a run. Too hot for me really but on the plus side I did feel less fatigued than of late. That feeling of less fatigued was more than offset by the heat. It was another slow one and only 7.5k but better than nothing. And what is it with Blaisdon Wood? The ground all around is parched - but it was still bloody boggy on the top path! How is that even possible?

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Another Not Great One

I really didn't feel like it this evening it in terms that I'm still feeling I'm in a bit of a dip. I did it anyway because I need to ride - or in the case of tonight - run through it. I can't justify another week of rest so I'm sticking to the weeks target TSS (Training Stress Score) of 340. So far I'm still on target.

I've another run planned for tomorrow because I feel I need to start stringing some back to backs together before hopefully getting in a longer run on the weekend...

Monday, July 01, 2019

Channelled The Exasperation...

So I found my 'racing' against the D's this evening, and I'm a C category rider. True, I wasn't feeling the power, riding towards the bottom end category power but still, I felt I should be able to get clear and despite a few bursts, I wasn't able to pull away from the group. The exasperation built.

Tonight's race was 31k on one of the flatter routes and by midway I was solidly stuck in a group of six and despite them not technically being in my 'race' I did, however, really want to kick their asses...

Thoughts turned to how, when, where I'd make my move. Leave it to the sprint? But maybe they'd have enough of kick for it to be a gamble. Leave it till a kilometer out and then hit FTP and beyond... Go at 5k to go? I wasn't feeling hugely strong, perhaps I'd blow up. I still seem to be in the (probably overtraining) doldrums.

In the end it all unfolded by itself. When we hit the slightly undulating section, with about 10k to go one of the riders made a break for it and I went with him. Very quickly we got the break and being a duo we were able to share the load and keep the speed up.

Coming into the last 6k the guy I was with made a break on a short steep bit and found me napping. He very quickly got 40-50m ahead and that's normally game over but I wasn't prepared to let it go and started to crank it up. My legs were burning but I could see the gap coming down. I caught him with about 4k to go and just kept on with the hurt. Once I got my nose ahead I wasn't in the mood to let it slip and kept the hammer down through to the line.

Probably shouldn't have got carried away with the racing...

Sunday, June 30, 2019

50,000m Above The Sea

Slight change of training plan today. I swapped out the row for a bike but kept the run. Being so close to the magic 50,000m total climb in #Zwift I decided to get the job done. And a group ride on the Bologna TT route, with its 236m of ascent per lap, was the perfect fit. At 2-2.5W/kg it also fitted with the easier week plan - although it hasn't really been that easy, or at least hasn't felt that easy. Anyway, I hit the magic number half way up the climb on the second (and final) lap. Job done. Ready the Tron bike...

After a 2 hour rest I fired up the running shoes for a jog round the village. It didn't go fantastically well. It was slow and too hard work. On the up side my heart rate didn't go sky high, it was more down to the legs. With hindsight I should probably have gone for the run before the ride...

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Still Feeling Off Form...

It was a run day today but it was just too hot for me. I do not like the heat and today was excessively hot. I'm still feeling fatigued despite the easier week and a run in this would make things worse so I changed the plan. Instead I did a hill ride. Not a specific training session, just a steady, medium power hill climb, 20k, 570m. Hopefully it will be a bit cooler tomorrow...


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Harder Than It Should've Been

So my easy week continues but tonight's easy jog was harder effort than it should've been. My legs felt okay but my heart rate was higher than it should've been for the pace. I even got a stitch half way through. Not ideal for an easy week. I was a bit dehydrated before hand and I did take a big drink only a few minutes before hand which might help to explain things - well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Keeping It Easy

Well I've had a couple of days off so it was time to get back on the case - albeit at low intensity. Yes, I'm not intending to hammer any session this week. It's easy, easy, easy all week long. I started back with a steady 2000m row - finally managed to get the heart rate monitor working with it. After that it was an easy 30 minutes on the bike, power less than 70% ftp. More easy stuff up tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

It's Been Surprisingly Difficult...

...to not do any training and give myself a rest yesterday and today. I very nearly gave in this evening and did a short bike session but managed to hold resolute. Roll it back six months and I'd have not needed any excuse. Doing nothing was the norm. I'm going to be back on it tomorrow but I'm keeping the week easy. My target TSS is low.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

One Word, Knackered

Today's race was hard from the off. Within minutes my legs were shot and pretty much the entire almost 12k was just plain pain. The few flat bits offered some respite and I did enjoy the rough-ish descent where I managed to actually overtake a few people rather than being the overtaken. Other than that it was kilometres of hurt - and I paid a few quid for the privilege!

To be fair it was quite a good route and were I fit I would probably have enjoyed it. What I've learnt from today's outing is that I need a good couple of days rest and an easy week. I've adjusted my plan accordingly as I need to recharge the batteries... 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Another Good Effort

After yesterday's rest day it was a run and bike session today. The run was just a steady one but even so I found it hard going. The bike session was even harder effort. Pretty sure I've ridden the Triple Bumps session before - and I found it hard going. The final ramp of each of the three sections was a real leg burner. I think I'm going to take another rest day tomorrow ahead of Sunday's race, Myndd Twyn Glas, and even then I'm pretty sure I'm not going to feel fresh for it.

Next week I start into a more planned phase of training - rather than going at it randomly and potentially over egging it. I'm setting a proper plan on a four weekly rota, setting a weekly target TSS (training stress score). Every fourth week will be a recovery/easy week. I'm going to set the sessions a week at a time with the aim of meeting the TSS target and fitting it around 'racing'. Here goes nothing....

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

On Plan But Hard Work

I found tonight's session hard going. Seven 500m's off 300m recovery. I just made it through each one but it was hard. My legs really wanting to give way under me in the last few metres each time. Still it's another session done. Might need to change tomorrow's plan, row intervals and a steady state bike session. I'll see how it goes....

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Wasn't Feeling It...

But I stayed on plan to put away a medium effort row and easy recovery bike session. The 2000m started steady, building each 500m faster than the preceding one. The bike was 30 minutes at medium power. I didn't push it as my legs felt a bit dead. All set for a higher effort run tomorrow.

Monday, June 17, 2019

And Today A Recovery Run

My legs felt a bit stiff today. The achilles is okay though so tonight it was an easy 30 minute jog. I'll be cranking up the effort from tomorrow with a bike and row and then some running intervals Wednesday. And that's it.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Recovery Day

My achilles was ever so slightly sore this morning. Sore's not really the right word but I don't know how other to describe it. It's eased up now though so I'm pretty happy it's still all systems go.

Today's training was an easy 70 minute on the bike. There were a few higher effort sections but two thirds of the session was in the endurance zone vs tempo, threshold or above. I finished off with a 2000m row, starting easy (2:20/500 pace) and ramping to 2:00/500 pace. And now I'm off to work out the coming weeks training plan - yes, I've taken to planning my training. Not sure how long that will last....

Saturday, June 15, 2019

A Change In The Weather

I awoke this morning to rain, lots of rain and cold, it was cold, so very cold. I had to dig out my thermal jacket - and I was wearing a fleece too. It was so cold I ducked back into the house just as I was setting off, to make a thermos of hot coffee for after the race, to warm up my cockles - ooh matron. F*(king waste of time that was. By the time the race got underway the sun was out, shinning bright and it was boiling - okay, that's over stating it but anyway, suffice to say, by the time I'd run I didn't want a cup of hot f*(king coffee. An ice cream from the Mr Whippy parked atop the Tumble would have been more welcome.

So back to the race. It was a good work out if nothing else. The stats show I was working in my threshold heart rate zone for 90% of the race - now that's a decent work out effort. Garmin reported that it was a level 5.0 training effect - or as they categorise it, Overreaching!!

Unsurprisingly it was my slowest Coity race to date for the 9km and 300m ascent but my achilles held up fine so I'm pretty happy to plough on full steam ahead with more 'racing'. Which will be continuing at next weekends Myndd Twyn Glas race.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Intervals Again...

But on the rower tonight. A thirty minute session consisting 8 two minute reps at 1:58-2:00/500m pace off a one minute recovery. It was just about the right level for where I'm at right now. I struggled on the last couple but just about made them, although the pace did drop outside 2:00 for a bit on the last one. Certainly provided a solid workout and hopefully hasn't taken too much out of my legs so that I'm ready for tomorrow's fell race, Coity. It's going to be interesting to see where I am in relation to where I was before the achilles lay off...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Six Eight Hundreds...

Back on the running tonight. Six 800m reps with 300m recovery with a 1km ramped warm up and cool down. My legs aren't feeling fresh but it was a good solid workout. I'm starting to feel the early signs of getting back in the habit - and I'm not talking nuns clothing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Just A Double Tonight

Tonight's training was, you guessed it, a 2000m row and followed by a bike training session. The row was an easier one, a warm up for the bike session. The bike session was four high power spikes to start followed by two sections of 12 minutes. Each of those sections consisted three repeats of 30s above FTP effort followed by a ramped tempo effort for 3 1/2minutes. It was just about right. I was able to complete the session but without too much to spare.

Up tomorrow is another run. I'm not sure about Friday as I'm back on the racing - in real life - at the Coity Fell Race on Saturday, so I might need some recovery ahead of that. Sunday will no doubt be back on it.

Tonight's bike analysis chart

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Trio Of Training

After a rest day yesterday I was back on it today. I started the days training with an interval session on the treadmill during my lunch break. 6 x 500m reps at 14.3kph with 250m recovery. The same speed as Sunday's session but double the distance. Where Sunday's felt comfortable, today's definitely didn't. I was wishing the last 100m away each rep. Got the job done and then it was back to the grindstone.

After work I hit the rower for my regular 2000m blast - can I claim 'regular' when it's my sixth in ten days? And I did blast out hard and then held on to improve on my season's best again, by 1.8s this time.

After that it was onto the bike to finish me off with a quick 10k. My legs burnt whenever I tried to put down the power but I managed to average 182W for a decent tempo effort.


Sunday, June 09, 2019

Bloody Knackered

I started the days training with an interval session (running) of 8 x 250m with equal recovery. It felt surprisingly comfortable - going to have to up the stakes next time.. After a brief rest I hit the #Zwift for an age category race of 53km with 700m of climb.

I went at it pretty hard and got into a good group so our speed was high. That meant we rolled along [merrily] gathering in a few solo riders along the way, expanding the group ever larger. Then we got to the Epic KOM climb (about 8km of climbing and most of the routes ascent) and it broke apart. Happily I found myself pulling off the front and broke clear. I worked hard, putting out solid, steady power all the way to grind out a new climb pb by a massive 8s!

After the descent I found myself in another group, only three or four of us though but we worked well to keep the pace going. As we hit the final, shorter climb I decided to go for it and broke away. I got 30-40s clear but I'd burnt myself out. They stayed as a group and as we hit 5km to go I crashed and burned. I got the shakes and they very quickly gathered me in, spat me out and left me for dead.

I pushed through to the finish with all that I had left but it was painful. And that was it for the weekends and indeed the weeks training. It's been a solid week, 12 assorted sessions. Feel totally zonked now. Despite only being a virtual race, the effort was real. Going to sleep soundly tonight. Definitely a rest day tomorrow...

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Really Enjoyed That

Another day, another virtual race - and I really went for it today. 24k on the Giro d'Italia prologue time trial course. Up, down and back up again and I really threw down the power. I went into the anaerobic reserves early in race, on the first traverse of the 'up' (middle chart on the graphic). I don't think I've ever gone so far into the red but I just kept cranking it out - I was very almost into the 'cheat' zone as I registered 3.2W/kg average, which is top of the C category. I'm on the verge of having to up category to the B. And to re-iterate that, I took the #ZwiftPower category win! (Only a tiny field mind, but my highest average to date). 52 minutes of effort that seemed to pass in the blink of an eye.

I finished off with another 2000m row - and took a season best (by 2s) to top off a good days training. The tiredness seems to have gone.


Friday, June 07, 2019

Feeling Tired

but I managed a short, sharp #Zwift race on one of my favourite race loops, the Innsbruckring. It was only two laps, so just over 17km but that meant threshold power all the way... My average power was towards my top end and I especially enjoyed blasting the short, sharp climb each lap. That didn't prevent me coming in the bottom 25% of the field though - but there was only twenty something of us and in the smaller fields it tends to be packed towards the stronger end - that and the fact that close to half of them were putting out above category power.... It's not big or clever to ride the wrong category! One guy who beat me was putting down B category power - and he was entered in the D! (I'm C). That aside it was a good burn up.

Yesterday I managed just a 2k row - and that was hard, heart thumping effort. I should take a rest day but it's the weekend so can't really allow that...

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

An Easy One...

On this, Global Running Day. My left hamstring is a bit sore. Whether that's a side reaction of my recent achilles issue, also on the left, I don't know but it's a bit out of the blue. Anyway, I was able to pootle a 5k. And that's it for today.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Sort Of A Rest Day...

Just a ride and a row tonight. The ride was a very easy, low power 34k affair. The row wasn't a recovery. I didn't manage to keep to yesterday's pace but by god I was blowing up by the end. My arms and shoulders are aching. On the upside, I did at least manage to record it properly tonight, with all its wholesome, geeky, datery goodness. Probably going to give the rowing a miss tomorrow.

Monday, June 03, 2019

The Three R's

Yes, tonight's training was a row, a run and a ride and despite none being overly long the combined effort was pretty high.

I started with a 2000m row and went at it a bit hard. I overcooked it in the first 1000m, held it together in the next 500m and then began to die in the final 500m. I was rewarded with a time 13s quicker than yesterday and what's more I have even more motivation than ever to continue with the rowing now that I've found out that there is an Android app for the Concept 2. It logs heart rate, power and various other geekish data - and I love that s#!t. Nothing motivates me more than having meaningless data to analyse! It even automatically exports to Strava - but only if you take the log card out apparently - which I found out after I'd finished. So no data today but next time. I'm itching for next time...

After the row I hit the treadmill for an interval session. Seven 250m reps with equal recovery. The first at 13.5kph, the next three at 14.5kph and the final three at 15.5kph - and I even pushed the final one out to 300m.

Then I was onto the bike for a 10k tempo effort on Zwift. It was a bit ropy to begin with and I struggled to get the power going but within a couple of minutes I was off and running, um, er, so to speak.

Felt a bit shaky afterwards but nothing some grub didn't sort. Onwards and upwards...

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Should've Guessed

By the name, 'The Wringer', that the bike session I chose to ride today was not going to be easy. I'm not sure my quads have ever burnt as much at the completion of each rep as they did today. It really was full on painful.

The session, after the warm up ramp, was 12 reps of 30s at 188% of FTP (or 400W). I hit the spiral of death on the first rep as I was caught unawares, expecting a brief rest after the ramp, there wasn't one and my cadence dropped too low to recover. The other 11 reps were achieved but oh my goodness, did it ever burn. Good session.

I started off the training with 2000m on the rower. I've decided to bring that into the mix to bring in a bit of upper body workout. It's been a while - and it showed. 2:04/500m which is a long way off the 1:54 but I've got the target. It'll take a while.


Saturday, June 01, 2019

Double Day

A run and ride day. 5k run, nudging the speed up every 250m followed by a 10k cool down ride - with a bit of effort thrown in here and there (mainly on the climb). And that all I have to say.

Friday, May 31, 2019

And The Verdict...

On yesterday's stress test..... A pass. My achilles definitely survived the 'speed' session. I can finally begin to crack on again after a month or two of bumbling along. Tonight I rode stage 4 of the ToW again as I enjoyed the route they used. I didn't really go at it but it was a pretty solid tempo session although I did fire the boosters for the sprint section and the final 400m - and you wouldn't think 400m is that far but I was dying as I crossed the line. 300%FTP is not easy to sustain even for such a short distance.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

So How Will It Be Tomorrow?

I've been holding off putting a bit of stress on the achilles but decided it was time to test things. So I put a bit of effort into things tonight, running 8 x 400m reps on the treadmill at 13.5kph. Not exactly blazing a trail but it was fast enough that I could feel the achilles just a little bit. Nothing troubling though. And being so far down the ladder of quick I was puffing by the end of the session despite the relative pedestrian pace. Still, it's another session under my belt, my heart rate was up at 170 by the end so I guess that's where I am at the moment. More to come. Just crossing my fingers there's no repercussions tomorrow...

stats graph

Monday, May 27, 2019

Decent Work Out

An hour's group training ride on #Zwift. Six ramped intervals, simulating race efforts to break off the front, with a tempo section before and after. It was just about the right level. Each ramp was two minutes long and I was just managing to get over the line each time with my legs burning. The recovery was enough to get me through. Happy with the weeks training overall.



Sunday, May 26, 2019

Heading Away From Easy...

Started with an easy 4k jog on the treadmill, slowly increasing the pace throughout before hitting the saddle for my second ascent of the Alpe du Zwift inside a week. And yes, I had forgotten about that earlier in the week when I called this week easy. I have done fewer sessions though, so overall it has been easier.

Anyway, I didn't exactly blaze a trail and really had to dig deep on the second half of the climb but I got there eventually. 25k, 1120m. Thoroughly knackered now.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Been An Easier Week

I haven't hit quite so many runs or rides this week but oddly still seem a bit fatigued. Today I decided to time trial the virtual perimeter loop, a tad under 10k. Despite really putting down some big effort I was miles down on my best - which probably was in a ride with drafting so not entirely fair to compare but even so I was miles down. Finished off with a short treadmill session with incline ramping from 5% up to 10% every 500m. I was puffing by the end. The last 500m was hard work.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Massive PB To Round Out The Tour

Really pleased with that work out! I managed to climb the Virtual Alpe d'Huez over 8 minutes quicker than I've managed previously, sixty two minutes from seventy. I'm pretty certain I must be getting fitter. Stage 7, the finale, of the Tour of Watopia is complete.

I took things steady on the 16km prologue. My tactic for the next twelve kilometres of non-stop climb was to keep it consistent. Within a few minutes I was hitting a steady 205W and it remained there pretty much throughout. I'm not going to say it was the most pleasurable hour of my life because it pleasant it wasn't. Just an unending, leg burning, grind - but a very satisfying grind once over the finish line though and I really zoned in on that finish line once I realised a big PB was on the cards. Wasn't expecting such a big chunk off but I'm not complaining.


Monday, May 20, 2019

And He Sayeth Unto Me...

Get off your treadmill, lace up your shoes and run... So I did.

Not the longest but it was nice to run for real, 7km. It's been a good week of training, the achilles held up fine but I'm in need of a rest day. I was going to ride out the final stage of the Tour of Watopia tonight but it would have been a struggle - and I mean Struggle with a capital S. Stage seven is the Alpe du Zwift route (a virtualisation of Alpe d'Huez) and even on fresh legs the climb takes me an hour and ten (or more). With the fatigue I'm feeling it would be 'character building' and I'd rather have a crack at it when I've a chance of PB'ing so I'm deferring till Wednesday and taking a rest day tomorrow.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Almost There...

Almost no issue with the achilles in today's treadmill 'race'. Felt it just a little in the first few minutes but after that it was fine. Today's effort was another increase, 8km. Going to continue to increase things slowly to minimise the risk of recurrence but it definitely feels good to be on the home straight, so to speak.

Finished the days training with a one lap race on the Richmond UCI course, 16km. My legs were suffering from the start. After the initial skirmishes I found myself in a group of four. It was good fun as we each tried to break off the front only to be caught after thirty or forty seconds. I gave up on the idea of a break on the flat and dug in until the final four kilometres, with the three short climbs. Once we hit the first climb I was away and despite my legs burning, I went all in to break away - and break away I did. Rather surprisingly I managed a PB on the first and last short climbs by a whole second and seven seconds respectively.

All in all it's been a very successful weeks training and I'm ready for my next race - whatever that turns out to be.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Now That Was Some Training...

So I managed to reach 5k on the treadmill today and my achilles felt better as the metres clocked up. Still not perfect but I feel sure I'm almost out the other side.

After the run I hit the bike for a loop of virtual London, 15km, 200m ascent. It wasn't an event, just a random ride but I decided to put in a big effort anyway. I started pretty hard, not all out but I was definitely working the legs.

I topped out the Box Hill climb 13th of 112 riders on the climb at the time with a pretty massive PB by 1 minute and 55 seconds! Then, after the fast down hill, completed the London Loop 2nd of the 65 riders on route at the time. Another PB, but only by 24s. It not being a race, so there was little drafting to be had, which accounts for the apparent discrepancy between the improvement on the climb vs the over all lap - ie, you don't really get much drafting benefit when climbing but it gives a noticeable speed increase on the flat. And to top it off the ride registered as an FTP increase, up to 212 from 209.

All in all a pleasing day of training.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Grim Reaping...

With my scythe. I have to admit to letting the garden grow - out of control so it was time for a little scythe action. Upper body is aching now. Surprisingly hard work.

Anyway, with that done I hit the bike for an hours group training session - except something went wrong with my power readings and I couldn't get ERG mode working. Slightly annoying. So with the group training gone south, I tried a solo session and managed to get ERG working so I'm not sure what went wrong. The session I chose was surprisingly hard effort. 3 sets of 3 rep sections. The first set was 1 minute efforts at 85%, 100% and 115% FTP. The next 2 minute efforts and the final one was 3 minute efforts. The recovery was short and I really struggled on the last set but I managed to avoid the spiral of death. A good work out.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

It's Still Lingering...

Back on the treadmill tonight. Legs still don't feel totally fresh but not far off. The achilles, however, is still royally getting my nerves. It is improving - just not as quickly as I want. I ran a bit further than Tuesday and nudged the pace up little. Nothing properly fast, mind, but at least it's at the pace I think it is. Don't want to push too far too fast just in case.

Anyway, I've a couple days off now and just my luck for the weather to turn but I'll cobble some training together - and I know a good indoor training session if needs be [winks to camera]...

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

My Legs Are Still Fatigued But...

I mustered for stage 6 of the Tour of Watopia. Another time trial, 30km this time. I didn't have much power and what little I had was leg burning but I worked steadily from a slow start to a better finish. #Zwift is such a cracking work out.

Before the ride, I did a teeny weeny pre-tour run on the treadmill. My achilles is still not completely normal but it's definitely on the home straight. It was only 2.5k but every little helps.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Virtual Stage 1 Giro d'Italia

#Zwift have accurately virtualised the first stage of this years Giro d'Italian. An 8k time trial, the last 2km is all up hill to the finish at an average of 10% with sections up to 16%. The pro's have been riding it to get a feel for the course before heading out for real.

I could feel yesterday's time on feet in my legs. My quads definitely felt a bit fatigued but that didn't stop me firing out my best power stats to date. I rode just under ftp for the first 6km before letting rip on the climb. I was out of the saddle for the first kilometre of the climb, up at 125% of ftp but I was over cooking it and my legs were burning. I dropped back to about 115% ftp for the last kilometre and over the line.

My time was 21:05 - so only 8 minutes and 10 seconds slower than yesterday's real world stage winner, Roglic.

I finished off by riding the reverse back to the start as warm down, except I ended up working just as hard and really finished my legs off. My quads are wrecked. A good work out though.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Clocked Up Some Good Time On Feet In The Mountains

I'm glad I volunteered to act as support runner at today's Cwmdu feel race - although I'm not sure those I supported were quite so glad.... Cwmdu is a pretty decent fell workout at 10 miles with 900m ascent. Definitely not a walk in the park and I feel surprisingly worn out. The weather though, was corking. Cue the first application of sun block of the year. You could see right across to Pen-y-Fan.

Hopefully, those I supported won't be too put off by the trauma of today's outing, and be back for more...

Friday, May 10, 2019

And Yet Another Tester

5k this time, at a steady 10kph on the treadmill - and a real 10kph for the first time. Achilles felt much better. Still not completely settled but definitely the best it's felt for a while and I was able to run without really feeling it hinder me. I reckon I'll be back to racing in a week - although I am making an appearance at the Cwmdu fell race tomorrow in a semi-racing capacity.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Another Little Tester

and not just of my achilles. The other test was of my new Stryd - I do love a good gadget. I've been reading up on it for a few months and by all accounts it appears to be very very accurate. With that in mind, my treadmill would appear to be waaaayyyy off, reading much too high. That means all this time I've been running slower than I thought I was - which helps to explain why when I go for a proper run at 'similar' pacing it feels way harder - yeah, that would because I am actually running faster than when I'm on the treadmill. On the up side, I can at least start working at the right pacing on the treadmill. Oh, and as to the achilles, it's still not great but I was able to go faster than Sunday's little tester.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Stage 5 Of The Tour...

on the ol' smart trainer. It was a fairly short one. Only 20k and it was over in half an hour. My legs felt far fresher than on Saturday and I rode it more like a time trial than I did then and I had 8W more power as well. My achilles is still iffy, maybe a tad better but not much in it, so I decided to rest it. Aiming for a gentle jog tomorrow.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

A Very Gentle Jog...

to test the water, so to speak. The achilles felt sore throughout but no worse afterwards. It wasn't really what could be considered training but I'm hoping it will continue to feel less sore tomorrow and in the days onward so I can continue the return. As it is at the moment there is no way I can stress it so I really do need it to start improving...

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Zipping Along...

In the Zipp High Speed Challenge. Drafting off. Power to the pedal and pedal to the floor. A 23k virtual time trial on a virtually flat course. My legs felt dead for the first five to ten minutes but I gradually got into. With no drafting it's just you and the power. I was in the bottom half of the field at the half way point but by then my moment was building. I gained over a dozen places on the way back, my power increasing, to finish in the top twenty of fifty one. The only downside is that my god damn achilles is still playing up. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - even if it is very annoying.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Finally Managed Some Training

My achilles is still sore but easing. Still not ready to risk a run though. I was, at least, up to entering the wondrous world of #Zwift for the first time since last Sunday's ordeal. I decided to repeat stage 4 of the Tour of Watopia. 30k on one of the flatter routes. I took it easy rather than racing - except towards the end when the racing got me. I couldn't help myself and wound the power up. By the end I was emptying the tank quick. Heart rate hitting the mid 170s, I held off a couple of late attacks - and then had to lie down for a couple of minutes to recover. The achilles survived though. A run tomorrow? Fingers crossed...

Monday, April 29, 2019

Crippled, Crippled I Tells Ya...

It's another fine mess I've got myself into. My achilles is not feeling too chipper. In fact I'm a little worried as to how long it's going to take to settle down. The bike isn't even an option today as it hurts to pedal. I've been hobbling around at work, better than sitting at a desk I suppose - although I'm not totally convinced. The euphoria of blister popping has definitely faded so now it's fingers crossed the achilles settles quickly so I can get back to running...

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Well I F*(#ed That Up...

The South Wales Mountain Trial. And I failed spectacularly. It was always going to be my longest/hardest 'race' of the year and it was just too much for me.

I started off pretty perfectly. I wasn't covering the ground quickly but I was direct to control points 1 through 5. By the time I reached CP5 I was beginning to tire though and I changed my mind on the best way to six. I'd originally decided to go over the top, pick up the path and locate on the trig. Beginning to tire as I was, I decided to contour round the end to save the climb. That was the wrong choice, and despite heading round on the 590 contour I spotted the wrong 'river' which wasn't the river and with brain turning to mush through fatigue, I didn't really use the compass and spent a long time fannying around on the 490 contour trying to find the stream and CP6 - that I was never going to find in the location I was fannying.

I then decided to call it a day as just getting back was now going to be a task. I was knackered - and if you thought I was covering the ground slowly at the start, then by contrast that was formula one compared to my speed heading back.

As I was heading back I spotted the actual river and very almost headed down the stream to CP6. My gps plot shows the right angle turn I made on the way back, following the stream down towards the 490 contour - and yes, I was actually on the right stream but I aborted as I knew I had to forget the trial - fast becoming an ordeal - and get back.

I took as direct a route as possible to the finish - which took me within 50m of CP7. I waved at it as I walked past. The 25m climb to it, up the stream was well beyond my capability by this point. I was broken by the finish. I bit off way more than I could chew - but once I'm able to walk again, I'll be back...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Big Question....

Are we headed east or west? I am of course referring to tomorrow's SW Mountain Trial. My money is on west but either way it's not too long till we find out. I've done sod all today and my legs do feel a bit lighter - I suspect that feeling will disappear sometime shortly after 11am tomorrow. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Achilles Is Still Playing Up

So it's been a bit of a rest week. The achilles is feeling better but I didn't want to risk a run so I hit the saddle for stage four of the Tour of Watopia. A 29km blast around the figure 8-ish route. I put down my best 30 and 40 minute power to date so I'm pleased with that. Also pleasing, having looked at the data, is seeing that my resting heart rate has dropped 6-7bpm over the last six months. All positive signs. Now all I need to do is to make sure my achilles is settled ahead of Sunday's Hill Trial - or should that be ordeal...

Monday, April 22, 2019

Well That Didn't Work...

So I headed over to Gilwern Hill and ran the 5kish loop to check the route before the race. The local ne-er do wells - and I don't mean RogueRuns - had been ne-er do welling and had tampered with the route markers at the far end of the course. I put that right and headed up the climb back to my car. My legs felt like lead on the climb. Totally fatigued from the last few days activity.

Anyway, I got back to the car and then headed across to my marshalling spot. The weather was glorious as I sat in my chair taking in the rays. Waiting. Waiting a bit more. And then a bit more. After my estimated timing for the first runner expired by some minutes I began to start thinking something had gone wrong. And sure enough, sometime after I'd gone round, someone tampered with the route markings again, marring the race for the first dozen runners.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

I Almost Cried...

When I realised where the final 10k of the #Zwift L'Etape du Tour de France Endurance Training Event was taking us... A hill finish at the top of the Epic KOM climb. I was feeling heavy legged throughout and thought [read hoped] we were headed for a flattish finish as we turned away from the reverse Epic KOM climb just after the halfway point. My mistake. After a few twists and turns on the flat, we looped away and towards the climb...

That final 10k was a real leg burner. I was knackered but had to keep grinding in order to end the pain as quickly as possible. I was out of the saddle a fair bit. Finally made it to the finish after 2 hours and 26 minutes, 73km and 1012m of climb. My legs are totally worn out. On the plus side my achilles feels fine now! It was still sore beforehand. Better than yesterday but still sore. Now it feels fine. Go figure.

Training wise I must be getting fitter. This was my longest virtual ride by 3km and 140m hillier. Despite that I was over five minutes quicker - and that was with the feeling tired beforehand. All looking good to be able to jog round the 5k loop of the Gilwern Grunt route check tomorrow. Need to check my timings, don't want to be late.