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


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... 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.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

No Run For Me

So I woke up to discover my achilles feeling sore this morning. Not sure where that came from as yesterday's run wasn't pretty but I didn't in any way have any soreness or tightness. Run cancelled. I'm not risking injury. Luckily it didn't affect peddling and I was able to complete a pretty decent hour on #Zwift, the 3 x 13min Climb session. It wasn't as hard as Wednesday's session but still provided a pretty good burn.

Friday, April 19, 2019


A thirty minute run followed by a thirty minute #Zwift. The run was laboured. The ride was steady with a few efforts thrown in for good measure. Back to the run. I struggled to get into it. It was just my home 5k hilly loop but it felt more like 10k effort-wise. Heart rate wasn't excessively high. I'll just put it down to the fact I'd sat on my ass all day before the run and that it was bloody hot out there. The ride was better.

I'm going to give Cribyn fell race a miss tomorrow. It's definitely not one to be going into feeling tired. I'll probably just do a couple more days easy running and riding before Monday's Gilwern Grunt where I'm marshalling not running - although I will be running the Hill section to check the route markers are all in place before hand.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Back On Tour

Stage 3 of the Tour of Watopia was a group workout and it was right up there with the toughest workout sessions I've done on #Zwift. It wasn't, maybe, the overall toughest but the first reps were as tough as any I've ridden.

Three 1 minute efforts at 150% of FTP. I very nearly hit the spiral of death on the first rep. Caught slightly unaware, I didn't take in enough cadence and only narrowly avoided coming to a total halt. I was more prepped for the second and third but my legs were throbbing at the end of each one. The next five reps were short but very sharp, 10 seconds at 270% of FTP with ever decreasing recovery. The final two reps, ten minutes at 90% of FTP, weren't as easy as the figures would suggest. Those first reps had really taken their toll and I was still feeling the lingering fatigue from Sunday's long race. Thoroughly enjoyable and a damn fine workout to boot.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Running With The Romans

and the route has changed since the last time I ran the Chedworth Roman Trail. It was most of the same bits - just not necessarily in the same order. At almost 17km it was my longest race this year by a margin. Not as much ascent as a fell race but it still racked up 330m. Overall I went okay but began to cramp up in various leg muscles with three or so kilometres to go. Nothing too major and I made it to the finish in one piece - and then had my customary coughing fit.

Being a pro-athlete [cough, cough] I'm not really one for medals but today's one was actually quite a nice one, made from wood (hopefully from a sustainable source). If I ever decide to get rid of it I can bung it in the shredder and make it into mulch.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Needed To...

Do something because I couldn't face a gap of three days without doing anything. It wasn't really training though but it made me feel better and despite just going through the motions I couldn't help myself on the sprint section and really belted it out... New PB!! - But apart from that I took it really easy to complete 10km.

And that's it now before Sunday's Chedworth Roman Trail. I ran this one way back in 2007 where I came, wait for it, wait for it, 17th out of 307!!!! In 1hr 7mins. I'm likely to be double that this time and it'll be a miracle if I make the top half of the field.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Almost Didn't But I Did...

Easyish ramps. 10kph up to 14kph and back down again times two, with each increment being 250m. Not the most auspicious session in the world but I almost didn't do it at all so I'm pleased I beat today's malaise.

My legs are still pretty heavy and I've got my longest race of the year coming up this Sunday. The Chedworth Roman Trail, 10miles. It's not got the ascent of a fell race - but that just means I've got no excuse for walking! I'm going to find it tough so I really need to consider tomorrow as my last training day before Sunday because I really need my legs to feel fresh...

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

I Enjoyed That!

Eight 4km laps for stage 2 of the #Zwift Tour of Watopia. My quads were still feeling it from the weekends efforts - should there be an apostrophe in there somewhere? It took me a couple of laps to get into the groove but by lap three I was making inroads and set my lap PR. Over the next three laps my times dropped a couple of seconds as I worked hard to time my efforts on the short climbs before a surprise quicker lap on the seventh, increasing my lap record by a whole three tenths of a second. By then my heart rate was climbing. I was really blowing on the final lap but still managed to hit my highest power averages, and for once took the sprint from those around me. The legs are feeling heavy now...

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Final Fondo of the Season

My legs, specifically my quads, are sore from yesterday's race but I wanted to complete the full set of six #Zwift Fondo. So after manning the Offa's Orra water station this morning I headed home and hit the saddle.

Unsurprisingly it was bloody hard work and although I did edge up through the field during the ride it was more a case of wanting the pain to end rather than eager racing - and anyway, it's not a race. I was very much knackered at the end but pleased I motivated myself to do it. 60km, 600m ascent, 1hr 45. Almost certain to be a rest day tomorrow - unless there's a miracle...

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Race Eight, Sugar Loaf

My legs didn't feel as heavy as I was expecting after yesterday's bike session - they feel bloody heavy now, mind. It never gets any easier does it? And the days when I could go below the hour for Sugar Loaf are well behind me but I'm happy with 1:15 and not last.

It was hard work on the ups and it wasn't much easier across the Deri as I was working hard to make up some of the ground I'd ceded on the first climb. I enjoyed the descent though and managed to gain about ten places from the top. I'm hopeful the results will show a slight performance improvement. The data analysis - yes, I am a total geek - shows improvement in several areas. Not massive improvements but I'm in this for the long haul...

The stats for today's race, 11½ km, 600m of ascent in 1:15:31. Up tomorrow, the final #Zwift Fondo of the season - after I water the runners at tomorrow's Offa's Orra trail race.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Couldn't Quite Manage Two Rest Days...

Relative to my recent form (that's the last three to four years) I've been hitting it pretty hard these last two to three weeks and my legs definitely know it. With race number eight coming up this Saturday I decided to take a couple of really easy rest days, pottering around doing nothing - except I just couldn't bear it and I broke. Today the second of the rest days became a virtual group ride.

I've ridden this particular group session before. Twelve short 2.5km laps in virtual New York with a 8-12s sprint section which you ride hard every other lap. It's really fun and the laps fly by. It did however go a bit pete tong as I overcooked the first of the sprints and absolutely crucified myself, fell off the back of the group, never to be seen again... I tried to get back but after 20 seconds I knew I was doomed to ride the final nine laps lonely, sobbing into my virtual hanky.

On the plus side, while overcooking it, I did set new all time power curve figures for 0 to 45s. On the downside I have absolutely destroyed my legs so I'm likely to be battling to avoid coming last at tomorrow's Sugar Loaf fell race. But who cares? I'm back and I'm loving it...

The power spike at 16 minutes was where I overcooked it...

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Run Reps Recurrence

So my legs are really feeling it - even before the start of tonight's training but I'm not stopping. More reps on the treadmill. Six 500m reps with 250m recovery at 12kph, 3 x 15kph, 15½kph and a final 14kph. The final two were hard work, my calves were tightening but I completed the set.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

A Time To Tour...

Yes, the seven stage Tour of Watopia on #Zwift has kicked off and I really got into this evening. I felt heavy legged to begin with. I've not given myself enough rest - and I can't bring myself to do so for fear that the curse of the sofa will strike again - yes, it's a real curse.

So anyway, it was a good field with over 3000 of us riding and to begin with I was outside the top 2000. By half way I'd only nudged up towards the top 1900 but from there I really got into... As can be seen in the charts, my power (yellow) gradually trended upwards.

By halfway things had splintered into smallish groups and I really forced it from the front to get the group speed up in order to bridge to the next group. We took in group after group as we moved up through the 1800s, the 1700s and into the 1600s. Into the final seven or eight minutes I was maintaining beyond FTP and feeling the burn to finish circa 1540. The middle graph highlights where I went into the red - and shows how steady the effort was in the first half.

I really enjoyed it tonight. The official events are great fun - and highly motivating. Bring on the next one...

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Another Day, More Training

A bike session today and I chose a session from last years #Zwift Academy. It was the 'race day' session and consisted of three 'break away' reps. Each rep consisted putting down a short big power blast before maintaining high power for a few minutes before another spike followed by another high power section and then the recovery. I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew when I realised how long the high (above FTP) sections were. But despite it being a bit of a leg burner towards the end I manage to complete without hitting the spiral of death.

I'm pleased with myself for keeping up the training momentum. I'm feeling it in the legs this evening but hopefully it will be worth it... Need to hit a few session mid week before back on the racing on the weekend at Sugar Loaf.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

First Flaxley For A While

With no race this weekend it's just going to be training. Said training began with a loop around Flaxley Wood (9k) and I found it surprisingly hard effort. I was expecting to find it a bit easier going but then I have increased my training effort over the last two weeks. On the plus side it was my fastest on the loop for a year but I somehow expected more. Ah well, I'll just have to keep on with the training and have another crack in a few weeks. More training tomorrow.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Pyramid-ish Session

So having pulled a rest day yesterday I was back on it today. Little and often is the new me (at least until it wears off). It turned out to be a kind of pyramid session of 250m sections undulating between 10, 12 and 14kph with the 14kph section extending out to 500m and 750m and back to 250m for the last two but without the 10kph on the final undulation. Still with me?

It felt like a good session. I was pleased with it, especially the effort on longest rep. And for the first time I'm not finding the reps boring - so that's a first! Finished off the training with 10k on the bike, the Richmond hilly, and I put in some decent effort of the short, sharp hill climbs.

I've no races lined up this weekend so it's just going to be more training...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Nothing Like A Race...

To increase the FTP - by over 6% from 189 to 201W in my case and I have no idea where it came from! I felt pretty sluggish into the first lap (of three). My legs still felt leaden and my power wasn't anything special but, to quote Gloria Estefan, the racing is gonna get you... (never realised she was into #Zwift!)

Slowly buy surely my power edged up. Riding off the front of group after group I gained over 100 places, from outside 500 up to 370th on the line. I didn't contest the sprint finish as I was on my limit throughout the final lap but I can't grumble at such an unexpected jump in FTP. I do love a good race. (31km, 200m ascent).

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Little and Often Continues...

Yep, back on the treadmill today, #Zwift. Six 400m reps with 200m recovery. Paced at 14kph or 103s per rep, it was just about right. My legs are still feeling dead but I couldn't put off the run any longer. It's all a bit random - and a little bit tame - but as long as I keep mixing it up I'm sure it'll be doing me good and over time hopefully I will make gains. Need to look at factoring in some hill work though - and that might require venturing forth into the real world...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Everyday In Every Way I'll Try...

to exercise a lot but if a lot just doesn't happen, I'll settle for a little! And so today it was a little. Another twenty minutes on the bike. My quads are still feeling heavy and I hit the burn without putting much power down. Still, a little is better than nothing.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Is It Just Me?

or does anyone else say thank you to their Amazon Echo when it carries out a command... Nope, thought not, just me then... Anyway, pulling back out of that cul-de-sac, I managed a short, twenty minute pootle on the bike this morning. My quads are sore and had no strength but I wanted to do something even if it was more symbolic than real training. I'm going to try to get into the habit of doing something everyday even if it's just twenty minutes and build from there...

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Walked Up A Hill...

and it only cost me £2 for the privilege. Bargain! I fared better on the descent. Yes, I am of course talking about the Pen Cerrig Calch fell race.

I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking on the ascent. I just don't have the legs for it at the moment but it'll come... I enjoyed the descent though. I felt light of foot over the rocky technical sections and advanced through the field. The bottom section gets steep and I was able to gain another three places coming down the final two fields into the finish.

Pretty sure the race score won't be as good as my last couple due to the very slow ascent but there's always the next race...

Friday, March 22, 2019

Training In The Real World...

So I braved the real world and ventured forth into the forest for a training run.... Just a 5km plod around the Sallowvellets Inclosure area but it was enjoyable enough and I didn't want to over do it what with tomorrow's Pen Cerrig Calch fell race - race number seven of the year. I finished off the training with a gentle 10km ride back in the safety of the #Zwift virtual world...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

19 Kilometres per Hour...

On the treadmill. Yes, so fast I was overtaking the cyclists! Okay, one cyclist and only for 200m but heck, that's the fastest these old, lardy legs have gone in a long time.... I kind of made it up as I went along and it ended up being six 200m reps with an equal recovery at 14kph, 16kph x 3, 17.5kph and 19kph. I'm stating things in kph as it sounds more impressive... in reality it is a long way from what I could once do but it only took 30mins, including the warm up and cool down, and didn't bore me to death! I almost feel like I could find the motivation to fit in a few more sessions here and there. And now the bridge toll has been removed I really should try and work the flexi late shift - that's 10am to 6pm - in order to get across to Harriers training on a Tuesday and Thursday night....

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Short Blast Over the Hill

So I was intending to run on the treadmill after work today but having spent the entire day sat at my desk, my legs were really stiff and heavy. I tried a few strides and decided to do a short ride instead. That ended up being a single lap of the London Loop including the virtual Box Hill. 15km and 230m ascent. I took it steady and my legs felt a bit better afterwards than before. Interestingly it was my third fastest time up the hill and I wasn't really pushing at all.

The lesson of the day though, is that I really should get out of the seat for a stretch or two during the day.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Bit Of Four Seasons...

for today's Tor y Foel fell race. Yes, we had sunshine, rain, hail and biting strong gusts - practically froze my face off along the top.

So as I suspected, my legs were heavy from yesterday's slightly fool hardy training. I did a little warm up beforehand in the hope that they'd feel less dead - it didn't work. Having said that, I had an okay run. Pants on the main climb - no surprise there - I fared a little better on the descent. I managed to collect about five or six places. I nearly went over a right purler on the section of the descent after the road but managed to 'ski' a couple of metres on one foot before getting back control.

I ran pretty well on the 'cobbles' but didn't enjoy it at all. Most uncomfortable but gained one more place before reaching the finish. Despite the cold and wet I enjoyed it so I'll be back for the next race in a weeks time...

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Probably Not Ideal Prep...

For tomorrow's Tor y Foel fell race. My legs are fair wobbly after today's race up the Alpe du Zwift. I should probably have chosen an easier ride. As it was I sat in and ground my way up the 12km, 1000m ascent - after the 15km lead in section. With the race finishing at the top, I decided to add another 13km of easy riding back down. Ride totals, 40km, 1220m ascent - and one set of wobbly legs. On the plus side, I claimed a PB up the climb by just over 2 minutes. Total ride time 1hr 51m. So that's me totally set for tomorrow's fell race....

Friday, March 15, 2019

Managed Something

So I felt a bit crook yesterday and overnight. Yesterdays training session didn't happen and despite not feeling completely topper I needed to do something today. I decided on a short group training session. Just about the right amount of effort. Hopefully I'll be totally back to 'normal' for the weekend and Sunday's Tor y Foel fell race.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Charging The Head Torch....

It's been a while since I've used it for running and I'm not sure how well the batteries will hold up - I guess we'll see at tomorrow's Blorenge Night Roundabout. I don't know much about the race other than the location of the race HQ - and the rogue that organises it. What's the worst that can happen?...

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Better Week Of Training

That's more like it. Despite not racing this weekend, it's still been a good week of training. Yesterday's marshalling felt like a race the way I had to push to get to the checkpoint in time for the first runner. My legs felt heavy before this afternoon's #Zwift Fondo and they're feeling even heavier now. 52km, 550m ascent.

It was a good session. Not a race. Who were we kidding, we were all racing it. I was in amongst some big groups for most of the ride but things broke up in the last 10km or so. The route they use for the bambino fondo suits me as it's a climbing finish and I was able grind out some good positional gains and to that end I moved up through the ride from around 500th at the start to 314 of 967 - but it wasn't a race.

My time was a couple of minutes down on last month but I had a much higher fatigue level going in to it this time - and I felt that throughout. Definitely been a good week's training and I'm feeling buoyed.