Sunday, September 20, 2020

First One in a While...

Post, that is, not training. Since the last one, training has been a little lighter. Four sessions on the treadmill of varying intensity, three virtual rides, two goes on the rower and a partridge in a pear tree. It has been a bit of a mixed bag with some good sessions and some that were more just going through the motions. I have picked up the 'pace' through the weekend and hopefully ready for more tomorrow and beyond...

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Happy with That

Good session on the treadmill today. Eight 400's off an equal recovery. It wasn't overly fast in the grand scheme, but it was fast enough for me. I increased the pace by 0.1kph from the preceding one. Doesn't sound much but the last couple were a good effort. Yesterday I put in a shorter session ramping the pace up on each interval while decreasing the duration.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Well That Took Longer Than Expected...

To recovery from my jaunt back to the mountains on Saturday. My legs still had slight soreness in them yesterday and I managed an easy 5k. Tuesday the pegs were still full on sore, but I was itching to do something, so it was a very gentle walk/jog session. Couldn't really call it training but I needed to do it. Monday and Sunday there was nothing happening. Anyway, I seem to have slipped into reverse. Today, the first day free of soreness I was due a row. A repeat of the 12 efforts, 45s hard, 30s easy.   

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Legs Are Feeling It...

My quads are sore - not that surprising, I guess. Didn't feel a run was the right move for today's training as the impact wouldn't do them any favours. Instead I put in an easy 30 minutes on the bike, with a few efforts here and there.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Back to the Mountains...

only as a summit marshal for the Fan Brycheiniog fell race (did I spell that right? couldn't be arsed to look it up on the map) but I still had to get my arse up that mountain. And by god it was a shock to the system. I was only walking up, but I was puffin by the time I finally made it to the summit. Talk about no leg strength! Anyway, with the twenty-eight runners ticked off safely through I jogged back down. 12k covered in total and a reminder of how much work is going to be required to get back racing in the hills...

Monday, August 31, 2020

A Couple of Easier Days

So up Saturday was a fairly steady 5k, ramping the effort up through the middle section before easing back and then ramping again. Sunday was a rest day as I just felt a bit tired. Today I felt even more tired - but that was more likely down to having a tipple last night as I watched Dumb and Dumber To - the tipple made it just about bearable. Okay, no it didn't. It was just plain bad. Managed an easy 8k tonight.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Still Not Slacking...

So, since Tuesday, I've managed two sessions on the rower, one session on the bike and two efforts on the treadmill. As promised for the row, I've stepped up the interval to 45s off the same 30s recovery and I was managing to maintain 5-10% more power during the effort. Feels good to be be incorporating some upper body training into the plan. Moving forward, I think its about time to start incorporating a 'long' run in to the mix to start building some stamina. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

I've Not Been Slacking...

Honest, guv.

I've completed a good few sessions since my last post. I ran the ladder treadmill session on Saturday. Intervals starting short, fast and ramping longer and slower and then back up again. Up Sunday was a steady 45 minutes in the Zwift saddle. Monday was row intervals, 30/30 - going to move to 45/30 for the next session... and up tonight I ran the longer hill+tempo session. Four reps, increasing the incline from 6 to 9% on 102% effort. It'll 104% next time I repeat the session. All good.

Friday, August 21, 2020

A Double Dose Tonight

Started the workout with a 12 efforts on the rower. Thirty seconds high effort. Thirty seconds recovery. I decided 60s recovery as in my last rower session was too much. 30/30 was about right and I managed slightly higher wattage on the effort as well. Definitely felt a harder workout. Hit the treadmill straight from the rower - and definitely felt it. I ran a repeat of the hill+tempo session (short). The tempo section was hard work but I completed without fading. More up tomorrow...

Thursday, August 20, 2020


 The hamstring soreness has subsided. A session of faster and slower intervals with a final couple faster still - but not exactly fast. Felt okay. Started to get a bit of calf cramp towards the end but that's because I was a bit dehydrated. All sorted now. Ready for more tomorrow - assuming I've not tweaked anything...

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

A Session In The Boat

My right hamstring has been sore for a couple of days so I put off today's planned treadmill intervals for a session on the rower instead. The hamstring was okay rowing although I was probably pushing a little less with the legs than normal and putting a bit more effort in with the back and arms. Today's session was sixteen 30s efforts off 60s recovery. Good solid workout. Hopefully the hamstring will be eased tomorrow.

Friday, August 14, 2020

All The Disciplines...

 ...over two days. Yesterday I ran the short form 30/40 remix - but increased the effort to 104%. The intervals were hard work but manageable. Today I started with a twenty minute session on the rower, eight efforts of 30s hard, 1 minute recovery. Then it was straight onto the bike for a thirty minute workout - and it was bloody hard work. I had to ease back the session effort in the last section as I was dying on my pedals.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Tour du Tarmac, Stage 1

That's not actually the name of event but it'll do. A fairly short one, 27km and I was taking it easy - at least to begin with. A running rest day meant it was a bike day. Three laps of the Innsbruck Ring and it started all very sedately, part of a large group moving well... until we hit the 8% hillock and then all hell broke loose as everyone went hill climb crazy - rude not too!

That totally broke the group apart and from there it turned into a bit of a race. The easy effort became slightly less easy. By the final lap I was working hard. Into the final k, I was in a group of four and I decided I should take the sprint - or die trying. I think everyone had the same idea. I went a bit early and got caught but got a second wind to take it. Had to unclip immediately and collapsed in a gibbering heap to recover. Good effort.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Artificial Hills Again

Still not feeling 100% but the workout was 102%. I decided on the hill+tempo session and selected the longest of the three version with the aforementioned speed increase. My legs felt a bit dead to begin with and I wondered if I'd complete but I was hitting the targets so I just chugged on through. Overall I'm pleased to have got back to it.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Not Been the Greatest Week of Training

Been feeling off. The ol' stomach has been playing up all week. Not totally back to normal but manged an almost decent session on the treadmill. I started the training with 16 minutes on the rower and after an hours break I still felt that effort on the treadmill. Hence I had to throttle that back a bit. So the week's not been a total right off but I feel I've lost a bit of the momentum that was building.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Continuing On

Semi recovery day yesterday with an 8 lap Crit race on the bike. Started slow and was near the back but within a couple of laps I was laying down a bit more power than of late. Felt good.

This afternoon I was back on the treadmill for the Michigan. It's a workout I've run before and will do again. Longer intervals reducing as the pace is upped with a longer tempo section by way of active recovery. Got through it with a little left in the tank. Definitely feels like I'm getting fitter. The structured workout approach feels like it's working.

Finished the days training with a ten minute 'blast' on the rower - although my blast is more of a gentle waft at the moment. Felt it most in my arms and back so definitely going to persevere with the rower by way of upper body workout.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Another Decent Session Tonight

So I pulled a recovery day yesterday - well, as near as dammit. I did do a short rowing 'test', having discovered a way to capture my concept 2 rower data into to Zwift. It shows as biking but the power and cadence is valid and the type can be set to rowing afterwards. Going to be adding more rowing to the training from here.

Today I ran the longest of the 30/40 Zwift workout. There are three versions (with increasing number of intervals) and I ran the longest version tonight. 16 intervals of 30s effort, 40s tempo. It felt good. Hard work but I possibly had slightly more in the tank. I've planned the session in again for next week and I'll be increasing the difficulty facter slightly, ie each effort and tempo section will be a little faster...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Been a Good Few Days Training

So I hit my fifth day of running in a row - and it was totally planned. I set the alarm and got up before work for a crafty 30-minute workout on the treadmill. I repeated the Hill/Tempo session of a week or two ago but cranked up the incline a little (actually almost double) from last time while keeping the pace as prescribed. It was a good solid run.

Despite it being my fifth run in as many days (I ran 8km of tempo-ish intervals yesterday) I don't feel much fatigue. That suggests the five days haven't provided much training benefit but during each workout I've felt I've worked pretty hard. Some of the sessions definitely weren't a stroll in the park.

To finish the day's training, I completed a 55-minute group workout on the bike. That, too, was a good solid workout. My legs started to burn in the last couple of the repeats and I was glad of the recovery but again, I don't feel it was a session too far because it was hard but fair. I wasn't dying, just working hard.

I'll see how I feel tomorrow. I kind of want to keep the 'run' going but if I need a rest I'll take one. If not, I'll crack on...

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Managed a Third Run in a Row

A group hill run. Legs definitely knew it was the third day but not sore just fatigued. It was a decent little jog. Could (and probably should) have slightly upped the incline a percent or two but my heart rate was well up there by the end so it was probably a good enough work out as it was.

On to tomorrow, it looks like I've picked a bit of a pants day for a day off with it looking rainy all day. We'll see... 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Didn't Think I did But I did...

have a bit of fatigue in the ol' legs. This afternoon's session was incomplete but a solid effort for as much of it that which I completed. Also gives me a target to progress beyond next time. I'm 'enjoying' the Zwift training sessions. They give me repeatability along with a good target to nudge things forward. Not sure what's up tomorrow. I guess we'll find that out...

Friday, July 24, 2020

Up the Ladder

...It wasn't a real ladder. Hard session on t 'mill tonight. Two sets of four intervals of 90s with 60s recovery. The pace increased for each subsequent interval. I was really hanging on in the last interval of each set, the recovery was tight. Pleased I held on to make it a good session. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Hill and Tempo

So it was a repeat of the Hill and Tempo session tonight. Alternating incline interval followed by medium effort. I upped the incline a bit higher than suggested but even then probably the session did stress me into enough hurt. I need to make a note for when I run it again to up the efforts/paces.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Michigan #3

So I've run #2 before, a shorter version. Decided to run the longer version today. It was pretty hard work and I had to tweak it back in the last quarter but completed. Tomorrow I'm attempting the final Le'tape ride. 20k and a frankly scary 1500m+ ascent. Not sure I'll make it to the top...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Half Century

...almost. Tonight's stage three of the zwift Tour de France was 49.5km with 260m ascent. I took it easy as I'm not feeling overly filled with vigour. Worked harder in a few places - read, slipped off the back of the group a few times and had to work hard to get back on. Also mustered for the sprint. I wasn't intending to as those around me went with a couple of k's to go but they never truly got away so from one kilometre out I cranked it up, caught them and sailed on past.

Yesterday it was a short sharp interval set on the treadmill. Wasn't feeling too energetic then either but wanted to do something rather than nothing.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Decent Enough

Did an interval session on the treadmill yesterday. Three sets of five 1 minute intervals off 30s recovery. I could have nudged the pace of the interval up fraction but I'll save that for the next time. I was sweating cobs by the end so it was tough enough to have ticked the good workout box.

Up today was the second stage of the the L'Etape event and a bit of a longer one in the new French world but without too much climb, 47km, 300m. The bad news is I have to repeat it for the fourth stage of the virtual tour de France in the coming week but it'll be good training time in the saddle. The even worse news is that the final stage of the L'Etaoe is a 1500m climb up the virtual Mont Ventoux. I've not seen what's in store for the final two tour stages but I'm praying it won't be a repeat 'cause I won't be doing it twice inside a month let alone a week.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Not Twice as Nice Tonight

So I rode stage 2 of the Zwift Tour de France tonight. Five minutes in I realised we were riding the same bastard hilly route as Saturday's L'Etape du Tour Stage 1. I didn't entirely enjoy the 600m+ climb on Saturday. I enjoyed it even less tonight. Twice inside a week was definitely not nice. It was 72 minutes of hard grind (apart from the supertuck from the summit back down). I hope the L'Etape and the Tour are not all going to be duplicates. That would get annoying...

Before the ride I took a gentle thirty minute jog on the treadmill. Didn't want to push anything as I had the ride planned. Planning a more effortful run tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Twice As Nice

So I did a silly thing this morning. I got up at quarter past six and hopped on the treadmill for a thirty minute session before work. What was I thinking!! Seriously though, it was a good way to start the day. Then, after work, I followed up with stage 1 of the Virtual Tour de France. Four laps of the hilly route for 37k. It was a good ride with plenty of pushing on to the next group up the road throughout the ride. The legs didn't feel too bad but definitely had a bit of this mornings run in them.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

That Hurt a Little Bit

Decided on a speed session today and I picked one I wasn't sure I could complete - I did but not without a smidgen of 'cheating'. I pushed it harder than I have for a long time and found myself struggling to keep on the treadmill - hence the slight cheating but better than than not complete. Despite it hurting, it felt good. To know I pushed out of my comfort zone. Going forward I'm going to keep pushing myself. I can see it's got to hurt if there's going to be a gain. Definitely going to repeat today's session and hopefully there'll be a little less cheating the next time....

Saturday, July 04, 2020

The 2020 L'Etape du Tour Begins...

The tour has gone virtual and a ton of the real teams are taking part. In parallel with that the virtual L'Etape has also started and I climbed my way to stage One. I've not been up to riding the Classic KOM route for a while so it was a bit of a shock. The 600m+ climb was hard - but pleasingly satisfying. In all it was a 30k virtual ride of just over seventy minutes.

There's more tour for us to ride along with this week as stages 1 and 2 of the virtual tour are launched, followed by stages 3 and 4 the week after and 5 and 6 the week after that. Stage 6 culminating with multiple laps of the virtual replica of the Champs-Elysees. Some running tomorrow...

Friday, July 03, 2020

"Quick" Blast After Work

I wasn't feeling any after affects from yesterday's reboot so I decided to try my gradual pace ramp treadmill 2 miler. After a brief warmup I set the pace and jogged on... Managed a minute faster than my previous, set in the week before that which shall not be named. Pleased with that.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Finally, Mended Enough For a Run

Apart from one very gentle jog, I've not run for almost two weeks - since I decided DIY was a good idea. To be fair, I am pleased with the results of my DIY efforts so I feel the pain was worth it. It's definitely a sign I'm getting too old for that shit.

Back to tonight's run on the treadmill, it went pretty well. I was expecting to be utter pants. To feel beyond sluggish and generally struggle like f*(%. As it was I repeated one of my stock sessions and, rather than finding it hard going, I could actually have upped the tempo. I was well within myself. I could feel my hamstring just a little but nothing that I'm worried about. Overall I'm very pleased and ready for the next session...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

So Some How I Strained My Hamstring

Thank f*(% I'm done with the DIY for the time being. It's positively detrimental to health! So anyway, I tried a few minutes on the treadmill but it was stressing my sore hamstring too much. I then popped into the saddle and that was much better. It barely troubled me so I selected the Crit City race, 14 laps, and off I went. An enjoyable affair. I was at the back, of course, but worked hard to bridge to the next rider up the road from lap to lap. I also put the power down on the short climb on each lap, to treat it as a bit of a work out. All in all a good training session come race.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Mammoth Ten-Hour Training Session

Or replacing the office carpet as some might refer to it. Either way it was a long one. Plenty of leg work and some good upper body stretching and got it all done in a single day this time. Don't feel quite as achy as last week which is a good sign. After a half hour break I fired up the Zwift - and then fired it back down again as I realised quite how knackered I was. Definitely proper training tomorrow, I promise...

Thursday, June 25, 2020

More Effort Tonight

A short TT ride on the nice flat time trial course. I started out with a few kilometres of easy riding before upping the effort and trying to maintain power towards my FTP. I wasn't all out as my legs still have a slight tinge of soreness - how long has it taken me to recover from the trauma of DIY? And worse yet, I'm laying a new floor in the office on the weekend so likely heading straight back to painville.

The legs were still surprisingly sore yesterday and I only managed a very gentle treadmill trot, to keep the impact low. Couldn't face missing another day but in reality it wasn't exactly training but I felt better for having done it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Very Easy Zwift Tonight

I've mostly recovered from the trauma that was DIY with the exception that my quads are still really sore. Not quite sure why that is. Too sore to muster for a run so it was a few very low power, low impact pootle of a couple laps of the virtual London Classique route. Nice and flat. Nice and easy does it. It's been too many days since my last run but I can't be running until the soreness has gone - or almost gone. Hopefully tomorrow...

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Job Complete and I'm Fully Wrecked

It feels like every muscle in my body is aching. I'm pleased with the results of my labours but by god it was hard work. And to add insult to injury, despite being on the home straight, it still took me five hours this morning. I'm not going to be able to go for that run I was hoping for because I can hardly move. Who needs a gym when there's diy? I suspect I'm going to be struggling tomorrow.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Halfway and Bloody Knackered

F' me, laying wood flooring is hard work. Got my bedroom carpet infested with some sort of carpet eating little bastards hence the need to replace it. My back is aching and overall, I feel knackered. I was at it for almost six hours and only managed to get it laid to halfway. Although, it was the hardest half with all the fiddly bits. I'm not expecting the second half to take as long tomorrow - and hopefully it won't be so knackering as I felt so wiped I aborted my run today. I'm expecting to sleep well tonight.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Down t'pit

The sewer pit.... It's been a while since the last failure and it chose today for the latest hiccup. So after arranging an emergency tanker pump down I had to climb down into the depths of pit, got covered in sh... and managed to reconnect the pipe to the sewer connection point, which had come loose. It's not the most pleasant task but needs must.

On to more pleasant things, after much time in the shower, I got onto the treadmill for a incline workout. A reasonable session before once again hitting the shower. More training up tomorrow.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Decent Little Effort

It was a sort of inverse pyramid today. Started with the fastest rep first, 1 minute (fastest pace of my recent training) and then 1 minute recovery, followed by 90s slightly slower and another 1 minute recovery, then 2 minutes a fraction slower with the recovery before a final two and a half minute effort a tad slower again before taking things back up. Running at a slightly faster pace is starting to feel a little bit more normal. Going to continue with the Zwift programmed workouts to keep some structure and keep it interesting.

Yesterday I put in a reasonable effort in the Crit City bike race on Zwift, 16k. Managed slightly higher power than of late but didn't feel it in my legs today, so all good.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Turns Out It Was 12 Reps...

So I had the session programmed in as 10 x 400m with 200m recovery. The pace I'd set was about right. Over the first four reps my heart rate crept up and stabilised out at 167 at the end of each one. I was happy to see my way to the tenth. Only then did I realise there were two more to go. My heart didn't sink as I felt I could manage them. All in all a good session.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Top Tip For Social Distancing...

If you're finding people aren't respecting your 2m social distancing here's a top tip. Get yourself online and buy a big pair of y-fronts for a couple of quid, mark on a big skid mark and wear them as your face mask. Never mind a 2m distance, you'll find you'll get 22m of social distance...

On to more important matters, I managed a decent session tonight on the treadmill, Zwifts Michigan #1 session. 6km of steady and faster sections of 3 or 4 minutes with the very fastest sections reducing the time to two and one minute. Felt within myself. Going to hit the #2 version next time, which increases the effort times but keeps the speeds the same.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Yesterday Forgotten

So I went for a run yesterday. Headed over to Newent Wood again. Wish I hadn't bothered. I just could not get going. It was way too hard work for the pathetic pace and I ended up bringing it to a close prematurely. I felt okay before hand, having had a couple of rest days. Disappointing.

Today was better. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do and in the end plumped for an easy 30 minute Zwift ride. That felt okay so I gave it an hour and tried an interval session on the treadmill. I followed one of the Zwift workouts; warmup followed by repeated 40s steady, 30s faster. The faster section got progressively faster pace while the steady pace remained constant so it was run without a normal recovery section. My heart rate slowly increased throughout but didn't top out so all in all much better than yesterday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Cummings Effect Was Very Present Today....

So I did my once a week shop on the way home from work - as I have done throughout lockdown. The queue into the store has never been more than two or three..... until today. Today the queue was around the car park. Only one person per household.... there were dozens of couples and more than a few three or more family groups. Yep, folks, Cummings has really fucked this up for us all.... As to why people feel the need to have a day trip out to the supermarket once a day when there are so many other places they could go for a socially distanced pootle is another matter. Anyway, 30 minute bike session tonight. A virtual solo TT steady effort with a couple of sprints. Good session.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Two Non-Virtual Runs in a Row!

What was I thinking? I headed over to Queen's Wood tonight for another change of scenery. It's a pretty nice area for running. There are lots of tracks and paths in a relatively small area but you can run up a decent distance without repeating any of the route - obviously I didn't actually run up a decent distance as I'm not fit enough but I was happy with my 7k. It was slightly (only very slightly) faster than yesterday but a couple of k's longer so all's good. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

A Hot One

but I managed to select a pretty well shaded route. Didn't want a hilly one so I used my instincts to hot foot it over to Newent Wood in the car - can you hot foot by car? and now we can use our "instincts" can we head back to the mountains? It would be good for my mental well being if I did, all my "instincts" tell me that would be good.... but of course I'm joking, not being part of the ensemble of the ruling elite, being a mere unworthy, like 99.9% of the population, I shall continue to keep to the rules. There will be no 60 mile test drives with bad eyesight - which I think, if you knowingly drive with bad vision and admit on national television, is a road traffic offence.... anyway, I've slipped off track - a bit like today's when I stumbled into a boggy section. Wasn't the fastest. Was probably the hottest of the year but it was a nice pootle all in all. Finished off back home with a 10km bike cooldown on Zwift. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Feeling A Bit More Motivated

Put in a little bit of jogging yesterday after work. Wasn't totally feeling it but felt the better for it after, even if it wasn't really training. Today's 7k on the mill was better. I ran the speed ramps again and felt pretty strong and could have done a couple more - the session was only for seven and ends after you reach that. More tomorrow of something.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A Semi

After the weekend's blip I felt I needed to keep things on the gentle side, at least a couple more days. So tonight I had a semi - a semi virtual bike race. I set off in almost last place... and stayed there! But after a very gentle start I put in a few steady state efforts with a bit more power. Definitely wasn't going to push myself too much. Mentally it felt good. A run of some sort tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Back After A Gap

So I came down a bit ill Friday. Fever, light headed, achy and a sore throat. Spent the day dozing on the sofa and generally felt a bit pants. Felt better Saturday but had the test booked and if I didn't I'd be isolating all week. My gut feeling was that it was going to be a negative and so it turned out. By Sunday I was feeling back to normal and tried a bike workout. I felt a bit lacking and knocked it on the head half way through but I felt better in myself for having done something. Tonight I had a good session on the treadmill, repeating the hill session from last week and managed to increase the pace. Knocking three minutes off the time for the 5k hill route.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Right, That's Me Planning A Few Trips To The Mountains....

KIDDING! Calm down, just joking. I shall be continuing to stay home and exercise locally but sadly I think the new Corona message is going to lead to the flood gates on unnecessary trips out and about. On a brighter note, put in a bike workout yesterday and a treadmill session today. Neither were the greatest, my legs felt a bit knackered on both occasions. More tomorrow of some sort...

Friday, May 08, 2020

Not Been Feelin' It

But got out and about today, over to Hope Wood. Ran a couple of sections I've not done for ages. The first section, on the west side was good. The climb up the small wooded path was nice a clear. The other section on the east - missing out some climb, was much overgrown in places. I guess it needs to be run more often to keep it viable. Not that I was going quickly but it was definitely even slower going through there. Pleased to have motivated myself to get out there...

Monday, May 04, 2020

Killed the Sprint or the Sprint Killed Me?....

Yep, definitely the latter. So it was only a group ride tonight for stage 1 of the Tour For All on #Zwift and after the initial argy-bargy I found myself riding in a smallish group and we were going along at a decent pace. There was the odd attack from those wanting to do a Freddie Mercury - and break free, but they mostly came to nothing. Maybe a couple got away during the 28km ride but then it was a ride not a race and I was happy to sit in and recover from yesterday's treadmill session.

Into the final couple of kilometres, as is customary for a group ride, all bets are off when it comes to the sprint and I decided there wasn't anything to be gained from a standard 100-300m sprint so I went long.... Too long as it turned out. I put the hammer down from about a kilometre out and pushed myself to the limit - and just a little beyond. My engine gave up the ghost with about 100m to go. I was spent and more but I managed to get across the line with only one of the group getting there ahead of me. I practically slide from the pedals and onto the floor. I was in some oxygen debt but after a minute I was able to save the ride up to Strava - got to get the important things done.

Two options for tomorrow. Option one, another treadmill session. Option two, sod all. I think we all know....

Sunday, May 03, 2020

I "Enjoyed" That One

A medium tempo/speed effort on the treadmill out at 3 to 4 minutes per rep with only 30s recovery between sections. My heart rate was heading towards 170 during the last few reps and wasn't really recovering much during the recovery. Being part of a group session of 60 or so other runners really kept me going though. It's easy to abort a solo session when you've had enough but somehow being part a group session, albeit a virtual one, provides that impetus to see it through. A good 42 minutes training ticked off. 

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Legs Feeling A Bit Feeble

So I ran one of the new Zwift training sessions yesterday and it was pretty good. Cooled down afterwards with twenty minutes on the bike. Today I was planning on doing an hours group ride followed by a run. I did the ride but as the hour progressed I knew my legs were toast. The last ten minutes, despite the low power output, was hard work. Suffice to say, the run didn't happen. I wasn't going to put myself into the red and hopefully, by skipping it today, I will live to run another day - or tomorrow as it is know in the trade....

Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Bit of Group Training Tonight

I've missed a couple of days this week. Haven't been feeling it. I knew I didn't want to miss a third day in a row but I wasn't sure what to do. In the end I spotted an interesting group training session by the GTN and went with that. It was good and went by pretty quick. After a ten minute warm up it was three short, faster efforts followed by three longer efforts. It felt good to keep a steady pace for each of those six minute sections. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Bit of Crit on a Monday Evening

Not gonna lie, my quads are a bit sore. The springiness of the treadmill footplate is no substitute for pounding the miles on Terra firma. Decided on an 'easy' crit race on #Zwift tonight. I plumped for the 23k, 12 lap version. I like the short lap of the Crit course. I set out easy and it stayed that way... for all of about half a lap before I found myself slipping off the back of a decent sized group. From there it became a race and despite the soreness in my legs I started to crank it up a notch to hold the group. I eventually fell away but not before I was thoroughly ensconced in the race and battling it out for the minor places. Good workout but possibly burnt my bridges for tomorrow's scheduled speed ramps.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Into The Forest...

But staying local so don't panic. No car journey's were involved in the making of today's effort... I decided to have a pootle out. 5.3km over to Hope Wood and back. Forgot how steep the ascent up into the woods was - I enjoyed the return journey more than the out. It was hard work but looking at the stats from my last few goes on the loop, I took about the same time. I'm going to run the loop again in a couple of weeks as a gauge to improvement - or not, as the case may be.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Back With A Few Speed Reps

I had a few days off from training midweek as I was feeling a bit tired. Kicked things off again last night with a session on the bike - which ended up quite a short session as I was struggling to keep the wheel on the group ride. It should have been a medium hard ride but I wasn't feeling it and didn't want to burn myself up trying to keep up. Today I decided on some speed reps on two feet, after a mile warm up. I was unsure how things would go, based on the weeks efforts so far but it went okay. Should be up for more of something tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Recovery Start To The Week

A virtual 5k amble yesterday and an equivalent bimble on the virtual bike tonight. I was going to race tonight but even as I warmed up in the start pen, I knew that wasn't on. My legs felt heavy so easy ride it was. I know that was the sensible choice - although I did have a bit of an attack on the three short, sharp climbs at the back end of the race. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Big Bad Ben Nevis Bagged - Virtually

So that's the final peak of my week's four peaks challenge complete. I was sweating cobs by the end of my virtual ascent. My top was mingingly damp. The stats; 1345m ascent with the treadmill set on 12% incline and a distance was 11.3km. Not sure I'm ready for a virtual Everest just yet, but maybe, if we're still in lockdown in a month's time...

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Hilly Group Ride

A 42km group ride on #Zwift with team ISN's Ben Hermans and Andre Greipel. It was nice and easy on the flat but I put in a bit more effort on the two climbs, Leith Hill and Box Hill. Over all a decent recovery workout. The pro-rider group rides always bring out lots of people - and so they did today. 

Andre Greipel going past on the final climb
Andre Greipel going past on the final climb

Friday, April 17, 2020

Snowdon, Virtual Peak Number Three

As planned it was 1085m of ascent tonight, to reach the virtual summit of #Snowdon. Peak number three is bagged. Just the big one to go on Sunday and that'll be the full set. Tonight's 'run' was 9.1km at 12% incline - and it definitely hit the calves. Pretty much from the off, they were tight. Going to do a bit of bike work tomorrow and a flat run of somekind...

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Peak Number Two Complete

So my virtual four peaks challenge continued tonight with 978m of ascent to reach the virtual summit of Scafell Pike. The distance was 9km with the incline set on 11%, #Zwift. Surprisingly I was able to speed up the efforts as the distance - and climb - progressed. Felt good. Up Friday is the virtual peak of Snowdon...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

I've Gone Hilly Silly

So tonight's 5k #Zwift group run turned out to be a structured incline run. I did not read what was written on the tin before starting. Instruction was given at various points to set a certain incline on the treadmill. The incline was anywhere from zero to 7%. Once I was there in the start pen I thought what the heck, in for a penny...

My legs felt okay - for all of about 400m. After that it felt like I had lead boots on. I almost considered stopping but I'm glad I didn't. I guess going from sat on your butt all day in the office to a very limited warm-up before the off, isn't ideal preparation - there's probably a lesson in there somewhere... The further into it I got the better me legs felt. Into the final kilometre I actually slightly ignored the official instruction - the rebel I am. Keeping the pace constant, I actually went all in. Increasing beyond the 7% instructed up to 10% across the line. Felt good by the finish.

After the run I was onto the bike for a very gentle hours #HERD group ride. A very welcome low power affair - apart from the sprint section where I decide to have a blast. We hit the sprint three times during the 31km ride and I actually blasted through my 10s power record by 50W to record 710W. Other than that it was a good recovery.

Up tomorrow is peak number two, Scafell Pike. 978m @ 11% incline gives it 8.9km but I'll probably round that to 9km...

Monday, April 13, 2020

Something A Little Different

So there's been a few posts on social media about the virtual staircase challenge. Now I can't be arsed with that but I thought, why not do a virtual hill on the treadmill instead - so I did. Today I trod my way up a virtual Pen-y-Fan, 886m, with the treadmill set on 10% elevation. It was surprisingly hard work come the end. Moving on from that it's given me the idea to complete a virtual four peaks. So Wednesday I've pencilled in a virtual trip up Scafell Pike, 978m. Friday I'll give Snowdon a bash, 1085m. Culminating with big Ben Nevis, 1345m on Sunday.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

As Expected...

My legs were shot after the earlier bike session. I knew, even as I warmed up in the start pen, that it was going to be nothing more than a very gentle jog. I set off at a pootle and ever so slowly increased the pace - but only by a little. After a couple of k's my legs started to tighten and I just pootled onwards to the finish - but not before a signal drop out. I lost both my wireless ear buds and the stryd so I'm not sure what the heck kind of electrical interference caused it. Got reconnected and then finished the final 70m to the line..

Was not having that!

Riding in a small group, with 3 to 4km to go of the 3R Volcano climb race, 23k, I'm working hard to keep us ahead of the group behind who are catching. The other three riders were just sitting in behind for the ride. Grrrrrh. So I sat up, f#(% 'em. They then moved ahead and finally started to do some work. With a little over a kilometer to go I pushed on again on the finally tiny section of up and moved a few metres ahead. Enticing them to put in a bit of effort and come with me. They did but they definitely had to work for it, while I eased back just a little. Then they made their moves with 500m to go. All three went past but I increased my effort to match them without going all in. I was saving it up for the final blast. They moved a few metres ahead but I was holding without going into the red. Then, at 150m, I went all in... and they were destroyed - and that's what happens when you get me angry. Grrrrh.

So anyway, I wasn't intending to ride first today. I had a treadmill race planned first with the bike race to follow but a call from work meant I missed the start and so switched things around. My legs are fully knackered now but I have 90 minutes to rest up ahead of the replacement event. I'm not expecting to recovery too well, my legs are wobbly.

Friday, April 10, 2020

And A Bit More Training

After the midweek training fail I was keen to get back to it. Eight 400m reps off 200m recovery at varying pace. It was okay. I was working hard on the faster of the reps but didn't stray too far into the red before hitting the recovery. Pretty pleased it was just a blip midweek.

I gave it an hour or two before selecting a bike time trial on the Fuego Flats, 17.7km. Haven't Zwifted a time trial for a while so wasn't really sure what power I should be aiming for. Added to that, I forgot to change to a TT bike - school boy error. I wasn't the only one but those of us not on a TT bike were definitely in the minority.

Anyway, after a couple of kilometers at about 170W, I started to push myself a bit harder and edged up the power, kilometer by kilomter. By the midway point I was focused on keeping things at 190W. My legs were feeling it but I was starting to catch riders and that spurred me into keeping the effort going. I averaged about 190W on the second half - and my legs knew it - but it was good training and gave me a much higher average power than I've managed for a while.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

A Better Day's Training

After yesterday's total abort, hill reps that I had absolutely no energy for and knocked on the head after just 2 reps (and the warm up), I felt more energised today. Didn't want to go too long or commit to a training session this evening so I 'went' for a short, sharp Zwift race. I chose one of the newer crit races. Eight 2k laps. I set off putting in reasonable effort to see how I was feeling and slightly edged things up throughout. I certainly felt much more on it than yesterday. Couldn't believe how many category cheats there were though. I got lapped by a goodly number and the power as they went past? Well let's just say, some of them were practically A cat - verses the C cat that we were supposed to riding... I was putting out mid-C power. It'll be good to see Zwift implement the incoming anti-sandbagging system.

So finally, with four days of absolutely fuck all coming up I definitely want to be up for doing some reasonable exercise...

Monday, April 06, 2020

Tired Legs

The scheduled recovery ride was definitely the right thing to schedule. My legs were not feeling very fresh today. Definitely no way I was doing any sort of running. As it was I picked a very short Zwift race but I didn't race it. It really was low power recovery all the way. That said, I forgot how long that first climb is on the Harrogate course. Even taking it easy, I found I was having to work harder than I wanted to but once that climb was out of the way the rest of the route was easier to ride easy.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Hill-less Hill Run

A bit of hill running up the Alpe du #Zwift. There was about 50-60 running in the PACK organised event, heading to the hill with a 5k lead in on the flat. Then it was time to set the treadmill to 8% and grind the hill. Okay, not set quite as steep as the real climb but 8% never the less provides a pretty good work out. The group run distance was officially 8k in total - 5 on the flat, 3 up the climb but I decided to add on an extra 1 kilometre. It was a solid climb but I just started to feel a few pre-cramp twitches in the the last 500m. Next time out on this group run I'm going to go for 10k...

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Virtual Park Run Saturday

Another day, another trot on the treadmill. I took part in one of the Zwift virtual park runs - or run in the park as they call them so as not to step on any toes, so to speak. I went at it pretty workmanlike and upped the pace little by little throughout. I still have next to bugger all speed but I'm making small gains week by week - especially now there's sod all else to do. If I'm honest though, I could get used to being a hermit. After all this is over, in 12 months time, I might look into buying a cave in the hills...

After the run I made a start on the bike training plan. I've decided to follow the 2016 Zwift Academy plan as it's about 4 months worth of training sessions. Today's was just over the hour and didn't feel too difficult, which fitted pretty well with having already had a run. I'm sure the effort level will pick up though.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Got My Fix...

Finally made it to Friday and my neighbours fix - phew. And what better way to get that fix than with six 1km pace ramps on the treadmill. I increased the top end slightly from last weeks session.I'm aiming to use this and the hill reps as my key sessions over the coming weeks. Mixing in with that I'm going to try and follow one of the structured training plans on Zwift for both running and cycling in order to build a bit more structure to things. I'm thinking I've got quite a bit of time to fill over the next few months...

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Getting the Shakes...

So we're midway through the week and it's been two days since I've had my fix. Not sure I'm going to make it to Friday....

Neighbours deprivation aside, I completed some decent training today. I finished the tour on two wheels with a stage 4 race. A 21km burn up but I actually took it pretty easy really, with a few efforts here and there. A sort of fartlek session but on a bike. Hang on, I guess there's no reason why the 'speed play' can't be applied to any type of exercise, not just running, so I redact the 'but on a bike' comment. Anyway. after the bike and with a few hours gap, I ran a repeat of last weeks hill reps. Eight 250m reps at 10%.  The left ham is still a bit sore but oddly it felt less sore when I was running than when I was walking. Look to increase the reps next week...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Things Just Got Serious...

They've only gone and started rationing Neighbours! It's now only showing Monday and Friday. Not sure I'm going to get through this....

Completed stage 3 of the Tour this evening on the bike. Didn't tread the boards as my left ham is a little sore. Back on it tomorrow hopefully. It was a good group ride. Got in with a group of ten or so and we rode pretty solidly. The group broke apart on the climb up the volcano before coming back together again on the descent. It was then a solid push through to the line with a decent sprint to finish. 23km. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Solid Days Workout

I'm going to be fitter than ever after this pandemic runs its course. My seventh day of running in a row followed by a pretty hard effort on the bike. The run was a 30 minute steady effort, stage 2 of the Tour of Watopia. The bike, 40 minutes later, was also stage 2 of the ToW and I worked pretty hard throughout. I could feel my legs burn at points during the 30km ride. I wasn't racing it, just group riding but I didn't want to get dropped - which threatened here and there. Feeling pretty knackered now. Almost certain to be a full rest day - from training at least, still gotta got to work of course.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Run With Mo

My sixth run in a row was a group run. The largest field of treadmill trotters, some 450+ of us from all over the globe, that I've run with on #Zwift so far. Have to admit that I didn't see much of Mo. I could see his leader beacon at the start line but apart from that he sped into the far distance...

I was feeling it in my legs from the previous five days of running but nothing was aching or sore so I;m happy I'm not over doing it. Today's distance was 6.4km. Not sure what tomorrow's training will be. A run? More likely a ride as I cleaned the chain yesterday - it was pretty filthy - and the near silence of a clean cassette is extremely satisfying.

All T-Rex'ed up and ready to go in the start pen...

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fifth Run In A Row

Hill reps tonight. Been a while and it was a good work out. Eight 250m efforts at 10% elevation with the same as recovery. Despite only being 250m it was quite hard to sustain - and there's nowhere to hide on the treadmill. I almost stood down at six but quite quickly, during the recovery, manned up to complete the full set. Felt good to have stuck with it. And now we're into the weekend and the big question where to run. Will it be Yorkshire? London? Richmond. Ooh the suspense....

Thursday, March 26, 2020

They Weren't Too Bad...

So after a decent pair of workouts tonight I had a crack at doing something with lost packet of quinoa. Quinoa and bean burritos.... and to be fair they weren't too bad considering they were fully vegan - which is just as well as I have another two day's potions heading to the freezer.

Back to the training. I hit the bike straight after work. The commute was pretty light... from the upstairs office down to the gym. I plumped for the short sharp stage 5 Tour of Watopia race. 17km and mostly flat. I was towards the back for most of the race, in a group of five. Into the final short, sharp climb, I blasted off the front to win the internal battle of the five. The reverse volcano - not to be confused with the reverse cowgirl, that's something entirely different - suits my style with that short climb within 600-700m of the finish.

I then had about 90 minutes to recover ahead of stage 5 of the tour on foot. Not a race, just a 30 minute group run, with about 150 of us treading the boards. Let's be honest I was never going to be gunning it, started slowly and nudged the pace up little by little. I finished reasonably strongly. Could probably have pushed it a bit harder but I didn't want to risk over doing it. I've more training planned for tomorrow to make it five in a row.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Third Day In A Row

Over to the other side of the world tonight, to the private virtual island that is #Zwift's Watopia. I increased the pacing slightly and edged out the distance to 7km. I'm aiming to run five days back to back for the first time in a goodly while. I won't be overdoing it though as the pace is all very steady but I aim to slowly increase pace and distance over the coming weeks and months - now that I'm not going to be able to make my return to the mountains for, I sadly suspect, at least several months if not  quite a bit longer. Unprecedented times...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Virtual Globe Trotting

A short run in Innsbruck yesterday. Today I was over to New York for a couple of laps of Central Park's Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir. Only 6k at a modest pace but every little helps. I'm being sensible, keeping myself pretty isolated in case I'm needed more front line in the battle to keep water coming out the taps because it's almost certain we're far from the peak. Ending on a more positive note, where will it be for tomorrow's run...

Monday, March 23, 2020

Starting To Feel More Like It Again

After feeling somewhat knackered last week, I'm starting to get back into it - albeit slowly. A virtual bike session yesterday and a virtual run today. Didn't set anything overly taxing and it went by a bit too easily so I shall increasing the effort levels...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A Zwift Disaster

I battled through the traffic to get home to resume the Tour of Watopia on Zwift - wasn't actually that much of a battle. Having missed both ride and run stage 2 of the event, I was keen to resume and had the bike stage 3 planned for tonight. Cue a Zwift outage. Servers were offline. Disaster! Anyway, I was keen to get back on the training after having taken a few days off to allow my sore legs to recover from Sunday so did a manual 30 minute session. I pushed pretty hard and got a bit of burn in the legs but nothing too crazy. Hopefully the servers will be back up for tomorrow but it's still going to leave me with another stage to catch up... 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Not The Bath HM Half Marathon

In light of the increasing COVID-19 threat, I decided not to head to Bath despite it still being on. I suspect there will be quite a few others who made the same call. So instead I headed into the heart of the forest for a solo run following the Forest spring HM route. It was raining. It was cold but I'd collected my sponsorship for WaterAid and today was the day so a half marathon I 'ran'.

It started okay. I wasn't exactly setting the world alight but I was jogging along okay. Through 5k I started to feel a pain in my right hip. By 6k it was hindering me. I didn't want to wreck myself but equally hell would have to freeze over before we see the day when I don't finish a race I start - even if it was a self imposed virtual race. It was a pretty uncomfortable final 15k, stop, start, stop, start but I finished.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Easy Run

Still been feeling a bit off these last few days - no, definitely not Covid-19 before you ask. Add in a pinch of tiredness and I've skipped a few days training. No big deal as I'm on the ease down anyway but was aiming a run yesterday - which I managed today instead. Easy pace. The 6.4k of stage one of the Tour of Watopia complete. Not scheduling in anything in the plan before Sunday but likely be doing a very very gentle something at some point before then.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Start of the Tour

But the main question is when to do my last run and bike before the big day? It's been so long I can't really remember how I used to taper. I decided I needed to at least get stage one on the bike out of the way but didn't really race it. I'll likely try a very gentle stage one on foot tomorrow so at least I'll have both stage ones of the Tour of Watopia out the way. Probably skip stage two as it's too close to the main event on Sunday. Might be my last training session tomorrow but maybe a very gentle effort Thursday. That'll definitely be the last before Sunday...

As to tonight's stage on the bike. I started slow and easy but really got going. In fact, despite feeling a bit tired before hand, and the legs feeling a bit dead, by the end I was going as well as I have for a while - without really feeling like I was putting the hammer down. Maybe there's something to my secret beetroot pills...

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Feeling A Bit Off

I am feeling better today but yesterday was a right off. Was feeling lacking energy. Had an early night and that has helped. Managed 8k on the treadmill today followed by a half an hour workout on the bike. Neither was super high octane but then I need to look at getting myself fully rested with just one week to go till Bath. That is definitely going to be a challenge but I will get round.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Set The Target Slightly Too High

After an easier half hour on the bike yesterday I decided to run a 3.2km tester tonight. After 1km warmup I set off. The target ramped pace was a little too high and I started to blow in the last k. Had to take a couple of pace drops but still ended significantly faster than the same session two weeks ago. If I set my pace targets a little better [read lower] I could have ended up with a slightly quicker time but irrespective of that, happy to have gone quicker. Still bloody slow in the grand scheme of things but it doesn't put me off. I will get there...

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Following Yesterday's Bike Ramps...

It was the two legged version tonight. I decided to repeat last weeks session of six ramps but I increased each ramp by 100m this time. So it was six 600m ramps and it all felt pretty good again. Overall I feel the effort at the middle of the ramp, which was around about my target HM pace, was feeling easier to maintain. In reality, it's a bit late in the day to make much difference to the outcome of BHM-Day in 12 days time but it feels like I'm giving myself a good base on which to slowly build on from over the coming months. I might even target myself an autumn HM by way of a further goal...

Monday, March 02, 2020

Solid Session on the Bike

Opted for a group workout tonight. Warm up, cool down with four power spikes and four ramps. The end of each four minute ramp was hard but doable without coming out of the saddle. Definitely needed the 90 second recovery though as my legs were burning as I hit the end of each one. It felt satisfying to complete it as I knew it was going to be a tough one and I went in thinking I might need to nudge the effort level down a few percent. Didn't need to do that though, so I'm happy with that. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Another Decent Session

Some 2km reps with sections over and under target pace with a short recovery in between. It felt pretty good. I could probably have upped the over a bit but that's not really the point at this stage. In all I covered 10k. Probably going to do another run tomorrow as I think my legs will feel okay. I finished off the training with a 10k cooldown on the bike.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Easy Recovery Ride

I was quite surprised that my legs felt a little fatigued today. Tuesday and Wednesday's sessions, despite being quite short, must definitely have provided some reasonable training affect otherwise the legs wouldn't be feeling it slightly today. But that's good as today's planned session was an easy hour ride on the ol' Zwift. And that's just what I did.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Another Pretty Good One

Ran a couple of longer reps, broken into 200m sections alternating between a little above target pace and a little below, with a recovery in between the reps. Didn't want to push too hard as I did a session yesterday but it felt good. The unders felt well within my capability and the overs not too bad either. Heart rate just about stayed in zone 3 and it feels like my over fitness is edging slowly in the right direction. Going to try and work in a medium duration run on the weekend if I can and then it's all fine tuning to the start line...

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Felt A Bit Easier Tonight

It's not long now till race day. Just twenty days. From on in it's about maintaining things. Tonight I ran some 500m ramps and for once they felt good. For my current fitness, the ending pace of the ramp was pretty high and I wasn't dying at the end each ramp either. What's more, the section of the ramp on my target race pace actually felt easy - well relatively so. For the first time I felt like I could have maintained that pace for a bit...

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Bloody Good Sprint Finish

So I didn't do the long run. My running legs didn't feel up to it. I ran a 1km tester on the treadmill and knew it wasn't happening. Not too worried though, I know I've got the distance in my legs for the HM - I don't have the pace. And if the legs do fail me I'm sure the old memories of pain will see me through to the end.

So instead I opted for a stage of the Tour of Innsbruck on the bike. 24km, 500m ascent and I went at it pretty solidly, especially on the climb. I picked off a good number of riders on the way up. Once back onto the flat I found myself in a group of about ten and as we rode towards the finish I was feeling up for a sprint. Of late I've not been bothered but I felt like a burn up, but when to go....

I started to keep a close eye on those around me as we entered the final kilometre. I wasn't going to be the first to go but didn't want to get caught out. A couple of guys went with about 500m to go and I upped the wattage. Not all out but a good effort. From there I steadily cranked it up. The testosterone was flowing and with 200m to go I attacked and went past - but they weren't done and started to come back. I went again and held it by about 2m - but by 'eck I was blowing. Practically keeled over as I crossed the line but it was worth it. A very satisfying burn up...

Friday, February 21, 2020

That Felt Better...

After a somewhat lacklustre start to the weeks training with an aborted session on Tuesday, things were much better tonight. After a short tester jog yesterday, today's was a proper job. Four 1 kilometre ramps with a 1 kilometre warm up and cool down. It felt good to be get to a decent pace by the end of each ramp. Definitely a session to run again. There's plenty of scope to increase the number of reps and tweak the start and end paces. The 100m steps kept the interest and focus. Undecided as to the weekend's workouts...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Bike Workout Tonight

After an aborted run yesterday - the legs didn't want to do the business and I was just plain struggling - it was back to business tonight. I opted for a fairly randomly selected group workout. During the first section I was slightly worried that it was going to be a case of back to back failures... but I stuck at it and after a brief couple of minutes out of the saddle in order to avoid the 'spiral of death' things started to get 'easier'. That's not to say they were actually particularly easy but I was able to hit the powers, working hard but it was manageable to complete the 54 minute session. Back to the running tomorrow and I'll try a longer warm up - which is where I think yesterday's session may have gone wrong... 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Another Run and Ride the dry. Started with an 8k group run. The first 5k was with the treadmill set to 1% elevation, the final 3k raised to 9%. I'd dropped a bit back in the group before the climb and I managed a few efforts on the steep stuff. Finishing pretty strongly, catching back up to quite a few in the group. Good work out.

I followed that up with a group ride on a hilly route. It was a 48km ride with 900m ascent but after the first climb I could feel my energy levels dropping. So at that first summit, 20km in, with 500m ascent climbed I decided to pull out, not wanting to over cook things - I obviously 'rode' the downhill. Can't be turning down 7km of free kilometres!!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Let's be honest...

The long run, into the eye of Storm Dennis, was never going to be a thing for me, Fair Weather Dave. Instead I decided on something a little different.... A virtual duathlon in the storm free world of #Zwift.

I started with 3km on the track, steadily nudging up the pace. Then it was the transition over to the bike for 20km in virtual Harrogate. I went at it steadily putting in a few sections of harder effort. Then it was another transition back to the treadmill and the final 3km.

It wasn't exactly the long run it should have been but it felt like good training...

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Nice Little Burn Up

Opted for a short blast on the two wheel Zwift. 16km, done and dusted. It was a group ride - but everyone goes at it. It wasn't a large field but enough to be grouped, for the first few k's at least. The first sprint on the Richmond UCI course comes at about 4k and I put down some power for a little interval. Not my fastest. Not my slowest. Eased off too much and the group came past leaving me in a solo TT for the rest of the ride - doh!!

I actually quite enjoyed being left stranded and gradually cranked up the power, turning it into a good TT effort. I even managed to catch a few riders on the climbs. All in all a good half hour in the saddle that was over before I knew it.

Not sure how to rejig the weekends training. I need to get my final long run done but Hurricane Dennis is going to put paid to that me thinks.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wasn't Planning That...

and probably illegal but I did another interval session! Hot on the heals of yesterday's 4x800s. I espied a group workout on the ol' #Zwift with a goodly number of runners booked in - it's always better when there's loads of fellow runners. The deal maker was that it was on the virtual track so there was no sad plodding all alone on the virtual pavements. My legs felt fit for action so I thought, what the heck, where's the harm?

The session was a different format to normal. More informal, with textual instruction rather than the normal rigid interval list and it was time based so we were all putting in the effort - and taking it easy - at the same time.

There was a ten minute warm up before getting down to business. The workout consisted two sets of a 4 minute interval at 10k pace followed by four intervals of a minute at mile pace. I actually found the short efforts too easy at mile pace (at my current mile pace, that is) so edged up the speed a little. Think I could have taken it up a bit more but I didn't want to over do it. Good session. Definitely a recovery day tomorrow. A bit of bike Zwifting me thinks...

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Injecting A Bit Of Speed?...

It's all relative. I've got plodding down to a tee so now it's time to try and make the legs go a bit quicker. It's not going to be a quick fix - boom, boom. Tonight I ran four 800m reps off 400m recovery. The pace was 8% quicker than my target Bath HM pace. Not a massive step up but enough. It equates to about 18s quicker over the 800m. I'm going to repeat the session next week, adding an extra rep. Rome wasn't built in a day - and don't I ever know it...

Saturday, February 08, 2020

I've Earned A Rest Day

So I managed to get my ass out the door this morning to complete my long run. With storm Kevin or whatever it's called, coming in overnight there's no way I'm venturing out tomorrow so it had to be today.

I'm pleased with the increased distance, 16.8km, but it was hard work. I think Kevin's niece, Ciara, was blowing through early as the section around to Blaisdon and beyond was right into the wind and a bit of a struggle if I'm honest. But I got through the run in one piece and the pace was a tiny fraction faster than last weeks run with an extra 100m ascent to boot, 370m total.

I didn't sit on my backside afterwards though as I had a bit of Zwifting planned with Andre Greipel and the Fight ALS Mega Ride and over 6000 other riders from every corner of the planet, helping raise an equivelent amount for ALS. The ride almost certainly set a new rider participation record for a single ride on Zwift. After the hours ride I'm feeling a little tired...

Thursday, February 06, 2020

And That's A Wrap!

All fourteen stages of the Tour de Zwift done and dusted. Seven in the saddle. Seven on the plimsolls. Pleased with my run tonight. It wasn't fast. Fast is beyond me right now. I aimed to start slow and finish above my target half marathon pace - which I did. 5.7km complete.

I'm finally starting to feel like I did twenty - yes, twenty - years ago when I first started running. To all intents and purposes it's like I'm starting over again from scratch and I'm really starting to get into the habit. Scheduling runs, mostly sticking to the schedule or managing to rejig the schedule when things crop up.

Being cajoled into 'running' the Bath Half Marathon has been just the kick up the arse I needed. Just need to set a goal once that's out the way. Maybe the Autumn Forest Half? Never done it. Maybe I should?....

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

The End Is Nigh...

No, not the Coronavirus, the final stages of the Tour de Zwift. Tonight I finished off the bike tour with the two laps of the virtual Harrogate worlds loop for 28km. I almost dropped down to the single lapper but I stayed strong. Enjoyed it. It's a good course. Lots of steady climbs. Nothing stupid steep but decent enough at 4-7% and 1-2km at a time. It's mostly either up or down. There really isn't much flat. I applied a decent level of effort throughout. Good workout. Up tomorrow or Friday is the final final stage. A 5.7km run on the mini loop on the same virtual Harrogate turf...

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Had To Give It A Miss Yesterday...

My legs were sore after my long run. Happily I seem to be recovering a little quicker than of a month or two ago and my legs felt okay today. Maybe not 100% recovered but certainly plenty enough recharged to round out stage 6 of the Tour de Zwift on foot. I didn't manage to get fully warmed up before the off as I was faffing and rushing after getting home from work a little on the tight side. Overall I was happy with the effort.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

As Expected...

I found this morning's long run hard going - that's what happens when your easy Zwift ride the day before ends up not being an easy ride. I never learn. As per last weeks run, I got the hill out of the way in the first half - there's always going to be a hill when you live in Longhope. The downhill was much more enjoyable. The short off road section, to avoid having to run on the A40, was less fun. One word, boggy. Might take my chances in the traffic next time....

After that, it was back on road to join up with the second half of last weeks run into Blaisdon and back along Velthouse Lane. I managed to run the Velthouse section 20-30s quicker than last week so, despite it feeling like a plod, things are moving in the right direction - slowly. Plus today's run was almost 3km longer at 14.3km.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Worked Slightly Too Hard...

For the recovery ride it was meant to be. It's always difficult to ride easy when you're part of big group ride, aka stage 6 of the TdZ. I'm aiming for the long run tomorrow so today was meant to be just an easy leg spin but I worked too hard on the climbs and now my legs feel like they've had a work out. I always get caught up chasing the next group down the road... Doh.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

More Tired Than I Expected

There was no hesitation in hitting the treadmill tonight for the completion of stage 5 of the TdZ. Once underway the wheels fell off, um er, that should probably read the shoes fell off - the bike stage was yesterday. My legs didn't want to work. The 9.7km of tonight's stage turned into a series of intervals in order to get the job done. By the end my right thigh was feeling tight. Day off tomorrow me thinks and by way of a reward for persevering tonight I made myself a truly wicked pair of cheese and bacon toasties. They were absolutely oozing full with cheese and I'm feeling a bit heavy now but I care not...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Non-active Recovery Yesterday, Bike Session Today

I plumped for the short course Tour de Zwift stage 5 and started steady, middle of the pack. I pushed on a bit on the first little undulation, testing my leg freshness - they weren't feeling fresh. I felt I was working too hard. With the 10ish k stage 5 run planned for tomorrow, I eased off for the rest of the 20k ride. Overall it wasn't a bad session and it's always nice to stay in the same group of riders for most of the ride.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Legs Were A Bit Achy

But I managed to haul myself out into the cool evening for a muddy run through Flaxley Wood with the Longhope Runners. The pace was low and there was lots of slipping and sliding. An ideal recovery run. Up tomorrow is another recovery day with an easy Zwift ride.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Followed Through...

With the swap as I managed to get my ass out the door for the planned 'long' run. It wasn't raining so I wasn't complaining. As expected, it was hard work. I'm beginning to wonder if I can get myself ready for the Bath HM, mid March. There is so little time and I really am a pitiful excuse for a runner. Trying to balance not doing too much too soon and doing enough is a challenge. I'm having to put the fell running on the back burner. I was hoping to make my return soon but I need to focus on long runs on the weekend, inching up the distance week by week for the next four to five weeks. Up tomorrow is a run out with the Longhope runners.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

So I Did The Swap...

But it was a difficult decision...

My running legs definitely needed an extra day to recover but on the negative side, the forecast is for rain, much more than the drizzle of today. Hopefully I'll manage to summon the will to head out into the wetness.

Today I complete stage 4 of the TdZ on the bike. I took it very easy on the flat sections but did find myself putting in a bit of effort on the 2k climb at the end of the lap - which we did twice. I didn't go overboard so my legs should be a bit more rested than today and ready for that run tomorrow...

Friday, January 24, 2020

Feeling A Bit Jaded

I think sitting down all day in the office didn't help me get going tonight. I was keen to get stage 4 of the Tour de Zwift run and hit the treadmill after work but I couldn't get going. Yesterday's stage 3 on the bike probably added to the feeling of heavy legs. That was good and I went at it pretty hard especially the final sprint. In a group of about ten into the final sprint section I was determined to take it and went from 300m out. I was out of the saddle and putting it down, with 100m to go the pack was closing me down and I went again, adding another 100W to hold on over the line. My timing was spot on. If it'd been another 10m I'd have been taken...

Back to tonight, after the first kilometre it turned into intervals because I knew I wasn't going to enjoy a slow 8k plod. The intervals ranged from 1k to 400m with 200m recovery. I was planning on a longer run tomorrow but I might switch that to Sunday and do an easy bike session tomorrow instead.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Ended Up As A Rest Day Yesterday

But I was back on it again tonight with stage 3 of the TdZ on foot with 120+ other virtual sad gits. Only 5.7km but that was enough after a long day at at work. I was feeling tired on the drive home up the motorway but I wasn't not doing it - ssh, don't alert the grammar police! I didn't have much time to prepare once I got home and didn't really warm up properly before the off. Inside the first kilometre I was wondering if I was going to be reduced to a walk break as my legs felt really tight but I jogged on and got through it, making it to the end in one piece. Up tomorrow is more of the tour but in the saddle...

Monday, January 20, 2020

Cold One Tonight

I started the days training with three laps of the virtual track to warm up before heading out into the cold. I was out with the Longhope runners again and tonight we ran about 5k to the three extremities of the village. I went off too quick and paid the price but then again it was my sixth run in seven days so maybe that had something to do with it but I haven't been feeling much fatigue so I don't really think that was a factor. It is going to be an easy recovery day tomorrow on the bike though or maybe just a go on the comfy sofa with my feet up. We shall see...

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The End of a Good Weeks Training

and for the first time in years I very nearly feel a keenness to train rather than feeling like it's a necessary evil - note, I did say very nearly.... Today I ran the first of a three race series on #Zwift on the track. Each race is only short, with the focus on PB'ing. I ramped it up from a slow start to finish slightly less slow - but definitely far from fast. I've set my marker, and next month I will gauge my training by running it faster, ramping it up the same way but starting and hopefully finishing faster.

Anyway, I've managed seven training sessions this week, five of which were runs but I don't feel I've over done things as my legs feel good and they've not all been full on. It's been a good mix. Onwards and upwards.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Nudging Up The Distance

The schedule was for 12k. And I managed to stick to the schedule. Happy with that. It was slow but looking for the positives it was a goodly time on feet. Over all it's been a good week of training, my longest run for a while and also a big step up in the weekly mileage. Importantly, without feeling like I've over done thing. The clock is well and truly ticking towards the Bath Half but I'm feeling more positive I can get in enough training to make it round (albeit in a personal worst time). 

Friday, January 17, 2020

TdZ Stage 2 in the Saddle

A repeat of stage 2 Tour de Zwift but on the bike this time. We rode two laps of the Innsbruckring for an 18k ride total. I took it steady on the first lap - until we hit the hill where I tested myself a little. I gained almost fifty places on the short but sharp climb. From there I put in a bit more effort and held things before the climb for second time, where I gained around another twenty five places. I then pushed it hard into the finish to try and keep the gains and finished respectably well inside the top half of the group - first time in a while. Not that it's a race - 'cept people do!

Not going to let on my plans for the weekend in case I'm a lazy git and don't manage to stick to them... 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

TdZ Stage 2

Felt pretty up for the 9km of stage 2 of the Tour de Zwift tonight. There was no hint of hitting the couch - well not until I was done. I set off pathetically slowly and nudged up the pace every few minutes. A quick 9km it was not but it was steady and my final heart rate was high. That's three days in a row and it was my longest, consistent run for a while and one to build on from. Next up is... well, it's stage 2 of the Tour de Zwift of course, but this time in the saddle...

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Steady build with a few quick bits

So I'm now moving towards extending the run - I actually pretty much need to as time is running out for Bath! It was a 4k build up with four 200m/r200m reps to finish. 6k in all. Managed to keep the heart rate a little lower tonight, or more accurately the peak wasn't quite as high. Up tomorrow is the 9k of the second stage of the Tour de Zwift, followed Friday by stage 2 of the bike version (hopefully).

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Bit Of A Run After Work

So I didn't make it out for a run yesterday. Still wasn't feeling 100% and with the weather... well suffice to say it wasn't going to happen. I sort of made amends tonight with a 5k go on the treadmill [it's still s#!t out and I'm a pussy]. It was okay and hopefully I will pick up a few more runs through the week. My fitness is still terrible but at some point soon I'm going to head back to the hills to come last or there abouts fell 'racing'...

Sunday, January 12, 2020

A Tour Double

Still feeling a bit off but that didn't stop me. I started the days training with stage 1 of the Tour de Zwift on the bike. Then a two hour break before I was off on stage 1 for the runners. It was the biggest field I've run in on Zwift, there were over 250 of us. Gave a bit of focus to chase down those ahead after a slow start. 5.7km.

For the bike I chose the short, flat option. Just 31km and next to no climb. It was an equivalently big field as that of the run that followed. That allowed for higher speeds in the draft - just as well as my power wasn't high. Good day's training.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Been Feeling A Bit Off

Managed a run of sorts yesterday. Was okay but harder work than it should have been. I had planned another run today but feeling a bit off. I was close to ducking out altogether but I mustered for a Zwift ride workout although I did dial the power down. Hoping to get a goods nights sleep, feel better and make a start on the opening day of the Tour de Zwift. They've made it bike and run this year and I'm hoping to complete the seven stages in both formats.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Back Out With LHR Massif

But my legs knew I'd done the intervals yesterday. We were running a twenty-twenty session. Twenty minutes out. Turn round. Twenty minutes back. I went off too quick and my legs said no. I eased off but by that point I was plodding - and still puffing like an asthmatic donkey heading to the knacker's yard. Definitely a running rest day tomorrow. Maybe a very easy recovery Zwift ride instead...

Sunday, January 05, 2020

More Reps

A proper session this time. Ten 300m reps off 100m recovery on the virtual track. I was on the limit by the last couple, my heart rate just not quite recovering before the start of the next putting me into deficit. With only a couple to go I was able to hold it together, focusing on holding my form. It's still all pretty pitiful on the pace front but I've got to knuckle down from here on in. I'm out with the Longhope runners again tomorrow and then it'll be something midweek.

PS, have to say I am enjoying the virtual track. Almost feels like the real thing.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Virtual Park Run....

Because I overslept big time. Alarm went off at half seven. Thought I'd catch a few extra moments of slumber - which turned out to be an extra hour and a half of slumber! I guess I must have needed it. Suffice to say I didn't make the Mallards Pike park run. Instead I hit the treadmill for a virtual park run. Not quite the same but better than nothing.