Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Short Virtual Track Session!

Yes, Zwift has finally built a 400m track! You'd think that would be the last thing you'd want for treadmill running. I've been hoping they'd create one for ages and I was hoping it would feel as focusing as being on a real world track. I can report I found myself more absorbed then ever. It felt more than ever like actually closing down the rep as you ran. If I'm honest I didn't really go at it this evening. It was more of a tester into how well the virtual track would work and I'm happy that it's going to be just the ticker for intervals. It's a thumbs up from me.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Foiled By The Laughter

So I thought I'd try a tester on the #Zwift 'crit' course on two feet rather than the bike. A one lap blast - fast it turned out not to be but a blast it was. I got the giggles during the start and could hardly run. It was the largest run field I've been in, some 50+ runners so I was looking forward to some proper racing. That was before the start....

As we got under way, leaving the starting pen, heading for the start line, a few of the runners turned tail and headed back to the start pen - bit odd I thought. Then my little virtual self did the same, as I turned tail and headed back down the start pen, followed by quite a few of the other runners but far from all. I wondered what the heck was going on!

Then when reached the end, we milled around for a few seconds before turning once more to head back to the start. This time, way back in the field, we actually made it to the start line. By that time I was laughing my socks off. It was so funny watching us helplessly running the wrong way and then dilly dallying around at the end before finally going in the right direction.

It took me half a lap to recover my senses but by then the fast blast wasn't. I did ramp up the pace through to the end. After that I carried on for another two laps and turned the session into intervals, hitting three faster 250m efforts in the midst of some steadier running. Reaching a maximum speed of 15.5kph. An enjoyable 6k all told but I look forward to repeating a race on the crit at a later date - hopefully without the faulty start next time.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Oops, Missed The Start

So I thought I'd try out the new 'crit' course on Zwift with a little bit of racing. Eight laps of the 2km course. All was good, logged in and ready to go. Then, during the pre-race warm up, I got caught up watching a key bit of the Witcher, my focus was on that and I missed the start - doh!! Only by a few seconds but that was enough. These races always start like a bomb going off. There was no catching the pack and that was that.

I enjoyed the new course though. The time flys on such a short lap and it's short enough to try setting a new lap PB every other lap. One lap on, one lap recovery. And after all was done, I managed not to come last, overtaking a solitary rider on the penultimate lap.

PS, still not totally getting the Witcher. I'll try a few more episodes before I call it a bad lot and move on.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Back To It

After a few days rest I got back to the training with an interval session. Nothing too ambitious. Started with slightly longer reps and moved to shorter and faster ones. I focused on my running form. I've been a bit of a stomper since I've got back into things this last year. My stride length is pitifully short these days. I decided it's time to try and get some form. I got up on the balls of my feet and increased my stride and it felt good.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Almost A Fail....

Having completed stage 1 of the #Zwift Tour of London first thing this morning (16km) I was recovering ahead of stage 5 when the power went off! A quick view of the Western Power website suggested it wouldn't be back on until after the start - doh. Oh well, my legs felt a bit tired anyway and stage 5 had a pretty tough finish, at the top of the Fox Hill climb. Perhaps it was the universe telling me something....

Or perhaps not, as the power came back on with just under ten minutes till the start. I was able to get everything booted and ready to go just in time. Ninety minutes later I'd completed the 37km, 400m ascent of stage 5 of the Tour of London and so completed the full tour.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

First Park Run For A While...

Saying that. I've only parkrunned six times in total so it's not like it's ever been a regular thing for me. Despite being rusty, despite being slow, despite getting a stitch, I 'enjoyed' it and I'm glad for the invite from an old friend to go run it. I really shall try and run a few more as it's good training. Oh, and for the record it was the Mallards Pike one.

I finished off the days training with stage 4 of the Tour of London on Zwift. I've let it late to complete the tour as it ends tomorrow and I've still stages 1 and 5 to complete - that's tomorrow's training sorted...

Friday, December 20, 2019

Zwift Racing is Fun

I've had a few days off the training for various reasons. Decided on a #Zwift race tonight. A three lapper on the volcano flat route. 37km total and not much ascent. I wasn't feeling it early on. The first lap was slow and I was at the back. I didn't really pick up many places on laps two and three but I ended up in a race - a race of five. There were three of us grouped on lap two and we picked up two more into the start of lap three. I tried a few raised efforts on the front to see if anyone would come with me to get a break but no one wanted to help so we stayed as a group. I formulated a plan...

The volcano route is flat but there are a couple of very short ups and I felt I could use those so on the second to last short up I increased the effort. I got clear but knew it was too far out to maintain. I had splintered the group though and while I sat up to recover they had to increase their efforts to get back to me. While I recovered they worked.

As we regrouped and reached the final gentle up, with about 1km to go, I hit the gas and went for it. 320W for 30s followed by 220-250W for the final 60s surge to the finish. No one responded and I ended well clear. I was both surprised and pleased with my final 90s. Didn't think I had that in the legs. Maybe I'll work a bit harder in the early stages of my next race...

Monday, December 16, 2019

Back Out With the Locals

I was out with the Longhope running group again tonight. A far cry from last weeks mudfest, tonight we did hill reps on the road. It's been a while so despite the rep only being a relatively short effort and not overly steep I was still glad to hit the final one of ten. We ran in pairs as a relay. Up and back and then handing over the baton - there wasn't really a baton. I did not feel very quick, in fact I felt pretty heavy footed but the session went quickly and I was glad we only ran ten. It was a far cry from my heyday.

In the after run stats analysis I was surprised to see the power stats so high on the up. 400W vs my current flat run power of 190W. From how heavy footed and slow it felt I'm surprised by the figures. It'll be interesting to monitor the data in the coming months for signs of improvement...

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Another Stage

My legs weren't too achy today but I've been feeling a bit stomachy bloaty the last couple of days. I get it from time to time. Makes me feel uncomfortable but not too under the the weather. It isn't good for the jiggling up and down that is running so I hit the Zwift again. Stage 3 of the Tour of London. 42km, 500m ascent.

My legs definitely weren't feeling fresh and I took a good time to build into it. There were almost 1200 of us riding and I was back outside the top 1000 for the first few kilometers. I gradually felt a bit freer and gradually moved up. I didn't make the larger gains until the Surrey and Box Hill climbs where I moved up to 820 - before I dropped the chain and slipped back to 840 before getting back to 825 by the finish.

It wasn't my most powerful ride but it felt like a good workout. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Back To The Summit

Skirrid this time for the aptly named Skirrid fell race. I covered 7.5km all told, there and back. A steady walk across the boggy fields and slippy slopes of the Skirrid with about 375m ascent in total. It wasn't snowy this year but the wind on top was biting. I timed my journey up about right. I was at the trig with 5 minutes before the race start, ready to set the summit timer going.

I was marshalling with JD and it was fortunate there were two of us. With four digit numbers to record along with having to shout at runners to show their numbers and a field of 117, the runners came thick and fast. Too thick and fast and so after the first 35 runners I had to drop to just recording the times while JD did the numbers.

I was chief shouter. Yelling at the runners to show their numbers - funnily I've not yet mastered the art of x-ray vision or bendy vision for those runners fixing the number to the side of their legs - yes, you know who you are.

The key to recording the times and numbers of runners coming in groups of three or four is to be able to spot the numbers from as far away as possible. Once they are on you - not literally - because you've had to wait to see their number it's game over. There will no doubt be a fair number of errors but we did our best.

With the 117 runners through I headed back down into the warm.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Non-Political Post

So I missed Stage 1 of the Zwift Tour of London on Monday/Tuesday but I can make that up at the end. Tonight it was stage 2. I plumped for the long course so that meant a double dose of the virtual Box Hill. 40km, 400+ metres ascent. I took it easy as I've been feeling fatigued from reading all the nonsense posted over the last few weeks. Anyway, it was an enjoyable virtual ride with over 2000 of us riding out. The road was clear, not a single car or extinction rebellion protester (oops, bit political there) to slow our progress - that was done by my lack of energy. Good workout.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Bit Slippy!

No, I didn't spill grease on the treadmill. I got out into the real world! Bit scary... (not really). Yes, I finally managed to get myself organised and enthused to go run with the Longhope running group. On a surprisingly chilly evening eighteen of us, head torches at the ready, headed out onto the trails surrounding the village. There was plenty of mud, much slipping and the best bit, it was all very easy going. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be aiming to make it a regular occurrence....

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Treadmill Time

A gentle 4 miles. My left hip was giving me a bit of jip but I think more because I've not managed much this week. Not a lot more to say. This coming week should be less heavy work-wise so I'm aiming to try and run most days. Little and often and then build up the miles from there.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Only Got Lapped Once...

In today's eight lap race in virtual Harrogate. I pushed a bit harder today but I could definitely feel yesterday's training in my legs. I was going to run after but if I'm honest, I was knackered after the effort of the ride. Perhaps I should do the run bit before I do the riding next time.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Back To It

I enjoyed today's Zwift ride. 41km. It wasn't a race so I started steady and built into. My legs, after the few days off, took a while to get going. It was 4 laps and by the final one I was putting in some solid effort. After a few hours recovery I hit the treadmill for an incline session. Setting it to 12% I ran about ten short hill reps, leaving the incline at 12% for the recovery. I think my legs have recovered from last Saturday so I really need to find another big hill to 'run' up to keep the ball rolling.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Lacking The Will

Not been the greatest week of training so far. My legs are just about ready to go again but I'm feeling tired after a long day at work. Tomorrow....

Monday, December 02, 2019

No Possibility of Training Tonight

My quads have stiffened right up adding to yesterday's soreness. I can barely traverse the stairs. Saturday's walk up Blorenge did proper muscle damage so it's healing time before I crack on. Did the walk count as a training session? I wasn't counting it but based on how destroyed my legs feel I think I am now...

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Didn't Expect That...

My quads are sore as f*(%! And all I did was walk up the Blorenge and jog back down. Really rams home the message that the only way to train your body to ascend bloody steep hills is to ascend bloody steep hills. I'm going to make a concerted effort to book in some time in the hills....

With my legs really sore I wasn't going to run so I did a steady 1:15hr Zwift 'race', the third and final stage of the Giro di Catelli. I didn't really race but I did put in as much effort as my sore legs would allow and I finished stronger than I started so I think it was a good session to get some blood flowing through the legs.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Chilly On Top

So I wasn't running today but I was back in the mountains. I was summit marshal for the Blorenge Fell race, taking the times so the runners can see how good or bad they are ascending or descending. I set out with plenty of time but by 'eck I'd forgotten how bloody steep the ascent up Blorenge is! Even walking my legs were burning under the effort. And hot? I had steam coming out the tops of my three jackets by the time I finally got to the top - and yes, I was glad of the three jackets by the time the last runners were coming through. Once that last runner was through I jogged back down, following the race route, as a makeshift sweeper - got bloody damn hot again by the finish.

Looking at how my training is going, I'm feeling fitter but after today's walk up Blorenge there's no alternative, I'm going to have to start hitting the hills if I'm wanting to hit the fell racing again...

Friday, November 29, 2019

Managed To Get Back To It Today

After a gap of a few days I managed to get back on it with the #Zwift Giro di Castelli stage 1. It was a group race on the Bologna time trial course. I took it steady for the first 6km, to the bottom of the hill and from there the hard work began. I upped the power towards my old FTP for the entirety of the steep 2km climb to the finish and gained somewhere near fifty places - which from a field of 330 wasn't too bad an effort. I continued on back down as a cool down to ride out 30 minutes of cycling.

Up tomorrow I'm to freeze my balls off stood and the top of the Blorenge recording the summit times of the fell runners taking part, funnily enough, in the Blorenge Fell Race. Warm I do not expect to be....

Monday, November 25, 2019

Two For The Price Of One

I decided to run some higher pace intervals today to try and reintroduce my legs to going quicker. Fourteen reps; seven pairs of 200m at 120%, recovery, 300m at 100%, recovery. The recovery between the efforts enough to get my heart rate down sufficiently. That took me to 8km.

During the cool-down I decided to keep going for a bit and get some good time on feet as that's been lacking of late. In the end I ended up clocking 12.5km. Longest run for a while and it's the first run for a while where I didn't feel congested. I can feel it in my legs now though.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Had To Admit Defeat...

and reduce the effort level half way through today's bike workout. I didn't feel too fatigued after yesterday's training but by half way I was feeling differently. I was blowing and had no choice but to reduce the level a bit. It was a good hard session - fnah fnah - but I decided not to flog myself for a run. I'll save that for tomorrow.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

It's Been A Light Week

Still not feeling a hundred percent, coupled with a few long ones at work and the result was a distinct lack of training during the week. I mustered the enthusiasm for some training today and it wasn't a bad session. I completed workout number four of the Zwift Tri Academy on the treadmill before waiting a couple of hours and then completing the equivalent workout on the bike. The bike session was pretty tough and during the first couple of reps I was close to reducing the effort but I dug in and completed. My throat is now feeling sore. Hopefully the cat won't bring in any mice tonight so I can get a good restorative nights sleep - chasing mice around the bedroom at 3am is not the ideal way to recharge the batteries...

Monday, November 18, 2019

My Legs Are Well Knackered Now

My legs felt a tiny bit achy this morning so I decided on a bike session. And today's bike session had some proper efforts. There was no 'I felt I could go a bit harder' this time. The session was just under the hour with the main component being just four 2 minute ramp beyond FTP with the final 15s being a 'sprint' to the line. I knew I was working. Winding the clock on six hours to now and I definitely know I was working. My quads have suddenly started aching. A dull ache. A heavy leg kind of aching rather than soreness. I am hoping I have not over done it again..... Definitely a rest day tomorrow (and possibly the day after too!)

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Decent Week's Training

Without overdoing. The fitness trend is gently heading in the right direction without registering too much fatigue. More of the same in the coming week. I'd like to see faster gains but I'm not risking setting myself back by going at it too hard plus I've still got the tail end of this damn cold lingering on. Today I ran an easy 5k on the treadmill. Probably another run of some sort tomorrow and then a rest day. I've a day off tomorrow so it'd be wasteful to use it as a rest day or though really it probably should be.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Run and a Ride

I got aboard the treadmill for the second Zwift Tri Academy workout. I dialled the effort down a bit as I'm still nasally congested. It was hard work but without overdoing it, four x 800m with a bit of a warm up. After an hours break I was in the saddle for a Tri Academy time trial, 22km. I didn't go at it stupidly as my legs were feeling the earlier run. After a gentle first half I put in a few sections of effort to chase down the riders ahead.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Workout Two (Bike) Zwift Tri Academy

I decided to nudge my FTP back up a little before the start of the second workout. Not that I'm feeling particularly topper, this damn cold is dragging on a bit. No, I put it back up a little because I think I've been riding overly within the comfort zone. Turns out it was probably the right move because I was able to complete without too much issue and if I'm honest I could probably have gone at it a bit harder, the session didn't hurt - and they're supposed to.... I guess I'll put it up another five watts for number three.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

It Wasn't Happening For Me Tonight

Feeling tired, I was in two minds about the planned session. As it turned out I probably should've passed. I started tonight's group Zwift Tri Academy session but I didn't complete. After the first rep I was feeling congested, my breathing wasn't great and my heart rate beyond where it should've been. I adjusted things down a little and stepped off after hitting the 5k mark. Disappointing but better to abort than doggedly continue and make myself worse.

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Reasonable Start To The Week...

training wise but I'm still sneezing like a bastard. I don't yet feel 100% but my resting heart has come back down to normal so the cold is definitely on it's last legs - just in time to go back to work... Yes, I had a day off today as I've got to use it or lose it.

I was going to head out over to Dymock Wood but decided with the cold still in the mix it would be more sensible to stay in the warm and dry. I did a session of six reps, each rep was 200m easy, faster, 'fast' with 1km warm up and cool down. I found the higher pace section slightly easier than of the last few days.

I followed the treadmill session with a 72 minute group workout - the Zwift Tri Academy has begun.... I need to complete 7 group workout rides and 5 group runs to graduate the Academy. Should give me a good focus...

Coming up in the week, I've a couple of longer works days tomorrow and Thursday so I've scheduled in a run for Wednesday and ride for Friday. Then on the weekend I've a choice. I really want to 'run' the Llyn y Fan fell race but at 9k with 700m ascent, sense would suggest it is beyond me at the moment. The other option is some forest orienteering. A Decision will be made at some point.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Moving Into The End Game

Yes, I've moved into the runny nose phase. Not coughing quite as much and the throat is no longer sore so I'm taking that to indicate I'm winning the war of the cold. I managed to get on the treadmill today. Not gonna say it was the best but I didn't over do it and I feel better for having done it.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

It's Getting On my Nerves Now

This bloody cold. Do I rest and lose fitness or do something but at reduced intensity and it slow me getting shot of this cold? I was going to do the treadmill but it wasn't any good for my cough and I aborted after a couple of minutes. I reverted to a group ride on Zwift but even that was beyond me and I got dropped. I got off but as I hadn't even done half an hour I got back on to complete about 40 minutes in total. Hoping for a run tomorrow but we'll see...

Friday, November 08, 2019

Pushed Back The Schedule

Still feeling a bit off. The sore throat is easing but the cough is still phlegming annoying. On top of that I've had a headache three days running - and I never get headaches. The last time I took paracetamol or any type of painkiller was 1992, so I'll just put up with it. Decided to skip tonight's scheduled run and hope I feel better tomorrow...

Suffice to say I probably won't be going to the orienteering that I was looking to attend. It's been a while - guess it's likely going to be a little while longer...

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Turning Kind of Phlegmy...

Sounds like it could be a song by The Vapors! But seriously, the sore throat is still store, the cough still coughy and now the phlegm is kicking in. Not ideal but I carried on with the schedule - a #Zwift ride. I didn't want to just pootle and as I scanned for a race. There was one with 100+ riders just about to get underway so I hit select, jumped in the saddle and just got things set up just in time for the start.

Despite not wanting to pootle, within mere moments I was getting my ass handed to me on a plate. Practically last place from the get go. Still, I pedalled as fast as my limited capacity would let me. I rode the first two laps (of five) with one other rider at the back and despite edging up the power, couldn't break him. I formulated a plan....

At the end of the second lap, on the short climb to the start/finish 'straight' (it's not actually straight) I got out of the saddle, put the hammer down and left him standing. Keeping the power down for a minute or two to make sure of the gap, I then had a coughing fit - but despite that managed to remain away.

During the third lap I caught another rider and together we picked up a few more on the road ahead. Into the final kilometre on the final lap, with the group up to five, I employed the same tactic as before and hammered it on the final climb, splintering the group and then keeping clear to cross the line in not last place - cue another coughing fit.

Probably wasn't the most sensible thing. My throat is more sore than before but hopefully the 45 minute of effort won't have been too detrimental. I feel all the better for it - apart from the sorer throat, more coughing and mucho phlegm...

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Didn't Think That Through...

I've had a bit of a sore throat this week that's turned into a tickly cough today. Didn't really think about that when I attempted to re-run my 5k hard and harder effort session with another small increase in the pace. It did not go particularly well....

I managed the first couple of reps at the increased pace but the effort was too tough to maintain. I completed the 5k session but had to keep reining in the pace in order to get to the finish line. My throat is feeling sore again. You stupid boy!

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Well That Wasn't Quite The Easy Recovery Ride

Meant to be an easy recovery ride but ended up being a bit longer in the saddle than planned. It was a group ride with 2000+ riders and very enjoyable but at just over 90 minutes, was a bit more than I should've done. Partly due to recent changes to the simulation feel of rough track, where the rolling resistance has been increased. The 10k section through the jungle was harder work than it used to be. Overall I took it pretty sensible pace/effort wise but legs still felt like they'd done a bit too much work. Definitely a rest day tomorrow or I'm in danger of overdoing it.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Double Hour

I was planning on getting out for a run - that changed when I looked out at the rain washing across the drive. Treadmill it was then and I selected the Movember 10km group run. If enough Zwifters clock up enough hours through November, either on foot or by pedal, then Zwift will donate $25,000 to the Movember prostate charity. It wasn't a bad effort, faster than of late (but that's not saying much).

A couple of hours later I followed up with a Movember 60 minute group ride. My legs felt a bit off in the first ten minutes and I wondered if I was being sensible what with the setback of a few months ago but after that I settled in and the legs felt much better. Ended up feeling better and better through the ride. By midway I was in a group of about ten and I was actually the one pulling most of the time on the front. It wasn't a race, just a ride but even so I tried breaking away on the short, gentle climb section. If I could get up the road to the group ahead..... but I didn't. They were just a bit too far ahead and I sat up to finish the ride in the group.

A good days workout. Probably a rest day tomorrow but maybe a very gentle something....

Friday, November 01, 2019

Short Run, Longer Bike

I was in two minds tonight. I wanted a run but as I haven't ridden all week, I wanted that too. The early starts has left me feeling a bit jaded - hence the lack of much training.In the end I went with a reasonably pacey (based on current form) short group run, 2.4km. I was up towards my current top pace without puffing too badly. Definitely feel there's more to come. Hopped straight on the bike for a couple of laps of a group ride at a decent pace/effort, 30 minutes. Aiming for a longer run tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I've Been A Silly Boy...

Only gone and got sucked in to running the Bath Half Marathon as part of a team from work. It's only nineteen weeks away and at the moment 10k is struggle, my pace pathetic. My half PB of 1:22hr seems a lifetime away. At my current level of fitness I'll be lucky to make it round in 2:22hr.

On to tonight, I repeated last weeks 5k session. Short warmup followed by five sets of hard (400m), harder (200m), easy (200m). I increased the session pace by 4% from last week. It felt hard by the last effort - ooh matron, behave - but no harder than last weeks session. So maybe, slowly, slowly, I'm making gains.

19 weeks though!..... Eek.... Not... enough.... time.........

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Decent Weeks Training Complete

Yesterday was an hours bike workout, speed endurance. Today was a repeat of last weekends 10k, increasing the pace 4% this time. It's all going in the right direction if somewhat slowly but I'm keeping to the plan. It's the final destination that counts, not how long it takes to get there. Probably a rest day tomorrow or maybe a very gentle spin on the bike.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Much Better Today

After a rather disappointing effort yesterday today's session went to the schedule. 6.4k ramping the pace up in 200m sections to the midpoint and then back down again. It's another session I'll run again, increasing the effort a few percent each time to gauge my progress.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Went Through The Motions

I've been feeling a bit tired this week, today I've a bit of a sore throat and if I'm honest I wasn't feeling it. That all built for a very short go on the treadmill. Going to get a good night's sleep and get out there for something more ambitious tomorrow.

On other running news, I've discovered a low key running group right here in the village. They run Monday nights so I'm going to try and get along to that when I can. 

Monday, October 21, 2019


5k's worth of intrvals on the treadmill today. 400m effort followed by 200m harder effort and then 200m recovery. Rinse and repeat. I could feel it in my legs come the last couple so the effort was about right. Didn't push things too far over as I'm still not ready to risk over egging it. I'm happy to inch forward slowly rather than crash and burn like before. It's either an easy bike session or full rest tomorrow. See how I feel.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Enjoyed Today's Group Ride

I decided to ride the same session as last week. Two laps of the Harrogate course as a group ride with the last 7k, starting at the final climb, switching to all out war. I had a bit of trouble early doors with my rear cassette shifter. It was mis-aligned and kept flipping between gears. Must have knocked the bike or something. Anyway, I persevered for a lap before deciding I couldn't put up with it anymore.

It was like a Tour de France pit stop. I hopped off the bike and gave the barrel thingy a bit of a twist to visually align the coggy things before jumping back on. Despite being still in the group ride phase, I was well dropped. Dead last but I blasted for it - as best I can blast at the moment. I had to hit it hard for a good five minutes and at first I didn't think I was making any headway but finally I could see the gap closing and I got back on. I was a bit wasted for the effort but had a few kilometres to recover before the racing kicked off.

The earlier effort had taken the edge off. The climb was okay but I paid for that earlier effort. Still it was a good solid ride in to the finish. A good days training. Back on the treadmill tomorrow...

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Slow But A Bit Further

So I decided to increase my time on feet for today's run. I kept the pace pitifully low so I was able to complete the full 10k at the defined pacing. I set up the work out in TrainingPeaks so I can repeat it and slowly, over the weeks, nudge up the pace. My heart rate was steady at the top of my Tempo zone, just nudging into Threshold - so I really am that unfit - or broken, as things were a lot better three months ago... 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Bike Workout Tonight

Thought I'd try a structured workout tonight. It was alright but I'm still not sure everything is as it should be. The effort wasn't beyond me but I felt my legs were working harder than they should have been. It's a run day tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

So So

Struggled a bit with the training today. Yesterday was a bit of a fail as well. A bike session that I aborted twenty minutes in as I couldn't keep up with the relatively low power group ride. I put it off as one of those things but today's run wasn't great either. Not a total disaster but I felt I was ready to nudge things on, instead the session was a slight step back as I needed a few extra easy sections. I did hit a higher top speed though.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

A Good Days Training

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Incy-wincy Bit More Pace

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

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Back To It

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

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

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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

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

Monday, October 07, 2019

Third Day In A Row Now Time For Recovery

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

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Feeling A Bit Better

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

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

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

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Been Feeling A Little Off

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

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Definitely A Rest Day

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

Monday, September 30, 2019

Harder Work

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

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

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Easy Ride

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

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Double (but Without Overdoing It)

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

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

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Putting In A Bit More Effort...

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Another Slow One

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

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

Monday, September 23, 2019

Yep, Definitely Back To Square One...

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

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

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

Sunday, September 22, 2019

No Burn!

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 20, 2019

Slightly Higher Effort After Much Rest

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

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

Sunday, September 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 13, 2019

Been A Quiet Week On The Training Front

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

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Easy Spin

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

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

More spinning to follow...

Saturday, September 07, 2019

The Lawson Influence...

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

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

Friday, September 06, 2019

About As Bad As I Expected....

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

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

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Three Lakes Challenge

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

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

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

The route is anti-clockwise starting and finishing at HQ

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

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

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Recovery Day And A Clean Chain

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

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Almost Needed A Sweeper Myself...

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

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Better But Not Totally Convinced

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

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

RHR Getting There...

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

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Day Of Rest

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

Sunday, August 25, 2019

That Was A Tad Hot

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

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Forgot How Nice Dymock Woods Are

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

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

Today's route (clockwise)

Friday, August 23, 2019

Six Of The Best?

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

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Just Easy One

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Feeling Tired

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

Monday, August 19, 2019

Jog On

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

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Managed To Complete Today's Rematch

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

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Going Through A Bad Patch

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

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

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

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Couple Of Days Rest...

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

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Really Need A Rest

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

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

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

Sunday, August 11, 2019

That's Me Done

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

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

Tomorrow is a rest day...

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bit Lacklustre

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

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Solid Workout

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

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

Wednesday, August 07, 2019


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

Monday, August 05, 2019

Even Harder Work...

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

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

Sunday, August 04, 2019

That Was Hard Work

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

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

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Not My Best

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

Friday, August 02, 2019

Gentle Jog

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

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Virtual World, Real Riders

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

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

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Eight Four Hundreds

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Enjoyed That Burn Up...

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

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

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Bit Lacklustre

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

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

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

Friday, July 26, 2019

Random Intervals

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

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

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Not The Weather For Me...

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Back In The Saddle...

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Failed It

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

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

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Finally, After Two Push Backs...

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

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

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

Friday, July 19, 2019

Rejigged the Schedule...

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

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

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Easy One Back On Two Feet

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Should've But I Didn't...

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

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

Monday, July 15, 2019

Legs Hurt

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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Duty Bound To Go Run...

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 13, 2019

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

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

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

Friday, July 12, 2019

So It's The Big Weekend Ahead...

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

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

Thursday, July 11, 2019

I Enjoyed That

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did I mention, I bloody love racing on #Zwift

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Easy Group Ride...

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

Monday, July 08, 2019

Row and Run

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

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Easy Sunday

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

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Solid Days Training

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 05, 2019

It Was Very Hot...

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

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Another Not Great One

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

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

Monday, July 01, 2019

Channelled The Exasperation...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 30, 2019

50,000m Above The Sea

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

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

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Still Feeling Off Form...

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

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Harder Than It Should've Been

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Keeping It Easy

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

It's Been Surprisingly Difficult...

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

Sunday, June 23, 2019

One Word, Knackered

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

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Another Good Effort

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

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

On Plan But Hard Work

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Wasn't Feeling It...

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

Monday, June 17, 2019

And Today A Recovery Run

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

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Recovery Day

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

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