Friday, May 31, 2019

And The Verdict...

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

Thursday, May 30, 2019

So How Will It Be Tomorrow?

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

stats graph

Monday, May 27, 2019

Decent Work Out

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

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Heading Away From Easy...

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

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

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Been An Easier Week

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Massive PB To Round Out The Tour

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

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

Monday, May 20, 2019

And He Sayeth Unto Me...

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

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

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Almost There...

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

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

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

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Now That Was Some Training...

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

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

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

All in all a pleasing day of training.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Grim Reaping...

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

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

Thursday, May 16, 2019

It's Still Lingering...

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

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

My Legs Are Still Fatigued But...

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

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

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Virtual Stage 1 Giro d'Italia

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

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

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

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

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Clocked Up Some Good Time On Feet In The Mountains

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

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

And Yet Another Tester

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

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Another Little Tester

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

Monday, May 06, 2019

Stage 5 Of The Tour...

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

Sunday, May 05, 2019

A Very Gentle Jog...

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

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Zipping Along...

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

Friday, May 03, 2019

Finally Managed Some Training

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