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.