Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Bit of Group Training Tonight

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

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Bit of Crit on a Monday Evening

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

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Into The Forest...

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

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Back With A Few Speed Reps

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Recovery Start To The Week

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

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Big Bad Ben Nevis Bagged - Virtually

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

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Hilly Group Ride

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

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

Friday, April 17, 2020

Snowdon, Virtual Peak Number Three

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Peak Number Two Complete

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

I've Gone Hilly Silly

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 13, 2020

Something A Little Different

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

Saturday, April 11, 2020

As Expected...

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

Was not having that!

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

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

Friday, April 10, 2020

And A Bit More Training

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

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

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

Thursday, April 09, 2020

A Better Day's Training

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

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

Monday, April 06, 2020

Tired Legs

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

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Hill-less Hill Run

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

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Virtual Park Run Saturday

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

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

Friday, April 03, 2020

Got My Fix...

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

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Getting the Shakes...

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

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