Sunday, October 30, 2022

Another Little Milestone

Okay, it was racked up on the treadmill, but today was my first non-stop 10k of running so far. I didn't exactly pelt it along, but I did run with a 2% incline to give some compensation to it being on the treadmill. I did also increase the pace little by little throughout but never really got to anything approaching fast. Every day is about making a small gain here, a small gain there, here a gain, there a gain, everywhere a gain again... drifted off on one there, for a moment. Those small gains will eventually sum to a big one.

Things are all still on track and more importantly, I'm still mad keen for it. And for the record, training since Wednesday has been a row and recovery ride, the first run session of the Zwift Tri-Academy, a hilly ride and some cardio yesterday and today's run, of course. More Tri-Academy coming up this week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Broke The 3k Barrier

I was close last week, at 2.9k for the 15-minute run section of the duathlon. This week it was time to break that barrier. I didn't spare anything for the run, exactly matching last week's average power on the 35-minute ride. So, I was pleased when I did, in fact, break the 3k barrier. Overall, I scored 5 more points than last week, but with 30% less runners and riders, didn't quite make the top half. There's always another chance in the spring, when we get to do it all again....

Training wise, it's been a medium effort since last week's virtual duathlon. Two runs, three bike sessions and a 5k row. I was mindful of tonight's final duathlon, so wanted to come in with fresh-ish legs but still needed to log some decent training. Coming up over the next three weeks, I'm taking to the Zwifts Tri-Academy training plan, which I kicked off with the first bike session on Monday. The first run session should be Friday, all being well.

Going to feel at a bit of a loose end come next Wednesday...

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

More Than Enjoyed That....

Been waiting all day for it....  The Zwift Duathlon League race three. How bloody sad am I? - Don't answer that.

I took a complete training rest day yesterday in preparation. I was in determined mood and went for it. No holds were barred. Beforehand, I looked up my average power from last week and set this week's effort above and beyond throughout. That rewarded me with a big fat FTP increase of 3% or 6W. Then quickly off the bike and onto the treadmill. Again, I looked out my average pace from last week and from the gun set my pace a little higher.

As to the results, I very nearly, only a few places off, almost made the top half of my age category. Scoring 3.5% more points than last week. More than happy with that. Going to be hard to top that in the final race of the series next week.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Nothing If Not Consistent

It's been more good training this week. Up Wednesday was the second race of the Zwift duathlon race series and I managed to score an impress extra point as compared to last week's score. I was down on the ride, my legs were not feeling fresh, so I was surprised to make up those lost points plus one extra on the run. I might try and factor my rest day in for Tuesday next week, so my legs will be slightly fresher for race number three.

Friday was a good interval session on the 'mill. Above target 5k pace by 45s for 1 minute, laddering down to above target pace by 15s, for 2 minutes 30 and back up again. I set the pace +5% and the incline to 3% to really drive the effort. It was hard but maybe even then I had some more in me. I know the treadmill isn't like real running, but it really focuses me to complete whatever session is in front of me and although not real life, on every session I seem to go a little longer or a little faster - or a bit of both.

Today was a double header. Five 800m reps at ever increasing pace, starting just below 5K target pace for the first one, before hitting +15s above target pace, up to +25s above target. My legs, again, weren't fresh - getting to be a theme, and I know I need to have rest but I'm just so damn keen. Keener than I've been in ten years! I'm monitoring my resting heart rate as an indicator of fatigue and while it's staying level, I'm cracking on. After the run came a 35-minute recovery ride, albeit with five to ten minute of solid climbing effort in the middle, it was mostly lower intensity though.

Probably going to be more tomorrow (we all know that's going to be definitely more tomorrow) ...

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Too Easy...

It was Zwift Academy 2020 workout 5 tonight and it was too easy. I set the treadmill to 3% to make it harder but it was still too easy. I didn't want to increase the pace as I wasn't sure if I'd struggle in the latter stages but in the end it didn't push me. It's definitely a sign I'm getting there. This session would've been hard going a month ago. Going to repeat with a 5% pace increase and see how it goes (but not tonight).

After breaking 26mins for the treadmill 5K on Saturday (with 2% incline), a good 70 minute recovery ride Sunday and a return to the Concept 2 for 20 minutes of steady rowing yesterday, I feel that the 25 minute 5k is almost here - and I mean a real one, not some trumped up treadmill effort!

Looking forward to tomorrows Zwift duathlon...

Friday, October 07, 2022

Academy Accomplished

After Wednesdays virtual duathlon and yesterday's hill reps I was expecting my legs to feel the worse for wear. Happily, I felt okay. Not exactly fresh but not too bad so I decided to attempt the finish ride and see if I'd made any improvement. I was confident I would beat my base ride. And beat it I did. Although I was a little disappointed with the improvement on the long segment, only making a 7% improvement, verses the 14% gain on the sprint and 16% on the medium. Overall, I'm happy. It's all still heading in the right direction...

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Racing Again... Virtually...

Tonight was the start of a four race Zwift duathlon race series taking place over the next four weeks. Ride as far as you can in 35 minutes. Followed by a ten-minute transition to switch across to the treadmill. Then run as far as you can in 15 minutes.

After volunteering to clock 10000 steps a day, Monday to Thursday, for a work thing, my legs weren't feeling entirely fresh. I haven't been exactly pelting it on the treadmill to get the job done, but I have been doing it on a gradient to get some benefit. I can safely say, the legs are feeling even less fresh right now. Suffice to say tomorrow's planned Academy Finish ride is getting pushed back to Saturday, to leave me a rest day Friday.

Back to tonight's race pair and the start of the ride was less than optimal. I was merrily pedalling along in the start pen to get warmed up and, being on the trainer, didn't pay attention to the fact I was in the small front ring - ooh, er, matron! The race started, I cranked up the effort, realised I was in the small, changed to the big - and subsequently took the chain off. Cue 30s of faffing, off the bike, chain back on, me back on and away. That put me dead last but at least I had some rabbits to chase - and chase I did. I went at it hard, not sparing the legs for the run and sustained over 200W for the 35-minute ride. For my effort I triggered another FTP rise. Up by 4W (2%). Pleased with that. what with my less than fresh legs.

Without much pause for thought I was off the bike and onto the treadmill, setting things to run mode, and then ready for the off. I say ready, my legs were feeling a bit wobbly, but a few minutes of walking before the start helped. And before I knew it, it was time for the run.

It was a good run, but overall, I should have had more faith in how the trainings been going. I underestimated my pace and although I steadily increased my pace throughout, I finished with far too much left. I should have had more confidence and set the starting pace higher. I will not make the same mistake next week.... oh, I forgot to say, the racing... I bloody loved it!

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Rest Day Tomorrow...

Training continued to pick up after a slow start to the week to end on a high note. Thursday was good, and for me, very quick short reps. Friday was a short blast on the bike with good power sustained for the duration. Yesterday was another session on the treadmill, workout number four of the 2020 Zwift academy. I knew I was working. It was hard but I stayed focused and was able to slightly increase the pace for the second set of two. And finally, today was the final workout of this year's Zwift academy on the bike. It was another solid session but maybe didn't quite push me as hard as it should have. A sign I'm still improving? Well, I guess we'll see if that's true after the finish ride, which I'm looking to do midweek.

Oh, and I almost forgot, because I had a bit left after the bike session, I decided on a cheeky treadmill race of 7.4km - that's a new Olympic distance category in case you were wondering - not. I wasn't really racing but it's good to have some rabbits to chase. After a hiccup at the start, namely, the grocery delivery turned up, I set the treadmill to my target pace and started chasing. Little by little I inched the pace up. Inch by inch I ran my rabbits down and managed to complete the last 5k in 26:40 which is over a minute up on my 5k marker of a week or two ago. And for the record, I used my now standard 2% incline to match outside effort more closely (or so they say).

I feel I'm making really good progress. I've still a long way to go but as I complete each session, I feel a little fitter, my pace a little faster, with more endurance and more power on the bike.