Friday, December 23, 2022

Skirrid Legs

So I had, what I've called Skirrid legs, for a few days after I marshalled the summit for the race last Saturday. I'm not really sure where I did the damage but my quads where sore and stiff for a couple of days afterwards. I guess the descent, but I was only walking so I wasn't expecting that.

I did a few light Zwift rides before a decent effort on Tuesday. Two sets of 6 two minutes at a good, if not outstanding pace. My legs were still feeling a bit stiff, so I didn't go all in - plus I'm still in my ease back phase till the new year. The pace was decent though. Yesterday was a mile on the treadmill and some more easy Zwifting. Today I was on for another easy 5k on the treadmill but it felt really easy so I ended up cranking up the pace to claim a treadmill pb. The end pace didn't really feel anywhere near all out - okay, it was well on the way towards hard but I hit 5k before it got there. Anyway, Stryd notified me afterwards, that I'd improved my 'critical power' by 7W.

It's going to be mostly easy and random for the next few days, but I think I'll try a more targeted assault to better my treadmill 5k sometime towards the middle of next week.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Easy Couple of Weeks

It's been a slightly lower intensity couple of weeks since my last posting. I've completed almost as many sessions but mostly dialled back a tad. That said I've been bitten by the Zwift bike racing bug and have been 'competing' in a few more races than normal. The plan for the next couple of weeks is to continue with the schedule albeit just dialled back a notch before ramping it up again in the new year to go onwards and upwards. A flat couple of weeks can only help recharge the batteries ready to move further forward.

The training schedule was disrupted today though, by that pesky Skirrid fell race, where I froze my unmentionables marshalling the summit. It wasn't too bad at lower levels but stood on the summit for 45 minutes, that was chilling. Then there was the death-defying descent off the top to collect the route flags in - nearly went a slippin' on more than a few occasions. Walking boots, well, they were made for walking, not descending steep, icy drops. Made it back safely in the end though.

Haven't planned tomorrow's training. Maybe a sneaky Zwift race....

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Seemed Like a Good Idea Yesterday...

So yesterday I improved my treadmill 10k by just under six minutes. I wasn't full gas so I knows there's more to come. Followed that up with an easy bit of Zwifting on the bike - but that turned out to be a short and sharp crit race. I hadn't meant that - honest guv. Mind you, I bloody enjoyed it. Zwift races always start with a couple of minutes well beyond FTP and if you don't go with it, you aren't in the running - or biking in this case - and the race is over. I went with it and despite feeling pretty knackered, managed to keep myself in the lead group. I knew I wouldn't have it in me to out sprint anyone, so tried a sneaky invisibility power-up heading into the last lap. That didn't work but also, in a way, it did as it broke the group up and although I was quickly ridden down, several of the group were dropped. Into the last 200-300m I was lying in 9th but managed to move up to 6th on the line, so did manage a bit of a sprint. I was totally finished though. A gibbering wreck, and it took me a minute or two to get my breath back and my heart rate down. Definitely going to schedule in more of that fun - but maybe not as a recovery ride....

Anyway, caught up in an exercise induced high, I decided to schedule in a ride up the Alpe du Zwift for today (a virtualisation of Alpe d'Huez). I haven't managed the full ascent since 2019 - and halfway up, I wasn't sure I was going to get there today. With hindsight, it probably wasn't the most sensible training session after the week I'd completed up to that point but after much grinding, I got there in the end. I rounded out the weekend with an easy 5k jog. All in all, it's been a very productive week of training and I feel myself getting fitter, faster, stronger as the weeks pass. Oh, and I've set the date for my comeback 5k in the real world - but I'm not telling in case it changes...

Friday, December 02, 2022

I'm Getting Concerned Now....

This is getting serious! I've started taking notes and putting in some proper planning of my training sessions.  No more making it up as I go along. The key focus is the running, but I'm definitely aiming to keep improving my cycling fitness.

For next few months I'm going to be doing a session of long intervals, short intervals, an easy run and a longer run. Bike-wise... well, I'm probably still going to make that up as I go along.....

So far this week I've completed a good set of six 1-kilometre reps at a good pace beyond target 5k pace and a really good set of one-minute efforts at the fastest pace I've run so far. I've made notes on the paces and distances and have next week's sessions planned and ready to go.

On the bike I rode the Ineos training session with Tom Pidcock on Monday. It was pretty hard work. Wednesday, I tried a group workout riding the ramp FTP test - except it was the lite version and too easy to actually achieve an FTP gain. That set the scene for today's ride. Despite still feeling the aftereffects of yesterday's fast intervals on the treadmill, I was confident I was going to smash it on the full ramp test. The thing about the ramp test is it goes from easy to working hard to oh my god my heart wants to explode really bloody quickly. I slumped off the saddle after I hit the spiral of death at just below 320W. I got the result though. A 7% increase, taking me to an all-time high FTP, 4W above my previous best, from four years ago.