Monday, July 31, 2023
Saturday, July 29, 2023
... The Zwift categories. So, I didn't realise I've moved up a Zwift power category. Last year I was down to a D (lowest) from C, where I'd been since I started Zwifting. In all my time as a C, I didn't see any possibility of making it into the B cat. Obviously, I'm scrapping the bottom of the B barrel so guaranteed to be battling it out at the back if I do any races, but do I care? Just getting into the B cat is an achievement I didn't see coming.
The week has been a mix of Zwifting and treadmill intervals followed by a run in the woods today and obviously a Zwift after that, of course. Although I wasn't exactly rested after a solid Zwift Volcano climb PB and a set of intervals on the treadmill yesterday, I decided to have a crack at the hope wood Central Climb Strava segment this morning and took it easy to the start of the segment before hitting the accelerator.
I didn't quite manage the KOM but did at least come away with a PB, beating my time from seven years ago and moved up to equal 4th on the leaderboard, only nine seconds from the top spot. And I slightly ballsed the start, as I didn't quite get where the start of segment was so lost a few seconds there before I increased my effort.
Another run ride day tomorrow to round out the week...
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Sunday, July 16, 2023
Fell running retirement, with the completion of my first fell race since my return. The Waun Fach fell race, 10.6km with in the region of 650m of ascent. I sort of enjoyed it in a suffering sort of way and I was able to run more of it than I thought I would. The steep bits defeated me, but wherever it flattened a little I got running again. I swear I could hear the haunting words, "come on, you can run this bit", drifting in the air...
I started at the back of the field to prevent me getting carried away on the downhill first kilometre. After that it was into the main climb, probably two thirds of the total ascent is over and done with in the first three and a half kilometres. After that, I tried to push on and during the next section across and up to the Waun Fach summit, I closed in on several runners before picking them off on the flatter section after the summit.
I started the descent down the dragons back almost like my old self but after a kilometre my legs were f*(%ed and I had to steady the reckless descending over the rugged rocks as this ragged rascal ran out of steam. I got down safely though, picked up another couple of places and made it over the line in a time I'm happy with, and a little quicker than I'd targeted.
My legs are proper sore now so it might be a couple of rest days coming up. It'll give me time to plan the next couple of races in my come back...
Friday, July 14, 2023
And I made it inside my target time of 50 minutes as well. I didn't go into it off the back of my finest couple of weeks training, what with my dodgy foot an' all, but my marker is down. I am of course talking about my first road race for a long time, yesterday evening's Red Hart Blaisdon 10k. The last time I raced the Blaisdon was back in 2016, and I'm not sure, but that may have been my last road race. There can't be many others I did after that. Seven years ago, I managed a time of 45:36, and I wasn't far off that yesterday, coming home in 47:51. Pleased with that. Gives me something to chip away at but more importantly, my foot held up. It was a little sore on the walk home, but it's been fine today. It still aches slightly, as it did before the race, but nothing to stop me cracking on.
So up tomorrow I'm going to be getting wet marshalling check point two, Fan Llia, at the Four Fans fell race and then Sunday I head to Waun Fach for my first proper fell race for a few years.
Friday, July 07, 2023
But I'm almost ready to return to it. And not a minute too soon. I have managed a few sessions on the treadmill this week but it's only really the last one where I've managed to get up to speed and complete the session at full intensity. The left foot is much better but still not 100% so I am being extremely careful. I'd rather the rehab takes a little longer and be clear of it than return too soon and put myself back to square one. That said, I really don't want to cancel this Thursday's Blaisdon 10k (road) but it might end up being a training run rather than a race. I will be a bit gutted though. Then of course there's the weekends fell marshalling and race to look forward to, again, my participation in the race next Sunday is on a knife edge...
So with limited running, the major focus of the weeks training has been Zwift cycling and specifically, climbing. After completing the Ventoux climb for the first-time last Sunday, I've knocked out another 1900m of ascent on various Zwift KOM's and I haven't spared many watts in the process. Every metre of ascent has been on or near the limit. Today's virtual Puy de Dome, another HC graded climb, with its 938m of ascent spread over 12.9km and was as tough as any, with the steepest section coming at the end, weighing in close to 10% for the final 3km. It's been good training though, as I feel strong and my Garmin VO2 score has increased another point, taking it higher than it's been in over a decade.