Well, that was a big week, a very big week.  A week off work meant lots of training, over 14 hours of it…

Day 1

90 minutes easy road bike

A few slight adventures on this route.

I just asked the Garmin to programme in a route just under 45km, which I thought would be fine for 90 minutes. Most things were going well until it took me down a track that went through a field, so I paused everything and walked though the field.

I knew I could not ride it, my first option, as as soon as I tried I had the comedy moment of falling over when I came to a dead halt. No chance to unclip!

Anyway, other than that the on and off drizzle and cross winds made it tricky. Good practice though. Also, the time of day I went was later than I would have wanted so there was more traffic and several pedestrians trying to walk out in front of me.

Other than that, it was a pretty good ride. I know I went to hard towards the end, but overall the HR was an average of 130 so just in my zone 2 (easy).

I did enjoy a bit of a TT down the A264 back to Horsham. It is a busy road so the approach was to get down it ASAP. 5.3km in 8:51 at an average power of 249 and speed of 35.4kmh. This turns out to be a stretch that was used in the Tour of Britain where there was an escapee who holds the KOM at 6:44, but then the pack was about 7:12. I am actually really pleased with only being 1:40 behind them on such a long stretch of road and being alone.

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Day 2

Turbo: 10 mins + 5,4,3,2,1 + 10 mins – Today is a big day. 10 minutes at threshold, steady power. 2-3 minutes easy spin after. Then 5,4,3,2,1 aiming to up power each block from threshold for the 5 minute effort. Take 75s between efforts. Then 2-3 minutes easy before another 10 minutes of steady wattage towards threshold.

That was pretty tough. As I did the ride late the day before it was still in the legs, plus I was probably riding too hard in it. However, I am pleased with this.

I had set the required zones based on power. I went for a zone close to my FTP setting and was aiming for around 230w for the threshold ones. The other were then set to go up in increments of 20. 250-270 for 4 minutes, 270-290 for 3, 290-310 for 2 and 310-350 for the 1 minute hard.

For all of them I was under the mid points of the zones, but was within them, for all apart from 1. The first threshold was 224 for 10 minutes and 222 for the next 5. The 4 minute block was 254, the 3 minutes 270 and 2 minutes 288 (slightly out of zone) and finally 326 for the minute. The final threshold was at 223.

Overall pretty pleasing doing this and using the Zwift mountain course again to simulate some climbing. What I did notice is that I was comfier in the gears and did not need to get in to granny gear a great deal. This is an improvement

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20 minute fully easy run

Another run where the HR was higher than it really should have been, but things felt comfy. I expect that it was due to the previous power ride and also eating after the ride.

I was trying to keep it easy but this seems to be my natural pace now, which is good in comparison to where I was 6 months ago.

No obvious problems with the ankle either. I will see how it goes on the longer run tomorrow

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Post run elliptical: 40 minutes Inc. 5 x 6 minutes threshold (1) – Immediately post run (as extension of run) 5 x 6 minutes threshold from 1 minute easy recovery

After the 2 previous workouts that was tough! I did manage to see it all the way through and I just about managed to nudge the HR up to the Threshold zone. That is me done for the rest of the day though!

2.12km as close to the end of the run as possible. Just jumped in to the car and up to the gym

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Day 3

30-40 minute easy run with 5 x 1 minute pick ups

Trying to keep the HR in Zone 2 for this, easy for the first 15 minutes before moving in to the intervals. I had set the watch to try and target around 4:10 pace or better for each one, which would be sub 5k pace.

I just about managed to do that with an average pace between 3:56 and 4:12. It was not too bad considering. Sadly it was another bad nights sleep, so I was not really feeling it, plus the lack of run training, but reasonably pleased. Not sure how I would cope with a fast 5k though at that sort of pace.

The final 10 minutes was all about trying to bring the HR down, which was being stubborn and not really coming back down to where I wanted it.

No major problems with the ankle, which is a positive as that was the first back to back days of running for a while.

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Swim: 50/100/200/300/400/300/200/100/50

I could not manage this one, I was completely exhausted, not so much from the exercise but the last few months of work and things caught up with me.

Day 4

90 minutes easy road bike pre Turbo

I think I have found what would be a very good 40km TT route that I would like to have a proper crack at.

Today I was keeping the HR as close to 130 as possible and managed to get the average underneath that, so within Zone 2. I was putting in effort, but controlled effort.

The pace surprised me, getting through 29km in the first hour. Any breeze was favourable, but this also involved some pauses for traffic and a big slow down to work my way past a motorbike accident, luckily he was being treated by the ambulance and the police were controlling the road.

The big difference was that on the flats I was really zipping along at 35kph plus a lot of the time, with a good power output.

Definitely a good ride and an average speed of 28.1 I think is my best to date for a ride. Getting closer to the sort of tempo I want to be able to hold for London, just need to be able to do it for another 4 hours!

The chart should say Thursday

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Turbo: post road bike – 3 x 10 minutes threshold (5 mins spin)

That was tough after the road ride. I got home, got in the house and had a small energy bar, changed the wheel on the bike, got it all set up and got cracking.

I did not even take off the cycling gloves.

5 minutes to get the legs back spinning again and then it was time to hit the intervals. I was giving it everything to get up to threshold but the power was not there. The effort was definitely threshold as the HR got up to that zone, but the power was lacking. I could definitely feel it in the quads.

This emphasises to me that when I do a long ride that I need not to mess around at feed stations and just do a brief stop and keep going, which is the approach I have taken on the sportives so far.

The second block was equally as hard but I got through it, but the last one I had to back off half way through, the legs just did not have it, but after a minute or so I got the head down, literally, and pushed as much as I could.

The power average for the blocks was 216, 207 & 194. The real positive is that I kept going and picked it back up. After all, that was a tough 2.5 hours of riding in the end.

The chart should say Thursday

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Day 5

Recovery swim: 40 minutes

I always find swimming a lot of effort.  I wish I was bouyant and could swim well.  I managed to get through this with what was a tired body.  I cruised through the first 30 minutes, but the last ten I did try and kick more, not faster just harder.  It definitely took a couple of strokes off per length.

Screenshot 2016-07-10 18.09.44

Row: 2km TT – After the swim warm up for 1km on ergo (rower). Then 2km hard effort and let me know your time. Hit this effort HARD!

Doing the 2kTT on the rowing machine really put an extra load through the legs.  I did not do it at the gym as I have a Concept 2 at home and can attach my computer to it.  This definitely helped as I had pace boats to aim at.  I gave it everything and did 7:55.9.  I hit the first 500m hard, settled for the next 1000 and then picked up and sprinted for the last 500.  This Definitely got the HR up whoch you can see from the splits!  Amazing how hitting something hard for 8 minutes can get you sweating so much and so tired!

Bearing in mind I have not done a hard row for a few years I am really pleased with how this went

Warm upScreenshot 2016-07-08 10.57.46

The TTScreenshot 2016-07-08 10.41.51

Day 6

Parkrun – just see how you go. It would normally be a hard sharpening effort before racing a week out from the 10km. Obviously we have not had a traditional build up to the 10km from a running perspective but it still works as a sharpening run, so warm up well and hit the 5km hard – no specific target though – I want it effort based

After the warm up it was time for the off. It was a busy day and crowded at the start so it was a nice comfy start until we turned up the hill where I started to get in to a nice position and overtaking people.

I was running reasonably well, but because I have not done anything like this for a long time I had no idea where I would be at.

The aim was to run hard but consistently. Looking at the 1km splits I am pleased with that. All within 8 seconds of each other, 4:22 to 4:30.

I did note that the heart rate went in to the red zone after 3km, which surprised me so I eased a little bit to try and bring it down. I did not really feel like I was going flat out, but I was listening to the body.

I did not really try and lift the pace too much towards the end, more a case of keeping it a good steady effort.

I am pleased to have stopped the watch at 21:47, which is my 3rd faster parkrun, 2nd fastest in Horsham. Yes, it was 32 seconds away from the best, but if I am being honest I would have been happy with 23 minutes.

I will have to see how it goes next week with the Newham 10k. Last year was 52:32. I doubt I will be at PB pace of around 45, but somewhere in the middle will be good given the lack of run training.

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Day 7

70-80 mile road bike – This is mainly time in saddle but please include hills in the first 3 hours. In the final 2 hours I want you drop to a flatter route and include at least 10 x 2 minute harder efforts in a big gear.

This was always going to be a slightly longer ride than the target. The planned route was 133km, but due to road closures and a couple of navigational issues (in the planning when it would have taken me down tracks not roads) this was extended to 144km (89.28 miles) & 5 hours 50 moving time.

All in all that was 23 miles longer than my previous longest, 54 minutes longer, 600ft of more climbing and 500 calories more than the previous bests, that was a big ride!

Doing this solo in what was about the worst conditions you would want, drizzle making the roads greasy, dry patches to lull you in to a false sense of security, rain, then dry and more rain and the last couple of hours turning south was in to a reasonably strong wind.

The first half an hour or so was all about getting the legs up and running, but under control so that I did not over stress them.

Getting up Leith Hill was relatively comfy and managing to keep the HR under control. I just got in to gear and worked my way up the hill. I was overtaking people which is always good and only overtaken by a few from a cycling club, which I just jumped on to the back of and cruised up with them.

Box Hill was fine, I was a lot steadier than in the sportive and took some time over the top riding behind some others. This allowed some recovery time. The second time round was a slower climb but I put more effort in over the top.

The run home involved 9 of the 2 minute efforts. Given that the route had to be changed and extended it was not feasible to do more. The ones I did I tried to get as close to threshold power as possible.

The first of the 9 was a bit aborted as I thought I had gone the wrong way, but I hadn’t. Reasonably pleased that I was still able to average the power between 210 & 235 at 4 hours plus in to a ride.

Also, not sure how, but I managed a few pb’s on segments towards the end when I was absolutely out of energy.

I found where my limit was, which was about 135km and 5:30 hours. At that point I was in a world of mental pain and the legs had run out of energy.

All ride I had been consuming gels, electrolyte drinks, a couple of small energy bars and water, but even so I was at the end of what I could do and definitely did not want to see any more climbing!

Having said that and considering how much I was carrying (camelbak with 2 litres plus of water, 2 bottles, gels and additional clothing on) I am really pleased with that.

Although this was really tough this has given me the confidence I need for Ride London. I definitely want sub 6 hours and hope that riding in a group and with any luck better conditions (I was doing what I hate and braking down hills and slow round corners) I will get the extra 10 miles in the same time.

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As you can tell I named this ride as soon as I got back home!

The Current Week

What  tough, but good week.  Disappointed that I could not do the swim session, but pleased to have got through it all prettty well with over 14 hours of training.  Some fine tuning now and I should be good for Ride London.  I will be doing all I can to get under 6 hours

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8 Week Rolling Summary

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Monthly Summary – 2016

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Monthly Summary – Annual Rolling

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Day to Day Summary – 2016

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