That was a different week, lots of interesting things, good up’s and a big down with the ankle…
Recovery swim – 20 minutes
Given all of the riding I was expecting to do today I opted to pass on the swim.
The bike fitting
The day kicked off with a short ride down to the station and then another ride through London for the fitting.
During the fitting I spent a couple of hours on and off the trainer and doing about 16 miles at a good high tempo.
Following on from the fitting there was a further ride back from to the station before doing a test ride home
I jumped off the train at Three Bridges and set the navigation to get me home. Not the best time to be doing it as it was rush hour, but it was worth it to find out how the bike and orthotics felt after the bike fitting.
The power meter was set up wrong so sadly no power data saved, but it was a good test. The saddle had been raised about an inch, with a slight angle and position adjustment as well. I also had the new orthotics in, which definitely make the foot fill out the shoe and hold it in place better, plus the wedge under the cleat.
It was a little different, but not too much. In fact it felt pretty comfy and it a lot of ways already better than before. I had been able to read the power data while riding and the balance was still about the same, 45/55, but I had been advised that it would take some for the left side to pick up the power and for the balance to become more in to alignment.
Pretty pleased with the adjustments and overall I did about 55km of riding throughout the day
40 minute easy run, fully conversational
This was quite possibly the hottest run I have done in Europe and pushing the limits of what I did in Australia (I would have preferred to do this in Australia though!). It was hotter than a hot thing on a hot day! At least 28c according to the recorded weather! I am not the best in the heat!
This was also a voyage of discovery in a new city so it was a little disjointed as I was trying to navigate my way round. I was trying not to over stress myself on this and it was slow, very slow! Which I guess was what was needed ahead of the assessment.
RS Labs Running Assessment
Another hot day.
Arriving at RS Labs I was not totally sure what to expect, but it was great to get a 1 on 1 consultation with Philippe. I was also surprised at how long it lasted. The first couple of hours were around assessing my posture and running, both in bare foot and current shoes, before being recommended a course of action and some tips.
It was suggested that I go for some orthotics, which Philippe was on the verge opf not suggesting, but given the ongoing ankle trouble he believes they will provide that extra support, but also support under my big toes where I do not make a great deal of contact and no push off.
The advice was not to use them forever, but just on longer runs and during high blocks of training. The danger would be the feet getting lazy if I did.
So after the morning the orthotics were being cut so I headed out for a walk, a gentle one in the heat, before returning for the final part of the day.
The final part was to test the orthotics, but also new trainers. Philippe brought up several different pairs that he believed would be good for me and after trialing each of them I knew which to pick. During this time I was being videoed again in each shoe and Philippe suggested that the Pearl Izumi looked the best from the ones I had tested. Not that there was much in it, but they appeared to give the best support. That was good as they were the ones that felt the best.
So that was it. After arriving at 11 am and a couple of hours break we finished at 5pm. Much longer than I expected and for 300 euros, including the orthotics, it was a bargain. This included the video and pressure analysis plus 2 different types of body scans, which showed I was not in bad condition for an old git!
Warm up well. Run 3 x 2 miles with 3 minutes easy between the efforts. Each set of 2 miles run the first mile at half marathon pace and try to progress the second mile a little faster.
What a horrible run!
It was hot, even at 8:30 in the morning. This was later than I had wanted, but I had overslept, which was much needed.
I still felt half asleep, but an energy bar consumed and slowly getting ready it was time for the off.
The legs felt a bit heavy after the last few days, but I had a route in mind, well a direction anyway, so I headed off.
The plan was to do a 10 minute warm up, not that I needed to be any warmer, then hit the intervals. I had set the watch to do 1 mile blocks at 5:00 to 5:15 pace, followed by a second mile of 4:30 to 5:00 pace.
Getting towards the end of the warm up I was thinking that the pavements in Brussels were terrible, and that was the paved ones. Lots of lose stones and very uneven. Then disaster, I went over on my ankle and yes it had to be the bad one! It hurt, a lot! I will not put the words that came out of my mouth!
I stopped for a few minutes to see how it felt and after a brief test I decided to carry on. It hurt but it was manageable. Maybe I should have stopped and turned round, but I wanted to get the training in. After all, I was supposed to be racing on Saturday so needed to see how it would be.
I headed out on the first of the mile blocks and actually quite pleased to have managed to do it at 4:59 pace. The quicker mile was then in 4:51 pace. It was all OK at this point, but Brussels is not good city to run around. So many junctions to cross, plus the bad surface meant that the run was very bitty and I had to keep stopping and stopping the watch. This just kept breaking the rhythm.
After the first of the recovery sessions, which I was doing a minute walk and then building, I headed off on the second set of miles. I was doing OK but part way through the first one I ad mentally gone and also wanted to protect the ankle a bit, so I stopped for a minute before I started again. The re-start was very gentle but I did manage to pick it up again and then hit the quicker mile, which I then ran angry! The first mile was a poor 5:27 pace and then the quicker one 4:41.
I was not happy at this point and basically just wanted to get back to the hotel as quick as I could. However, I was all over the place by this point and although I managed to do the next first mile at 5:14 the second I basically quit on as I could just not get across the roads and had enough by then.
The ankle was sore, I was soaked in sweat and knackered. However, I had go the end! Gutted that I have buggered the ankle again, just one of those things, but the pavements were shockingly bad!
Lee Valley 10 mile race
Given the ankle, not a disaster but not good enoug, I opted out of the race. Gutting as it was going to be my first 10 mile race.
4* 15 minute thresholds with 5 minute spins
This was the replacement for the run.
My basic ambition was to burn the same amount of calories I would have done in the race. It was also the first proper test on the bike since the bike fitting, so it was going to be a good test.
This was possibly the most unplanned ride I have done, in terms of the route. I knew which direction I was going to head off in, but other than I was going to see how it went.
The initial warm up was getting on for half an hour, but then I went in for the threshold blocks. I was planning to hit them pretty hard and keep the heart rate above 140 and only to focus on the heart rate and let the power and things take care of themselves. I was not sure how the bike fit would affect the power so had to focus on heart rate.
The first block went really well and averaged 240 watts with an average HR of 143. Pretty pleasing as a start.
The second block I tried to target a tough Strava segment I wanted to attack. I got the timing slightly wrong and did not manage to hit it perfectly, so the first minute was a bit under par, but when I hit it I did as hard as I can. It is a good rolling segment with some very short sharp climbs, 18%’ish and then a long drag. The net elevation gain for this 15 minutes was 48m and a max gradient of 18.6%. Pleasing to take well over a minute off the segment. The average power down to 235, but the NP was 250 which was the same as the first block
The third of the blocks again started badly as I got caught in some traffic, but this was a flatter start with a gradual climb, followed by a gradual descent, with more down than up. I was also held up for a few seconds by a learner that had stopped in the middle of the road.
I was pushing as much as I could and attacking another segment, but the power was down again to 223 and NP now at 227.
I was still riding well, so much so that I continued to ride hard in to the recovery, before easing off. I eventually resisted chasing the segment.
After taking a good recovery I headed back up the segment I had come down, which was also in to the breeze that there was. Although no big climbs this block had 50m of net elevation gain. I did think at the beginning of it that someone had stolen all of my power, but I picked back up again to finish with an average power of 218.
A little disappointed that the power faded on each block as I felt like the effort was there, but I was monitoring HR and not the power. Overall for the 1 hour of threshold work the average power was 229 and NP 236, so I am happy with that, especially as there was a net elevation gain of 77m.
It seems that the new bike set up is OK and no obvious ill effects from it. The bike was a bit stiff after about 80 minutes, but I was consciously trying to hold a better riding position so I expect this will take some getting used to. The overall balance was also better at 47/53, but on the threshold blocks it was 46/54 so an improvement overall. I will monitor that over the coming weeks.
90 minute bike – Aim for the first 60 to be an easy aerobic effort but try to press on for a strong final 30 minutes
What appears to be a continuing theme I had a bad night’s sleep at the weekend, but after fuelling up and getting prepared I headed out.
The basic plan was to do 2 laps of a route I have done lots of times. When I first did it several years ago it was on a mountain bike and it used to take just under an hour to do. Since doing the route on the road bike I had a best time of 42:49.
I was going to do the first lap fairly steady and not push too hard, with no chasing segments. Then when back at the start pick it up and push harder for the second lap. This would obviously mean that I did a longer push than planned, but probably slightly shorter duration.
It worked out pretty well, the first lap was basically a warm up and it took pretty much all of it for the legs to feel good. I was still getting some 2nd & 3rd places on segments that I have ridden a lot of times, mainly on the hills and one of them I have 60 recorded attempts and my first effort was actually 2nd fastest at the time.
The first lap was covered in just under 42:00 minutes, so an overall PB for it. I had been lucky with the traffic though and no hold ups, so it was about par for with the previous best, not bad for a warm up. The average power was 190 and normalised of 207.
So heading off on the second lap and it was time to push. I was trying to measure the effort and keep it under control, trying not to over push at the start. It was feeling OK and quicker, but I was not sure how much quicker.
I was pushing on with the aim to try and beat my personal bests on as many segments as possible, which was pretty successful, picking up lots of new PB’s. One that I have ridden 37 times I beat by 15 seconds. This is a segment of 1.6km, uphill, at an average grade of 4%, which I completed in 5:11 where I averaged 247 watts.
When I have analysed I picked up new pb’s on segments that I did not think I was going to do, plus the ones I thought I had gone quickly.
The only challenge is getting used to the new set up on the bike. After an hour I started to get a bit stiff in the knee, which was fine after quickly stretching out, plus it is a bit like riding a new saddle on the left hand side. It feels like there is more power coming through from the glutes which will obviously make things a bit sore for the first few rides.
The balance was not as good as yesterday and it does get worse the more power I put through the pedals, but I am OK with that for now as I know the left leg is not as strong at the moment.
So, the result for lap 2, 38:25! I cannot quite believe that I did that and an average power of 220, normalised to 231.
I was tiring towards the end, but after the ride yesterday I am not surprised, but very pleased with how it went.
The Current Week
Getting to undertsand more about how I run and ride and getting things set up seems to be working, just a shame about the ankle, but that will hopefully be a short term blip
8 Week Rolling Summary
Monthly Summary – 2016
Monthly Summary – Annual Rolling
Day to Day Summary – 2016