Coaching – Week 38

A week trying to focus on the quality of running and counter acting a weekend of excess, the last one before Copenhagen Half

Day 1

Easy swim – 20 minutes

Nothing exciting to report on the swim.  I needed it to loosen things off and it was an OK pace, for me anyway.  I would love to be able to swim a lot easier and better, but that is a long way down my priority list!

Screenshot 2016-09-06 07.13.48

Bonus Ride – Zwift race

Given the new bike set up I wanted to test it out on the turbo.  After 2 days on the road I wanted to see how it was and make sure that everything felt OK.

I decided to join my first Zwift race.  No plans to try and win it, but to take part and see how things went.  This was a handicap race based on weight and FTP.

I set off and soon realised that the front of the bunch was going to be too quick for me, but I settled in to a good high tempo and eventually rode off from the people I was with but managed to find a gap between groups so spent a lot of time on my own.  Yes, drafting does work on Zwift and you go much faster with others.

After tackling Box Hill it was back in to London for the finish.  Making sure that I did not get caught from behind I rode steady to the finish.  I could tell I had worked hard from the off and had averaged 222 on the power, over 41 minutes, so pretty pleasing really.

I will have to look in to other Zwift races and which ones are best for me.  I may try and find a series of them and join up, but will do some research.  It will give me some good benchmarking against others.  I know I need to improve a lot before the Silverstone TT!

Screenshot 2016-09-06 07.20.53

40 minute relaxed, easy run

After the extra ride today it was time to do the easy run and to test out the new shoes and orthotics.  The shoes feel really comfy, but it will take a while to get used to the orthotics.

The plan was to run nice and steady, it was hot and I am carrying fatigue, plus I did not know how the ankle would be after the problem last week.

I started out at what felt like a very slow pace, but through the 1km mark as I was bang on my normal pace for that route.

It did surprise me as I thought I was going slower.

I just carried on at what was a comfy pace.  The challenge was that the HR was up, possibly due to the heat, but also due to ENT problems.  My ear has been blocked for a couple of days, the sinuses have joined in and as a result of breathing through my mouth the throat was sore.

Carrying on I was starting to think about the shoes and how they felt.  Other than odd as the orthotics are very different, they felt fine and the shoes bouncy.

I was continually reminding myself to slow down a bit but just kept the perceived effort about the same.

I was never going to do the full 40 minutes, given the extra work, and that was probably a wise move.  As I go to about half an hour I could feel the orthotics under the arch on both feet and when I got home I found the start of a blister on both feet.  I will take a while to break them and my feet in.  After all, the underside of my arch has not had contact with anything when running!

The legs felt fine, the ankle was OK and I could feel the extra support from the shoes and orthotic, which was good.  Walking the ankle was a bit sore, but running it was fine.

I am going to take the advice from RS Labs and use the orthotics for longer runs and I will use them in the new Pearl Izumi shoes.  I will use my Brooks Pureflow for races and shorter runs.  However, for the next couple of weeks I will reverse that while I break in the orthotics and only use them for shorter runs.  If I continue to get problems under the arches I will contact the lab and they will be able to adjust the orthotic

Screenshot 2016-08-29 19.48.03Screenshot 2016-08-29 19.48.20

Day 2

VO2 Turbo. 5 x 4 mins + 5 x 2 mins – Warm up well.  Ride 5 x 4 minutes aiming for HR to be slightly above threshold effort. Take 2 mins easy spin recovery between each. After all 4 min efforts are complete spin easy for another 2 minutes before hitting 2 mins hard, 1 min easy spin x 5.

OK, that was tough!  Getting home I was still suffering from the ENT problems, but jumped on the bike and stated on the Zwift London Classique route, which is the flattest you can get on the London course.  I wanted to ensure that I was measure the power outputs accurately without the influence of hills.

Getting started on the warm up I realised how tired the legs felt but gave them the 10 minutes on the warm.  The fatigue was in the upper leg and hips, which will be due to the change in bike position and using muscles in a different way.

I set off and got the heart rate up to the Threshold level, around 150, after a minute or so and ploughed through each block of the threshold 4 minutes.  I was aiming to keep the heart rate around1 150 for all of them, so genuine threshold level.

I had some moments where I faded a bit, but overall on the 4 minute blocks I averaged 250 watts and 146 heart rate, which is not bad considering it takes a minute to get the heart rate up.  The range of power was pretty good across the 5 blocks, 243 to 258.

Moving on to the hard blocks I went at it in the first one but I could not sustain the high effort for the full 2 minutes and had to back off.  I had gone to hard at it!

In the subsequent blocks I went hard but not as hard at the start and despite some fades I managed to keep them going, just.  I did resort to putting in some lower cadence high power parts as I could not sustain the cadence and power I was trying to put in.

Overall though the average power on these was 265, which is pretty good as the first one 237 when I had to back off.  The other 4 were 271, 270, 269 & 276.  Pleased that I managed the highest power on the last one, but that was when I was really putting in some of the lower cadence effort.

I also sneaked in an extra little sprint in the warm down.  I was approaching the sprint point on the mall and wanted to see what I could do, bearing in mind I had really tired legs and was sweating buckets!  From an almost standing start at admiralty arch I picked up the power with the aim of hitting the start for the sprint (200m before the finish) with as much power as possible.  I managed to take half a second off the previous quickest today, which was when I managed to draft someone.

I managed to average 518w for the sprint in a fraction over 13 seconds.

The overall average power of 186 was not bad, the normalised 224 was good and the max of 618, coming at the end is pleasing

Screenshot 2016-08-30 20.49.36Screenshot 2016-08-30 20.49.52

Day 3

Easy and relaxed run – 45 minutes

That run did not feel good at all.  I had been out for lunch and it was bigger and later than normal, so I felt heavy before I started, and that is not even the legs.  They felt heavy and tight from the changes in the running and the bike.

This was very gentle and easy, done solo and the new shoes and orthotics.  They still feel weird and the blisters started to catch again after about 4k, but I has blister plaster on so it was more irritation that anything else.

It definitely felt like I was running in slow motion.

I will be back in Pureflow for the longer run tomorrow

Screenshot 2016-09-01 09.14.54Screenshot 2016-09-01 09.15.07

Day 4

2 miles HMP + 5 x 800m + 2 miles HMP – Warm up well.  Run 2 miles at half marathon pace, jog easy for 2-3 minutes.  Run 5 x 800m at 5km pace from 90s recovery, jog easy for 203 minutes. Run 2 miles at half marathon pace

Back in to my Brooks shoes for tonight as it was going to be linger than I wanted to risk in the new ones with the orthotics.  However, they were new Pureflow 4’s, but I know I can step straight in to them and run, so no issues there.

I was set to do the 2 mile blocks between 5:00 & 5:15 pace and then the 800m ones between 4:15 and 4:30. Ideally I wanted to do 5:00 and 4:15.  However, the legs were so fatigued and aching (not DOMS, just aching from use and using them in different ways.

With a fairly short warm up, it was warm and I had stretched so the muscles were as loose as they were going to be, I set off on the 2 mile pace.  I was doing OK and keeping it under control and at about the right target pace.  Getting through in 5:01 pace was good, it was marginally downhill, but the GAP was still in the correct zone.

After the recovery I hit the 800m blocks and soon realised that the legs really did not have it in them to do 4:15 pace.  I was really feeling heavy legged and was outside of the zone in all of them and average 4:36 pace overall with a pace range of 4:30 to 4:36 across the 5 blocks.  Nothing in the legs and I walked the first 30 seconds between 4 & 5.  The heart rate was not the issue, just devoid of energy, the heart rate averaged 154.

The final 2 miles just did not happen and I basically quit on it and had to walk and then run and walk, and so on.  I did manage to pick the pace up again for the last 400m or so, back to the correct pace, which I am pleased I found the mental will to do, but I have to say that I had nothing in me by this point.

I had listened to the body, but it is disappointing not to have finished it off properly.  I did however ensure that I finished the sets off.

I hope that over the next 2 weeks I can improve a lot, it feels like I am a long way from where I want/need to be.  The next 2 days which is rest and a swim should do me good and hopefully I will get the long run on Sunday done and get some faith back.

Screenshot 2016-09-01 20.52.13Screenshot 2016-09-01 20.52.30

Day 6

Recovery swim – 20-30 minutes easy

Nothing exciting to report on this one.  The small ppol at the hotel so lots of lengths.  It definitely helped to loosen the legs

Screenshot 2016-09-06 07.14.26

Day 7

2 miles easy + 4 x 2 miles + 2 mile easy – Warm up with 2 miles of easy running. Then run 4 x 2 miles with no rest. Run each block of 2 miles as; 0.5 mile easy / 1 mile HMP / 0.5 slightly quicker than HMP.  2 mile easy to finish

So after 2 days of feasting and drinking at Meatopia I was not really feeling it, to say the least.  To be honest though the problem was not so much the feasting, but the fact that the muscles and joints felt awful.  The last few days have had the hamstrings and quads feeling really right, plus somehow I have bruised my heel, which has not been helped by all of the walking I have been doing.

The good thing is that I am not a heel striker so I could at least run.

After forcing myself to get out I headed off on the 2 mile warm up.  I was keeping this steady and did a few 20 second strides to get the legs turning over.

By this point I was starting to feel a bit looser and was ready for the 2 mile blocks.  The warm up had been at 5:33 pace, so not too bad.  The first easy half mile was slightly slower at 5:37, but nice and comfy.  The advantage of running round Victoria Park is that it is pretty flat, although it was quite breezy today and at times you get stuck behind people when crossing the road.

I was hoping to do the HMP blocks in 5:00 pace and the quicker ones around 4:30 to 4:45.

When moving on to the HMP 1 mile block I started to pick the pace up and was feeling OK and did this in 5:10 pace, but I did have a crossing hold up which cost a few seconds.  The heart rate was under control.

Then it was time to pick up the pace for the last ½ mile which I was happy with and did in 4:33 pace, but the heart rate was now up to 152 average.

After the next easy ½ mile the next HMP bock was quicker at 4:56, but the heart rate was higher at 150, which was a theme for the next blocks.  The quicker one was done in 4:34, so again good pace.

The next 2 blocks of HMP were 4:57 and 5:01 and the quicker ones 4:50 and 4:39. The slightly slower quick one involved being held up.

Overall I am pleased with the pace, averaging 5:01 for the HMP and 4:39 for the quicker ones.

The transition between the easy and the HMP was tricky as the legs felt heavy for each one until I got up and running again.

As I was getting towards the end the easy paced segments had higher heart rate than I would have wanted and it was quite stubborn in terms of coming down, as in it wouldn’t!

Screenshot 2016-09-04 18.23.28Screenshot 2016-09-04 18.23.48

The Current Week

If I am being honest I am pleased and surprised with the end of the week.  I did not think I woul have it in me to do the long run, after 2 days of feasting, and that has helped with the confidence for Copenhagen.  The pace was pretty much that of Brighton Half back in Feb and this run included a lot of easy running.

I took a long hard look in the mirror, literally when doing some stretching, and know I need to focus more on the training and cut back a few things on the lifestyle.  Also get some more fun in to some of the training, which over the winter will hopefully be some more Zwift races and other things.

Screenshot 2016-09-04 18.25.10

8 Week Rolling Summary

Screenshot 2016-09-04 18.25.28Screenshot 2016-09-04 18.25.54

Monthly Summary – 2016

Screenshot 2016-09-04 18.26.51

Monthly Summary – Annual Rolling

Screenshot 2016-09-04 18.27.05

Day to Say Summary – 2016

Screenshot 2016-09-04 18.27.15



Author: The Mr Smith

Photographer, Gourmet, Cook, Oenophile, Traveller, International Athlete, Investor, bit of a Geek and observer of life

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