Coaching – Week 39

Now a week out from CPH Half and a foot injury has meant flogging myself on the turbo for cardio fitness…

Day 3

2 miles HMP + 2 x (5 x 90s) + 2 miles HMP – Jog/walk for 3 minutes after HMP block.  The pick up effort on 90s blocks. Don worry about specific pace for ease though, just harder than half marathon pace without blowing up. Run the first 5 from 60s rest…the second 5 from 45s rest and jog for 2-3 minutes between the 2 sets of 5.  Jog walk for 3 minutes after and then rpreat HMP block.

Given that I had delayed this from last night I was hopeful that the bruised heel would have had enough time to recover and I could run OK.

I was set up for the 2 miles and then the intervals and headed out on a 10 minute warm up, all OK. I could feel the heel, but not too bad, I had even managed to include some strides at a reasonable pace.

Setting off on the 2 mile block it definitely hurt more as soon as the pace picked up, not massively, but it definitely hurt more.

I was running the 2 mile block nicely locked in at around 5:00km pace and the heart rate nicely under control in the low 140’s. It was starting to cause a bit more pain, but I had a moment when I had to stop to cross a road and on starting up again the pain was a lot worse. At this point I tried to carry on but after struggling on it for another 90 seconds I stopped and walked home.

Not only was the heel painful at the end but I could feel that I was starting to run in a way to protect it and it was starting to reflect on the ankle in general.

Frustrated is an understatement! The running felt fine and the heart rate was good, but as always it is the left ankle that gives me problems!

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75 minutes on bike with final 36 mins as 12 x 3 mins – The final 36 minutes ride as 12 x 3 minutes threshold / 3 minutes steady (not easy) with no rest

After the aborted run this morning my head was really not in a good place before starting this ride. I had the workout set up in Zwift which meant it was in erg mode rather than having the effect of the hills. This should give a purer ride in terms of power outputs.

Setting off on the first 39 minutes I had no real plan and the mind was wandering but I threw in a few quick spins to get the legs moving and hoping that it would get everything in the mind going as well.

I had set up Zwift with the threshold intervals at 220w and the steady ones at 170. I was going to try and treat these as the minimum rather than the target, which I wanted to be over 230 and around 180.

I was surprised that although the power in the first threshold one was around 230 the heart rate was low, averaging 126. This gave me some confidence and I was then more in the game.

I got through the first 3 blocks of threshold and steady and was feeling fine and wanted to push on a bit in the final 3 blocks to try and get the heart rate up to more of a threshold heart rate and not just the power.

This basically meant that all of the threshold blocks increased in average power, 231, 234, 240, 246, 247 and then a final push at 272. All of which were with reasonably good heart rates on average between 126 & 147.

The steady efforts were also good as they averaged between 181 & 194.

Overall the threshold efforts averaged 245 with a heart rate of 136 and the steady efforts 188 & 129 heart rate.

The only down side was that as I hit the final threshold at a higher power the heel hurt, but that was not going to stop me on this one.

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Day 4

20-30 minute easy ride – Road or turbo. Stretch well after. Recovery effort.

Comfortable recovery ride first things in the morning.  Just keeping things nice and easy and not pushing too hard

10 mins + 4 x 2km + 10 mins – 10 mins easy, 4 x 2km at threshold EFFORT (forget pace). Take 3 minute jog or risk walk between efforts, 10 minutes easy

While the heel is too painful to run on, well actually too painful to walk on, I need to replace the running with suitable other activities to try and at least match the expected cardio efforts.

I was due to run 8km today (intervals) at threshold, which would have been around 37:00 minutes of threshold effort. I replaced this with a race on Zwift. This would not have the interval efforts, but a more sustained threshold effort.

The chosen race was a handicap race and I had 21kg extra to carry, quite light in comparison to others. The basic idea is to even out the field.

This race was a bit different, it was essentially a mountain time trial. The first 5km were neutralised until the Epic KOM start line on Zwift and then go to the top. This is only 9.4km of riding, but it is pretty much all uphill and averages around 4%, but that takes in to account a few rollers toward the top.

My basic approach was to start steady and to maintain the effort all of the way up and not blow up. I manage to do this without too much trouble. I was not aiming on top end power, but a good solid threshold effort all of the way.

The overall climb took my 32:01, which bearing in mind the extra weight factor, I am pleased with. Also pleasing was the approach as I was able to pick off other riders on the way up and managed to come home in 7th out of 30.

Some of the very pleasing facts from the actual race element were:

• Watts per kg at 3.43
• Average power of 241
• 20-minute power of 242
• Average heart rate of 147

All of that tells me it was a genuine threshold effort. Beforehand Zwift calculated my FTP at 219, nut upped that to 230 at the end of the ride. My previous best FTP was 234 so I am very pleased with a 20-minute power of 242, well above FTP. But even more pleasing was that my 3-minute power was 241, so very sustained.

Once the race was over the riders took a brief pause, but I then carried on with more climbing and a long decent. I was not pushing on so much with these parts, but it was good that I still had something left in the tank.

However, when it comes to the Silverstone TT I want to be completely spent when I cross the line. It may only be a couple of % increase in effort needed to get to that point, but it will make a difference. With any luck I will be able to keep nudging up the FTP and ideally I want to get it to 240 plus

 

Day 5

Whilst the heel will not allow me to run I am determined to match or even beat the same level of cardio effort. Today was meant to be a rest day, but I needed to do something to replace the Parkrun in the morning. The motivation would not be there to just flog it on the bike at max so I opted to join a race on Zwift.

This was a criterium style event and yes it was as hard as I would expect a proper criterium race. Lining up with about 70 other people, from various categories, I was ready to race. I was hoping that it might be a gradual build up, but no, the timer started and it was basically sprint from the off!

Things eventually settled down, but it was threshold effort all of the way. I was riding with a group of around 10 riders and working pretty well together. We ended up with a pretty big gap behind and in front of us, especially as we entered the final lap of 3.

The event was around 31km and we were really going some.

The really pleasing part was that when we came to the sprints I was able to pull away from the group. I would describe my efforts as a big diesel engine rather than a sprinter so it is more of a wind up rather than a quick acceleration.

As we were going in to the third lap we were still together and I could tell that things were going to break up, again I pulled away at the sprint, but eased a bit to re-group. However, shortly after that there were a few attacks and I could not get the diesel going any quicker to catch up.

I carried on doing what I could and managed a marginal sprint finish, but it was great fun, even if one of the hardest things I have done on the bike.

Backing up the mountain TT yesterday this was tough, but for the race I still managed an average power of 225w (230 for 20 minutes). Both of those figures I am happy with.

Sadly it looks like I have missed out on a top 10 place, and therefore points for the league. However, this was my first race like this and a lot to learn (plus lots more power to develop).

This did feel look good training for the Silverstone TT.

I think these races are every fortnight and I would like to try and do as many as I can. You need 10 of 13 to feature in the league at the end of the season. It will be a great way to race over the winter and the next one should be the Friday after Copenhagen Half

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Day 6

Parkrun

I had been planning to do some yoga and the core workout before doing a group recovery ride, but a phone call at the wrong time put pay to that.

I was doing this ride in replacement for the Sunday 75 minute run as the heel is nowhere near ready for running.  Basically I wanted to do a similar sort of effort as I would have done in the run.

I had signed up for the PRL group ride on Zwift, which was going to be 50km at a pace that I would be able to sustain, 2.5kg.  Sadly I had a technical problem at the start and the sensors blipped and lost connection for 10 seconds or so.  This meant I lost the group and with a group of 70 riders I was not going to be getting back, so this turned in to a 50km sustained effort.

I quickly reassessed what I was going to do and aim at around an IF factor of .80, which I managed to achieve at an average power of 180 and heart rate of 123.  This would be about the equivalent I would have had for the run.

Pretty pleased that I was able to do it after the last couple of days of hard efforts.  The legs did not feel too bad, but it would have been so much easier if I had been able to stick with the group, but these things happen.

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Day 7

75 minutes all relaxed and easy on a flat route

Another day that I was not able to run due to the heel.  Although I had done the equivalent sort of efforts on Friday and Saturday to make up for the lack of running, I wanted to do another race on Zwift today.

This was a training race on the London Classique course.  Long warm up stretch and 4 laps of the route.

I wanted to use this as race practice and get used to the tactics of racing on Zwift and also as practice for the TT.

The route in total was 32.2 km.  I managed to get logged on early which positioned me nicely at the front and learning from previous events I was off like a shot.  After things settled down and the quick guys headed off up the road, we settled down in to a small group that was working well together.

3 of us stuck together for the whole ride and you can tell how difficult it is if you lose the wheel.  One rider was with us but lost the wheel and eventually was over 3 minutes behind.  I also lost it at one point due to a technical glitch and had to work really hard to get back on, just as it would be in real life.

Most of the races on Zwift use a categorisation to try and get people riding comparatively.  I was a C cat, which meant under 3.2 watts per kg.  However, looking at the results I got promoted to a B as I averaged 3.27 watts!  A big improvement for me.  The criterium race, similar sort of thing, on Friday was at 3.12 w/kg.  It helped that I was a fraction lighter, but I have obviously backed up ok.  Not as good as the mountain TT on Thursday which was 3.31, but I will take it.

Sadly it looks like I will need to race in B cat going forward, but will be near the back of it.

When I crossed the line I was through in 10th place overall (all cats) and looking at the results now I was actually 4th of 7 in the B cat (I would have one the C!)

The method of measurement does help to balance things out, with the heavier people having to turn more power, but with the w/kg measure it does make things more interesting.

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The Current Week

Starting to get a bit nervous about the heel and how it will be in a week for the half.  Definitely pushing my cardio limits on the trainer to be s fit as Ii can be for it, assuming the heel allows me to run well

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8 Week Rolling Summary

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Annual Summary – Current Year

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Annual Summary – Rolling

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Day to Day – Current Year

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Author: The Mr Smith

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

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