Coaching – Week 40

Well that did not go as planned.  Injury forced the pull out of the Copenhagen Half, gutted…

Day 2

Group run 1 hour

Still no running due to the heel, which is now getting very concerning ahead of Copenhagen on Sunday.

However, in the absence of being able to do a group run for an hour I took to the turbo again for another race on Zwift. I am do not want to risk the foot being painful while out on the road. At least with the turbo I can get off if it hurts.

Anyway, I was going to do a ride in the afternoon, which would have been about 50 minutes in total. However, just as I was starting I had tech problems which meant I missed the start and the option was try and chase on or wait until later for a ride.

I opted to stop and join a race later in the day.

The one I joined was longer at 49km, but I hoped to sit in a group and take it easy. Sadly though another tech glitch meant I lost the group at the start and was dead last and riding alone. I only lost about 10 seconds but it was enough to have lost the group and when you have lost them you are not getting back.

This meant it was either jack it in or just ride round. I was very tempted to jack it in as I did not have that much energy anyway, but decided to carry on.

It basically turned in to a long ITT as I chased people down.

Actually pretty pleased with how it went really. I caught a couple of people and rode away from 1 and the other just stuck with me for 25km, but did not take any turns (basically getting a free ride, annoying!). I was focused on trying to chase down the riders in front, but they were working in groups so little chance until they gradually blew up and lost the group.

Given that this was the Classique course it is only just over a 5km lap so I was getting caught by the leaders and I did get lapped. However, I did take every chance I could to draft them as they went by and as a result I accelerated away from the rider that had been drafting me (to the point where eventually he was 3 minutes down). When you lose the draft you are not catching again.

It was only about 1 lap where I was able to ride with some other riders, the quick guys, which I was able to do but had spent so much energy solo I could not sustain it when they entered their last lap as they started really pushing.

I was still picking a few people off, but annoyingly a few people quit the race so I will not show as high up the leader board as I would want, but it happens. I eventually came home 38th of the 72 that started.

Looking at the stats I averaged 223w for an hour, which is my best over such a long distance. Doing it solo means it is pretty pure. I also managed to get 19th place in the sprint on the mall, which is not bad. I did not have much left for the sprint, but I was the best of my C category, which is good. I know that if I had not had the tech glitch that I could have won the C, but possibly had the danger of exceeding the limits and been promoted to the B category.

Now it is all about praying that the heel will be OK for Sunday.


Day 3

30-40 minute easy spin out on road or turbo

At least today was meant to be a ride, a nice easy 30-40 minutes. However, in a state of frustration/desperation to keep the cardio up, I took part in another Zwift race.

This one though was a bit different. A 2 lap easy group ride on the Watopia flat course, which is about 10km per lap, then a final full on lap.

The basic premise is to stick with the group riding at about 2.2 watts per kg, which for me is about 160 watts, so nice and easy. As the final lap approaches everyone needs to group together and then go for it.

As we approached the final lap I was in a reasonable position and was determined to go for it from the go. Basically I wanted to stick with the fastest group I could. Despite this the fastest guys still went ahead, even though I was trying hard. But after a couple of minutes I settled in with a group of 6 riders and we worked well together.

The pace was high and I was doing all I could for the final lap of 10km. We were all sticking together as best as we can and as we were approaching the final 1.5km or so one rider went away off the front on a slight incline. As he was alone I thought we would be able to catch him, but no, he managed to get 5 seconds and held on to the line. The rest of us though were getting in to the final km and the pace was picking.

For a lot of these events I am practicing what I would call ‘race craft’. I was sticking on the wheels and not taking to the front. One rider went for it and then the one that had looked the strongest and I went after him.

Given the last few days there was not much in the tank for a sprint but I was definitely going as fast as I can.

50m to go and I was right with him and pulled up along side and as we crossed the line I just pipped him. That would definitely have been a photo finish and when the results popped up on screen the times were exactly the same but I had just been given it, which would have been down the 100th’s of a second. We had also got back to under 2 seconds of the rider that went away.

The 5 of us that were left in the group crossed the line within .5 of a second of each other.

The quick guys had already finished, but I was really pleased with how that went.

Overall I came 3rd in my category, over a minute behind the winner of the cat, but he had obviously gone ahead with the quick guys. My first podium, which is good.

Looking at the stats though, for the fast lap, I am very pleased. This took just over 15 minutes and I averaged 250w with a max of 722 and average hr of 149. Definitely a threshold effort. If I can manage that for 20 minutes I would up my FTP to 237.


Day 5

45 minutes with 5 x 30 second pick ups in final 20 minutes.  Don’t sprint 30 second efforts – just turn the legs over a little quicker to sharpen up

It was Friday night and time for the second of the Autumn series in the Zwift Friday Criterium races. Last week I missed on a point by less than half a second. This week I was determined to do better, especially after practicing the race craft a bit more.

Anyway, the day had been one feeling pretty lacklustre, but I got ready for the race and after resolving a load of technical problems I was a bit late getting to the start line and only had 5 minutes of warm up. Also, this means that I was further down the field and the ideal is to get there early to get near the front.

With the laptop set up, the iPad running the commentary and the fan on full blast it was time for the off.

The full race and commentary is here and I got a couple of mentions, 25:45, 45:25 & 68:00. Mainly riding with fellow British Riding Team team mates. Definitely helps to keep you going riding with others.

The race video

So after the first lap the pace was amazing, faster than I have done on that lap before. I was originally thinking the ride would take about 1:08, but with the first lap in just over 15 minutes it was obviously going to be quicker! But could I hold it!

The first lap was done at 246watts for just over 15 minutes. The next lap was at 245, then 234 and finally 232.

I was actually very conscious of how quick I was going as I knew that the power I was putting out would take me out of cat C, which would potentially mean dq from the series points. I was trying to ease a little bit but to keep with the pack I had to keep the power going. Drafting when I could and when hitting the front easing back to slow things down a fraction, but it was still going very quickly.

Our group was working quite well and we were picking off C and B riders that had gone off too quickly and eventually on the last lap we were ready for the finish. I knew from previous rides that there would be a push about 2km or so out, which happened. The only problem being this is on a rolling part of the course that for some reason I struggle with. I managed to keep with the few riders that were going off the front and was ready for the final sprint.

The pace was picking up and I was giving it everything, but there was not much left in the tank so I just raised the pace and did a team mate a favour and lead him out, knowing he would over take me. There was nothing left to give.

Will I get DQ’d? Time will tell when the official results are up, but this week I was 6th in the C cat, 11th last week. This week was definitely more competitive and also 1 lap longer. Really pleased with that.

Now for the analysis. First up a new FTP of 238. A few weeks ago when I did the bad FTP test it was 207 and my previous best was 234. Overall the watts per kg was 3.41, which smashed the previous best of 3.24 for a workout. This also had one of the lowest variabilities for the power range, which bodes well for the TT. A VI in Training Peaks of 1.01 was by far my best (1.04 is the previous). Given that this is the measure that shows power variability and below 1.05 is deemed good for a TT I am very pleased.

Finally, 239 watts for an hour, where the previous best for an hour was 223!


Day 6

Potential 15 minute shakeout jog

Opted to take a complete break today

Day 7

Copenhagen Half

In the absence on the Half Marathon I took advantage of the weather and got out on the bike. I was just heading out for a recovery ride and had no real objective for it, other than to get home in time for the shopping delivery!

After stretching out before the ride I headed out on a perfect morning for it. No breeze and nice temperature.

All I did was ride and when I got home I was very surprised to see all of the pb’s I got on segments. Definitely not trying to get them and when some of them are on very well ridden segments it is pleasing.

The most surprising thing is that the EF is the highest I have ever done, so I will take that as a positive output from the work I have been doing


The Current Week

A terrible week for me in terms of running.  Copenhagen was one of my target races for the year and very disappointing not to have made it.  The cycling has definitely helped to keep me going and pleasing with the power outputs I have been doing on the bike.


8 Week Rolling Summary


Annual Summary – Current Year


Annual Summary – Rolling


Day to Day  – Current Year


Author: The Mr Smith

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

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