Coaching – Week 43

A week of racing on Zwift and riding on the roads, including the Zwift TTT world champs and a first group ride…

Day 2

Zwift – ZTR Tuesday Night Worlds (B)

That confirmed that I can not, at the moment, completely back up a hard ride with another one.

This was a really tough race for everyone. The laps of the London Loop, which involves 3 times Box Hill, which everyone thinks is the hardest for racing. Not the length of steepness, but the in between length of it, not super long that you can settle and not massively steep. It is just full out v02 max efforts.

The first challenge though is always the starts. Everyone goes hell for leather to get in to position and a group. I do not have the high end sustainable power to live with the top guys but I pushed and settled in to a group.

The first ascent of Box Hill was tough and I beat my previous best time by a minute. I was trying to hang on in there. The challenge I have is going over the top and down the other side, the heavier guys pull away, but I have learnt (by the end of the ride) where I need to really push to stick with them.

Going through on the second lap I was struggling. The first 20 minutes had been done at an average power of 245, which is basically FTP and I started to fade and I made a conscious decision not to keep pushing on.

I lost the group I was riding with and went solo for a while.

Getting back round to the final lap and ascent of Box Hill I had decided to do some training. Knowing that I have some hill work this week and that I do not really do out of the saddle, I did some practice. Lower cadence and higher power. To my surprise they went really well and I sustained them and did quite a few intervals. I even caught someone on the climb that had been ahead.

I pushed on to the finish to record a time. That was 1:25 of hard work! I came in 24th of 25 on the B race and realise that I did not have the legs.

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Day 3

45 minute easy recovery ride

No excuses, just no inclination to get out plus it was blowing a gale

Day 4

Road hills: 6 x 90s + 2 x (5 x 30s sprints) – Ride easy out to a hill where you can climb at a strong effort for 90s – Complete 6 sets of 90s climbs, in the saddle, cadence at 100+.  Recovery 60-75s freewheel down (safely!!). When complete rest for 2-3 mins. Then 5 x 30 second out of saddle sprints in a bigger gear and lower cadence, make sure recovery is 60s between each effort. Rest for 2-3 mins and then repeat set.

Well, that was a surprise. Bit of a shocking end to the day on the work front, something to expand on another time, but what it did mean was that I was home in daylight and got out on the bike.

I changed the originally planned hill as it would not have allowed me to get the cadence up enough as it is too steep for 100 plus cadence. This meant a different warm up which I extended a little bit rather than just getting to the hill.

This was good as it allowed me to work out a few things before focusing on the intervals. The hill I had chosen was starts off quite steep, circa 11% and then eases off. I misjudged the length a little and it eased off a bit too much and gave an overall average around 3%. I managed to go further in the 90 seconds than I thought.

I made sure that on all of the hill intervals that I hit them at a high cadence, averaging around 104 for them and getting the power up as high as I could and overall averaging 308 across them. The first was the lowest at 272 and a max of 323.

Some of the recoveries were a little longer due to traffic and having to do tight turns. There was not much traffic but it is a very narrow road so it caused some delays.

After the longer recovery it was time for the sprints. To be honest this was going to be a first. I have done some out of the saddle sprints on the turbo but not really on the road.

As I had slightly misjudged the climb I used the very top part of it for the sprints. This was going to give an average gradient of around 0.5%, so a slight up.

The plan I had was to go from pretty much a standing start from a speed hump and then get as far up the road as possible (which as it happened was about to the next speed hump). The first couple of efforts I was probably in too big a gear to start with, but it did not take long for me to get that sorted and on each of the sprints I ran out of gears, which is actually quite pleasing.

All of the sprints were completely out of the saddle but the first few were on the hoods, but after that I went down in to the drops.

The first block of 5 average 422 watts and 58 cadence (the first one was when I realised I went for too low a gear so the average is lower). The second block was 461 average watts (peak 491) and 65 cadence.

Despite the fact that it was getting dark I was still able to do them as I have really good lights and I was actually enjoying doing the intervals.

The good thing was that the legs were recovering quickly between them. For the hill intervals the legs were fatigued at the end of them, but the recovery was good.

Looking at the ride I produced a new high power of 767 watts and a new highest 1 minute power of 357. Considering the day I had I am really pleased with all of that (and surprised by how much I enjoyed it!)

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Day 5

Recovery swim 15-20 mins

A nice comfy swim. I set it up to get to 800m (well as close as you can in a 17m pool!) with the hope it would be around 20 minutes. Not bad judgement 🙂

I focused on trying to keep a good long stroke and pulling underwater. It actually felt like my stroke had improved and I think this would have been one of my quicker swims at 2:39 per 100m

Day 6

Zwift World Team Time Trial – 40.8km

My first World Championships!  Oh my god that was so hard!  The full details can be found on the Tacx Team Time Trial post

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Day 7

3 hour easy ride, undulating with steady effort on climbs – Keep all climbs saddle based.

It was time to get social and to try out Crawley Wheelers. Having looked at their website they were planning a ride of around 40 miles, but at an easy pace, which is what I needed.

I headed down to the train station and over to Crawley in plenty of time. After lots of mucking about trying to sort the gears out I met up with the group and headed out. There were 3 groups, A, B & C. The C is the club ride, as in as fast as you can go and if you get dropped then it is goodbye! B would be the longer group ride and A is the shorter and generally easier one.

A it was for me today as it was the day after the TTT . It would also give me time to have a chat with some of the other members.

The route was quite a good one, mainly undulating and a few hills, up to 18.4%. It was a very steady ride but on the hills it was just getting to a good tempo and it was good I was able to cruise up them all without any worries, even being able to chat up them which is unusual for me.

I spent quite a bit of time ‘soft pedalling’ so the average power is very low, but this was what I needed. Also, as I was new to the group and not a leader (plus do not know the route we were going on) I was at the back a lot so not having to work hard.

We finished the ride at just under 60km and I then headed for home on my own. At this point I was just riding a quick solo tempo, but not pushing too hard, so was surprised to see a good bunch of PR’s on that final part of the ride.

It was good to ride with a group for a change and something to so again, maybe varying between the A & B rides depending on the training demand. I am likely to always push harder if I do the sessions solo.

We did have a good tea and flapjack stop at Polesden Lacey, so if noting else I will get to explore new places 🙂

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The Current Week

Still no ability to be able to get data out correctly from Garmin and given that all of the work has been bike focused the summaries are focused on Zwift at the moment.  It was a very tough end to the week!

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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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