A week of challenges, contract termination and not feeling great still, but finished with massive power PB’s in race training…

Day 1

Recovery day: 1.5km-2km easy volume

A nice comfy swim.  One of the longest I have done.  I do find it tough swimming and I would have done a bit more but the pool became busy and too many people to allow me to do back stroke.  To the point people were entering the pool and moving across where I was swimming causing me to pause.  Pleased with how it went until then

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Day 3

AM: 30 minute easy elliptical – Being a bit cheeky with you being at home and squeezing in a little more volume

Moved from Tuesday to Wednesday due to change in WFH days

I can definitely tell I have not done any running type of things.  This actually felt tough.  Not through fitness as that is there, but just using the muscles in a different way.  I kept this all nice and easy and the heart rate under control.

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PM: 8 mins + 5 x (4 mins + 1 min) – Big session this evening.  8 minutes at threshold HR around 80% max with 90-100 cadence. 5 mins easy spin recovery then 5 sets of; 4 mins hard ideally 85-90% MHR. 30 sec spin recovery, 1 min sprint.  Spin for 3 mins between sets.

Moved from Tuesday

I had a bad nights sleep, mind racing and also body slightly abused, but the performance on this was not good.

I had not been able to do this ride the night before due to things changing at work, so carried this over.

I set things up to try and get the heart rate at around 143 for the first 8 minutes and then for the 40 minute repeats between 152 & 161. I was also going be measuring the power to try and get everything balanced in terms of effort.

The first 8 minutes were OK with an overall average HR of 136, but it did take quite a while to get it up. The power was nothing to write home about at 223, but got through the block with no issues.

Heading in to the first of the 4 minute blocks things were fine and I got through It with an average heart rate of 149 and power of 255, so not too bad. The 1 minute sprint was different. I hit it hard, but got to about 40 seconds before I blew up. The heart rate got up to 124 and average power was 313. Nowhere near my best for a minute.

After the recovery the seconds block of 4 minutes was ok, but tough. The average heart rate was up at 143, bang on 80% of my running max, and power of 225.

The next sprint was not good and I was fading fast. HR of 151 and power of 249!

I managed to pick it up for the next 4 minutes and somehow managed a power of 229 and HR of 143. Stats show it was good, but the body was not showing the same thing!

I picked up a bit more on the next sprint, but was still low on power and that was pretty much it. I could not really manage anymore and although I completed the sets they were not anywhere near what should have/could have been done.

The lack of sleep and things took its toll

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Day 4

2 x 20 mins at FTP – Tempo workout. Warm up for 10 mins. Ride 20 mins at FTP around 90% of threshold, spin easy for 5 minutes and then hit another block of 20 mins FTP.  Cool down for 10 minutes after

I was not feeling that great before I started, very fatigued (not so much through training, more life!), and was debating whether to do this workout or do the 50 minute recovery ride that would have followed the one I did yesterday.

In the end I decided to go for it and see how it went.

I set the target at around 230w for the 20 minutes blocks, which compares to an FTP of 238 and peak for 20 minutes of 248. This would have been in the right ball park for the ride.

After the warm up I was still not feeling that much better, but the legs were doing OK. I managed to get through the first 20 minutes at an average pace of 229 and average heart rate of 146. It did take a few minutes to get the HR up, but I was making sure I did not push too hard.

By the end of the block though I felt pretty shot and was dropping in sweat.

The recovery block was fine and then in to the second block and there was nothing in the tank. I tried to start the block and even though I did I was under power and with only about 4 minutes gone I had to back out of it. I was really struggling but determined to at least get through to the end of the ride.

The mind was definitely gone as well as the body. With the stuff that has been going on the mind was not focused on the body and could not force it to do what was needed.

The only saving grace was that a friend of mine was just starting a ride and joined me (virtually) and spurred me on to pick up the pace at the end. When I say pick up I mean get up to just above what would have been the recovery! Not good at all.

When looking at the power output graph it looks good for the first block and terrible for the 2nd.

Hopefully over the next few days and things will get back to normal

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Day 5

optional easy recovery swim between 1-2km

A nice comfortable swim. I was focused on the stroke and trying to keep it long and smooth. For once the pool was not too busy and I was able to concentrate on what I needed to do. I was managing to comfortably swim at 1 stroke less per length and the pace felt pretty good (for me doing backstroke anyway).

I did start to lose the rhythm about half way through and the stroke count went up back to normal to 16/17 strokes per 17m length. Reasonably happy with this and hope that the work that I am doing with the yoga and core will help with the swimming. I do not naturally float so it is always quite a good core work out keeping things going.

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Day 6

Road bike: 2 hours 30 minutes undulating route – All aerobic HR zones, lower end generally 65-70% MHR rising to 75-80% only on climbs.

After what was another bad nights sleep I decided to head out for a solo ride rather than joining up with a group.

I was a lovely, but very fresh, morning. Perfect for riding.

Once I had got up and running it actually felt pretty good. No set plan on route, just going with the flow and seeing which way I decide to turn when needed. The speed was not massive but the legs were feeling good and the heart rate was very low and controlled. No danger of exceeding the required heart rate %’s. This is not to say I was taking it easy, just seemed that the HR was low today.

The challenge I had though was about 24km in to the ride (I was expecting to do about 60), when I was doing 60kph down a hill, the saddle moved and it felt like the stem had slipped down. The problem with that, on a carbon frame you need to put special stuff on the seat post rather than grease. The seat post did slip down and as a result I decided to turn towards home and head to the nearest bike shop to get it checked and sorted.

After getting it done though I had cooled right down (as in I was really cold) so headed for home.

Obviously this meant that I cut the time short, but still just under 90 minutes in total. Not ideal but it did mean that I would be saving a little bit for the training day

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Day 7

Novice Racers Training Day

Another lovely morning for cycling, pretty much perfect for late October so the Novice Racers Training Day was set fine.

Arriving at the South of England showground in plenty of time I got myself set up, signed in and grabbed a cuppa.

I was quite nervous as I did not really know what to expect, but everything was good.

We had a pre session briefing before we all mounted and headed out to the course. There were about 40 of us in total, so a good big group.

There was a good variety of sessions focusing on riding and race skills including cornering, riding in close company, chain gangs and sprinting.

This was all really useful as racing is something I have not done before. It also showed that the legs are pretty good at the minute. Yes, there were a few riders that were obviously quicker/more experienced, but I was focused on practice and not speed.

Well, that was until we did the sprint drills. We were riding in groups of 4 and going round the track in a line, with a big gap to the group in front. Sprint 1 was at 50%, sprint 2 at 75% and the final 2 at 100%.

The first one was good and very controlled. Out of the saddle, but pushing on. The next one was definitely at around 75%, still trying to keep the control.

The next 2 were a big surprise. All four of us were out of the in a line and preparing for the off and we all hit it. I had prepared and was in a big gear and was very surprised that I was actually up with the other 3 (who had all looked very good to me). I could hear a couple of gears being changed elsewhere and I did have to go for an extra gear part way though.

The final one I think we all really went for it and basically the 4 of us crossed the finish line together. I was in a slightly bigger gear at the start and was slightly behind but did catch up at the line as the others faded a little.

Now for the real surprises, the peak powers in the sprints:

1. 50% Effort – 590
2. 75% Effort – 666
3. 100% Effort – 823
4. 100% Effort – 1127

Now the surprise is that my previous max power was 767! So that is a big improvement and my 2, 5, 10 & 12 second bests were also comfortably improved. The motivation of sprinting against others may have helped!

Overall a pretty good day and very beneficial. The confidence of riding in very close proximity to others is really important, plus the sprint practice which was aimed at riding along side people and holding your line when flat out

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The Current 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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