Coaching – Week 48

A week of interviews, some good training, new records and wearing the Green Jersey on Zwift…

Day 1

optional: recovery swim OR elliptical – 40 minutes.

Another day and another plumbers visit so no chance to get to the gym

Day 2

Turbo: Vo2. 7 x 3.5 mins + 5 x 90s – Warm up well with 15 minutes easy spinning. Pick up the final 5 mins to a light threshold to get HR up a bit.  Hit 7 x 3.5 mins aiming for HR to be over threshold effort. Work hard on these blocks. 75s recovery. Then ride easy for 3 minutes before adding 5 x 90s hard from 45s rest. Cool down well.

I am not sure where my energy was today, but before the ride I was completely devoid of it. The legs were also still feeling the rides from the weekend so I was not sure how I would get on.

I had set up the session in Zwift with target watts, 210 for the 5 minutes, 260 for the 3:30 minutes and 300 for the 90 seconds. However, these were only in as a guide as I was focused on the heart rate.

By the time I had done 10 minutes warm up, plus the 5 I hit the threshold blocks. Generally I was peaking out at about 160 bpm, which would be about 88% of my absolute running max, but about 92% of my cycling max.

The power was not far off what I had set in Zwift but through the 7 blocks I gradually decreased through them, but keeping the heart rate in the right area.

I was pleased to get through them as the head was not in the right place, a lot of things going through it ahead of an interview tomorrow.

The 3 minute spin out was very much needed and I tried to hit the 90 seconds blocks hard but there was not much in the tank by this point and I made a Horlicks of the gears on the first one. For all of them I could not hold fully hard for the 90 seconds but managed around a minute for them. A bit disappointing that I could not sustain it, but am pleased to have been able to do them after how I felt before hand.

Even if it has not confirmed physical strength, at least the mental side held up, which is a big positive.



Day 3

90 minute bike over an undulating route. HR controlled – Aim for sub 130 HR, max 140 on climbs.

Due to the timing of my interview I had to be out all day so did not get chance to do this


Day 4

Ergo: 20 minute easy


4 x 10 mins FTP (3-5 easy spin)  – I have cut up the session from a couple of weeks back to allow a bit more rest and control and hopefully feels a little more sustainable. Good solid threshold work.

Although I could not do the ride yesterday the legs felt stiff and heavy before this ride. Also a lot of things going on, but this gave me an excuse for an escape. I was determined to actually complete an intervals set as planned!

So, I set up Zwift with a target of 230. This is slightly under my pure FTP of 237, but because the training has been a bit up and down I wanted to give myself a realistic target that I could achieve and maybe exceed!

The warm up done and then off. I took a minute or so to settle in to the right gear to get the cadence and power combination. Eventually I found it and settled down in to a good tempo and power.

The first block was done in 234w with a max hr of 151, so under control. This was something I was trying to do, making sure that I did not over do it in the first one. The second was a fraction harder but really pleased with 237w and max hr of 157.

By this time though I was starting to work hard and I could feel the effort levels going up to maintain the same power levels.

So with the sweat dripping off me I gathered the focus and hit block 3. Another good one at 236w but higher her average and max up to 160. The effort was going in.

In recent times I may have backed off in the final one, but I really wanted to finish off properly, for once! The last one though was a struggle. I was having to battle to keep the power up and had to dig deep. I managed to get through with a power of 232 but the max hr was up at 164.

I would not have been able to do much more and the legs may regret it, but pleased to have done the whole set. I know I can push the legs, just need to push the mind and lungs further!


Day 6

Cat 4 training day

Today was meant to be the second of my cat 4 training days.  However, the weather was abysmal and I also had a lot of things I needed to get done.  I decided not to do it as it would have meant 3-4 hours of driving as a round trip, plus with another interview on Monday I did not want to be out in the cold and wet for several hours.

Having said that, I still did a good session and I am booked in on the 27th for the Cat 4 day.  I jumped on to Zwift with the idea of just doing a good steady tempo ride, without pushing too hard, but to throw in a couple of sprint practices, just as I would have had on the training day.

I was using the London course on Zwift and took in 2 laps of the London Loop, which takes you up box hill.  Just keeping it nice and steady and not pushing on too hard.  After the 2 laps I switched to the Classique circuit so that I could do the sprints and get a proper time.

I was going in the reverse direction, which means going up the Mall and I hit out on the first sprint.  I went a little early and was flagging as I got to the line, but to my very pleasant surprise I got the 3rd quickest (of those on the course at the time) in 15.92, much quicker than I have managed before, I hurt though!  I was out of the saddle and I did think I was going to pull the bike over at one point!

After a lap to recover I went for it again.  I took a very steady approach, as we would have done on the training day, and hit it hard.  Even more pleasing was that I did it in 15.74, which got me the green jersey for that sprint!  That is a first, 1st of 127 is pretty pleasing.  This also put in the top 2.5 % of times on the Strava segment.  OK, so this one is not used in races but pretty good

After this one I switched direction so that I could attack the sprint in the other direction.  This one is ridden more so I was not expecting to be as good and I approached even slower on this one, again starting the sprint too early, but doing it in 13.48 with no draft or anything is not bad.  21st of 231 is acceptable.  I have done this Sprint slightly quicker once before, but that was in a race and using drafting.  To show the difference it makes the power on my fastest time was 455, but for this one (no draft) I was at 647!

That was enough for today though.  The real positives were that those sprints came after 90 minutes, so that is good, I hit my highest power on Zwift, 801w and had my best 10, 15 & 20 second results as well.  Plus, having my all time best for 15 & 20 seconds, road and virtual.

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Day 7

90 minute bike to include 10 x 2 minute hills + 45-60 min elliptical.  Split longer day. 90 minute road bike with 10 sets of 2 minute climbs, in saddle. Follow soon after with 45-60 minute elliptical with 5 x 5 minutes at threshold effort form 2 minute easy recovery.

I deliberately headed out a little later than normal today to try and let the roads dry out a little bit and for it to warm up.

I headed off on a ride for a warm up, which took in a long drag and a 17% hill, which I got a pb on, without putting the effort in, pleasing.

I made my way to my 2 minute hill line and started the first of the 10 reps.  I set out heard, but trying to monitor the effort so that I could, for once, complete all of them.  That is not to say I was holding back, just a bit more measured.  I was also hoping to be consistent for all of them.  Not easy on a nasty little climb, but when I looked at the segment on Stava they were pretty good, a total of 11 second variance.  Some of which could be caused by GPS recording, but it was not a bad grouping.

There were definitely a couple towards the end the felt like I was getting tired, but I was still able to push on and all of the repeats were close to 300w (293.5 average) and although a fraction lower than last time, 295w average, I completed them!  As soon as done it was time to head form home, but not before a 2 mile long drag hill and a sprint back down.

Sadly though this was it for the day, I needed to get home and start the prep for another interview on Monday.  I am hopeful though that I will be able to get the elliptical session in after the interview.  Also hoping there will not be many more interviews!


The Current Week


4 Week Training Durations





Author: The Mr Smith

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

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