Another week and another Crit race, but the week had been plagued with a cold, how would it go…
45-60 easy road bike or turbo – Coupe of days backing off running after the 10km Chris. Keep this one zone 1 – fully relaxed.
Following the run yesterday the legs could best be described as stiff! Luckily, that was mainly the running muscles rather than the cycling ones.
I jumped on the bike and joined up with a group ride. The idea was to get a bit of motivation to ride as it was a bit a lacking, with the legs and the cold still lingering. However, they were at a higher pace than I expected so after a few minutes I realised and started to drop back as my effort levels were too high.
I then settled down in to a nice rhythm and pedaled away for an hour and eventually the average heart rate came down to the correct level, so a pretty good effort overall. For such a low average heart rate of 118 I am pleased with the average power of 163
Turbo – 10 + 10 x 4 + 10 – 60 minutes with 10 x 4 mins. After 10 minute warm up complete 10 sets of 4 minutes alternating threshold effort (top end) and steady effort (not easy) with no recovery.
This was definitely to be kill or cure. The cold had started to feel worse so I was not sure how long I would last on this session. I wanted to start it and see how I felt.
The warm up was fine, just ticking along nicely and then for the intervals. I felt OK so started on them. The first block took a long time for the heart rate to get up to the desired zone, it was stubbornly slow. I had set up Zwift to show my threshold power so that I had a good gauge to work from (mainly so that I did not over do it), but I was focused on the heart rate as the measure. However, I was having to ride well above FTP to get the heart rate up.
After doing the first threshold and steady efforts it all seemed OK so I carried on.
The rest of the session went well and I am pleasantly shocked that I got through it, but also with the hr/power outputs. Focused on the heart rate but the power in the threshold sessions only varied by 4 watts across them, with them averaging overall 257. The steady state blocks were also good averaging 195. The last couple the heart rate struggled to come down quickly, but it did and everything was good.
It may have finally brought the cold out, but I will see how things are in the morning
45 minutes easy – Get the running shoes on and head out breakfast around Victoria Park, on the grass where you can. HR to be capped at 75% ideally at 70%
This was a bit of a struggle. The cold (as in a cold not cold outside) is still around and not shifting and towards the end I was struggling a bit, but also the legs were still stiff. Although post run and a good stretch they feel better now.
I really do struggle to run slow enough to keep the HR at 70% so most of this run was nearer 75%. However, I am pretty pleased that over the last few weeks the average pace on these easy runs has increased without the HR changing. I even walked a little bit towards the end of this run to regulate the heart rate due to the cold, so overall I am happy with this.
30 minutes easy elliptical
I know there have been some workouts when I have not had any sleep, but last night takes the biscuit. I did not get to sleep until 4:30 and felt pretty ropey. The good news is the cold feels like it is clearing.
As I was not at the hotel this was a replacement spin on the turbo. Nothing much to report other than I put in a couple of small surges to get the legs going and the heart rate up, other wise it would just have been a very gentle roll out. Not sure how the legs are feeling though ahead of the run later. Hopefully they will be OK, but if not or of the lungs are struggling I will back off the session but still do what I can
Threshold: 5 x 6 minutes (90s) – You know this a is a staple, bread and butter session
That was tough! The legs had recovered OK from the ride but still feeling the effects from the weekend a bit, plus the cold. I hoped that I was going to be able to do the run without any trouble.
The warm up was fine and for once I manage to keep the average heart rate down to just about the required zone. Then it was time for the threshold sections.
I picked up the pace and was running pretty freely considering, yes it was down hill, but felt good. I was very focused on not pushing too hard and getting the heart rate in to the right zone, which I managed to do. I kept it controlled.
The recovery section was very much needed.
The next threshold was also OK and in the correct zone with a reasonable pace and this remained the same for the third one. Having said that I was needing to walk a bit on the recovery blocks to bring the heart rate down and give myself the chance to catch my breath.
The 4th & 5th threshold blocks were really tough going, but I managed to average the correct amount for heart rate, but the pace was slowing.
If I am honest I am not totally sure how I managed to get through this. It was hard work, both for the legs and the lungs, the mental side of things seems strong even if the body is not so good.
Post the run it does feel like that the cold has come back so I am pleased that tomorrow is a rest day. With any luck it will just be post hard effort effect and I will be fine in the morning
30 minute easy run (pre bike) – Super relaxed and easy
It was cold! The legs were not feeling very loose but I kept this as easy as I could. Nice and steady pace and just trotting along. The cold was still there and loitering in the system though
30 minute bike to include 5 x 30s pick ups in a big gear. Not HR based, up the power. DO this post run.
It was still cold, very cold and wintery showers in the air. Not ideal conditions for checking the bike and body ahead of the race tomorrow.
However, after the run I had been at home for an hour whilst waiting for a delivery but was still nice and warm from the run so I went out at a nice steady pace.
I have was just planning to do the big pushes at suitable places, the hills or long drags, which I did. It was manually controlled rather than preset. At no point during the ride did I look at the heart rate, I was just going from effort.
The pushes were good, especially those on the hills. I managed to basically sprint up them and get lots of new pbs on segments. Most pleasingly though, without really focusing on it, I beat my previous best 30 second power by about 20 watts. There is definitely more in the tank for the next intervals session like that.
Preston Park Race 3
When you get to the 2nd ever race you have done after having a cold and realising that the weather is bitterly cold, the drizzle is coming down and the wind is picking up, you think it could be a tough day.
However, after a good nights sleep (the first in a long time) I was set and feeling OK, fingers crossed the cold had gone.
After the warm up and final preparation it was time to line up at the start. This time I was paying closer attention and was on the front row. As with last time we had a neutral lap, but unlike last time this was controlled (helped I was on the front and keeping it steady along with a couple of others that took part last time) and then it was off.
No surprise that the pace picked up immediately and people were trying to go off the front. I was quite happy sitting on the front of the main pack for the first few laps keeping things monitored and then cycled back through the pack to take a breather. A couple of attempted attacks did not work but then 2 went clear. 1 of which I knew would do as he had last time.
Would it stick or not? They definitely built up a gap and the pack were pushing hard. Then more riders went across but still not enough to really worry about.
By this time I was already up to 160 bpm and was at the back of the pack, but making sure that nothing happened. I was aware of a couple of riders behind me that I knew were plotting to attack to bridge the gap, which they did. I immediately went with them over the top of the pack and was quite comfortable latching on to that small group in the chase. All was looking good.
That was all in the first 10 minutes or so, but then the cold started to catch up on me. I was struggling to catch breath and was falling to the back of the pack. The heart rate was not higher but I was struggling. Eventually, despite my best efforts, the elastic stretched too much and after 20 minutes I realised that I had lost the wheel and that was it.
The instruction at the start was that if you were lapped you could carry on racing, but do not interfere, which was something that happened last time.
I took a few laps to try and catch my breath, whilst still keeping up the pace as best as possible. Grouping up with other riders where possible, but spending quite a bit of time solo.
Eventually the leaders, who had now grouped up (yes the ones that I had been with) caught and lapped me. I made sure I kept out of their way to let them race. The front group was about 13 strong.
I had settled in to doing a hard training ride now and not racing, but when with another group of riders I eventually decided to push ahead of them as I had recovered, just additional training.
The lead pack were really shifting and caught me again close to the end.
As my 45 minutes ended anyone that had been lapped pulled to the side and then off the track so that the leaders could race to the line. It was good to watch them racing, it looks quick but I know I did that speed last time, and I picked up a few tips for next time.
Whilst disappointing that I could not stick with it there are plenty of positives to take from the race:
• The front pack basically consisted of the same riders that were in the top 10 last time, which I know I can finish with
• My stats were amazingly good for power from 2 to 30 minutes were new records for an outdoor ride – Although I was not able to ride with the pack I was still riding hard
Next time I will hopefully not have a bug in the system and will be back in to the front of the race
Optional 45 minute easy run post race – This would be to up the aerobic volumes and overall run volumes this week but please don’t take risks if you’re sore or very tired post race.
Given how the cold was and how it affected the ride I decided not to do the run. The legs could have been pushed through it but do not think it would have done any good
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