Coaching – Week 69

Running form poor to middling, Cycling form getting there, 3 weeks until Tour de Yorkshire, improvements all round…

Day 2

Brick – 45 mins cycling (3 x 8 minute hard) + 30 minute run


I was hoping that the activities would upload as one overall, but they come through as separate ones. It is only on Garmin I can see a combined view.

I was at home again today as had completely lost the voice again yesterday, but was feeling marginally better today, although very tired.

I jumped on the bike as early as I could and started on the session.

A nice gradual warm up where I increased the power output to get the legs flowing and the heart rate gradually climbing. It was then on to the 8 minute blocks. Although I was programmed in to Zwift my only focus was on monitoring the heart rate. Yes Zwift was set up to power but only used as a guide to ensure that I did not go over the top.

It took a few minutes to get the heart rate up but when it was in the right zone I measure the output to keep it as close to 152 as possible.

I could tell I have not done sustained threshold blocks for a couple of weeks and they were tough but no problems. I was pouring with sweat at the end as it was warm in the house.

So the final 2 minutes I treated as if I would be coming in to transition. I was in recovery mode and even undid the shoes with 30 seconds or so to go.

As soon as I was done I jumped off the bike and started the transition. This took a little longer than I would have wanted, just over 3 ½ minutes, but I had to get things saved and the sensors sorted out. I have learnt a bit about how to speed things up when doing it at home, but I was then ready for the run.

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After the transition I went out of the back gate and started the run. I had no idea how it would be as this was a first in terms of a hard ride and run straight after.

The heart rate had come down to about 100, but soon started to jump back up.

Although I was meant to keep the heart rate low I also wanted to just run and not think too much. For the first time in a while things actually felt quite good with the running, not overly flowing but pretty good.

What I did find was that the body wanted to keep the momentum going from the ride, rather than slowing down to bring the heart rate down.

I was not exactly flying along but the quickest run for several weeks and averaged 5:26 pace, which I will take after the ride. The heart rate average was 146 though. I did not feel like I was stressed out and the legs just wanted to run faster, I kept trying to slow down. It was nice to actually feel a bit racy for once!

Although I know I will not be quick or challenging for wins or anything in the Duathlon it does give confidence that I know that I can get off the bike and run, now to find out if I can run, ride and run with the same form

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Day 3

60 minutes with 1 minute bursts every 5 minutes – Ride the bursts out of saddle, bigger gear simulating lactate increase of a short, sharp hill. Everything else is easy.

Well I am surprised. After the brick yesterday and a rubbish nights sleep I was not expecting anything with this session this morning.

Also, given the time of the day I was unfuelled and did not have a gel or anything else, so it was going to be a test.

The legs did not feel too bad during the warm up which I took nice and steady and it was time for the hard out of the saddle efforts.

The main objective for me was to actually sustain the power for the full minute, rather than do what I have done in the past and go too hard and then fade, I wanted much flatter power profiles during these blocks.

I had set Zwift at 300w, but was only using that as a guide really and was focused on being out of the saddle, lower cadence and pushing hard.

I am very pleased to say that I managed all of them and kept the bursts fairly consistent and with good profiles. The last few were tough and I definitely hit the objective of building the lactate up. After each one the legs could really feel it, but the good thing was that within a minute of easy pedalling on them all I could feel that they had cleared and the recovery was good.

The average power across the 10 blocks was 329 so again something I am pleased with a range of 317 to 354

I also got my best 1 minute power time on Zwift, not overall as I have done better in races outdoors, but pleased to see it

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Day 4

10/10/10 progression run

Another day another surprise.

I was realistically thinking that my paces for the progression run would be around 5:40, 5:20 and 5:00.

When I set out I was not feeling it too much but soon realised that I was running ahead of the expected target time for the first 10 minutes and was trying to slow down a little, but was feeling good so thought I would see how I would be able to cope.

I was unfuelled as this was originally meant to be an evening run, but due to schedule changes I was out first thing in the morning, which was a very nice sunny and still morning.

So the first 10 minutes down in 5:26 pace I picked up the pace a bit and carried on. Again no major issues and by this time I was only monitoring the lap pace, so everything else was just taking care of itself.

The second 10 minutes were done in 5:06 pace, again quicker than scheduled but very pleasingly bang on the 20 second improvement I was hoping for. The average HR for this was up at 148, so definitely pushing on a bit.

The next pick up seemed to go OK as well. Yes I was starting to blow a little towards the end but I could have carried on. I would still not be up to anything like a decent half, or even 10k, but getting there.

The final 10 minutes were at 4:43 pace, so slightly more of an increase than the 20 seconds, but the pace management was not bad. The average heart rate was up at 159 though, so getting pretty close to the edge of the comfort zone.

A couple more weeks and I should be back to normal

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Day 6


Well, that shows where my current level is, 2 minutes outside 5k pb pace and well above previous HR thresholds.

Not great, but good to have done something a bit more competitive.

When I was warming up I knew things were not right, it felt like my asthma was playing up a bit. When I say a bit I do only mean a bit. Nothing major just that I knew I was struggling.

Lining up at the start I had no idea how it was going to go or really what the course would hold for me.

It was a nice flat start and I got in to what would be about 5k pace and was going to stick to it. Others went ahead and others dropped back and everything settled down. The one thing that did not settle was the heart rate which was very quickly at the top end of where I can operate.

At just under 2.5km I was absolutely at max and was trying to bring it down, but going up the hill it was hitting 176, which is pretty much my max (without being at what I felt was max effort). I managed to keep it under control but I was now running at about 4:45 pace rather, 30 seconds outside where I would like to be (I know it will come though).

Getting towards the end it was definitely getting to be a real struggle but I pushed as much as the body would allow.

Finishing in up in 23:12, 2 minutes outside my Horsham PB was not great, but after such a bad few weeks I will take it.

The average HR was up at 167, 94% of my max and the highest I recorded was 177 so I was definitely at the most I can produce. Training Peaks also suggest an increase in HR threshold from 158 to 161!

I can not wait until the bug has finally completely gone from the system and I can knock out a really hard parkrun!

The good news was that I was 2nd in my age cat out of 13!

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Day 7

Road Bike: 65km with hills – Don’t worry About average paces etc but I want a variance in effort. Make the first and final 15 km pretty easy but the middle 30km to include 8 repeats of a steady 3-5 minute climb. Focus your efforts on maintaining cadence above 90 throughout the climb, easy back down and repeating. Stay in saddle as much as possible.

You could not get a much better day for a ride. Sun, no wind & perfect temperature for me.

The downside was that the legs were feeling the run yesterday, but not too bad, mainly just the top of the quads.

So it was off, I set off on a 10km warm up lap, where I managed to beat a couple of segment pb’s, so that was a good start, then it was off on the 8.5km loop which would include a 1.3km climb averaging 5%. The aim was to do 8 loops, but that would see me doing too long a distance so I just thought I would see how I went.

I was lucky at most of the junctions where I would be able to get through the lights or on/off the dual carriageway without too much trouble, certainly for the first 4 laps anyway. The last 2 I completed were a bit more difficult and the dual carriageway was getting busy.

In theory I should have been easy for the first 15km, but I sort of blew that out of the water with the warm up, then efforts on the hill with some recovery. However, I basically kept pushing before and after the hill, not max but certainly not recovering too much.

I managed to get 6 good loops in, but by that time I confess that I was starting to tire, but also bored with the dual carriageway (also knowing I would complete the distance without any trouble) so decided to stop at 6 and do the warm up loop again.

So with the hill, the 6 efforts were good. The first one just 12 seconds outside of my 4:41 pb (so quicker than the 80% target), the next one I could see a group of cyclists ahead of me and the target drove me on to a new pb of 4:31, then the next back to 4:52 (this one I tried to stay a bit easier), the 4th came in at 4:32 and the 5th at what will remain the pb for a while of 4:30. Again there were a few cyclists ahead and it is amazing what a carrot in front can do. The final one was still better than the previous pb at 4:39 so I am really pleased that 4 of them beat the pb and the maximum spread was 22 seconds.

The even better thing was that when I had done the 65km and was on the warm down loop I was still doing segment pb’s, so I know that it is coming. I just need to be able to find the next 40km at speed and things will be good.

Pleased with the effort and the average speed of 29kmh, especially when solo riding.

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The Current Week

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Health Stats

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4 Week Rolling Durations

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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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