Coaching – Week 71

The last week before the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive, finished off with some good climbing and a long run…

Day 1

10km run, generally easy but to include 7 sets of 100m – long strides effectively but fast throughout without sprinting, take about 30s recovery between each

Well, the prep for this was less than ideal. Virtually no sleep, fasted, dodgy stomach and needing to ensure that I got back before 8:30 in advance of a delivery.

Needless to say I did not hold out much hope for this.

However, it started OK and the pace was good through the first 5k (good in comparison to how it has been for the last few weeks), averaging around 5:20 pace.

The 100m repeats were also OK, I was at max, without sprinting, and it definitely pushed the heart rate up. The best pace was 3:40 but probably averaged 4:00 overall. Some of which were up a slope and others down, so that is probably representative. The heart rate peaked at 166.

After that it was the last 4km to the end. I tried to ease off but the heart rate was very stubborn in coming down so I just settled back in to running steadily.

The effort did not feel too much but it just would not come back down and it averaged about 152 over the last 4km. I felt fine though.

It was good to get another 10km done though and 30 seconds quicker than my first ever 10km race in October 2014. Definite progression as this was a very steady run (other than the intervals) and I know I was at max all the way in Melbourne! Especially pleasing knowing how I have been over the last few weeks

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Day 2

FTP Test

That did not go to plan.

The legs were feeling tired before the start, this is the 7th day of training after I added in the run on Friday, so I am hoping that is a reason why things did not go to plan.

What I had hoped was to average about 260 for the FTP test, which would have given an FTP of 247, which would be have been an improvement (and where I think I should be).

Anyway, after following the structured build up in Zwift I stated on the FTP test. What I was trying to do was hold a constant power output above the 260 target. No major issues in the first 5 minutes but by this time I was at max effort. Through the first 5 minutes I was at 263w and averaging 155 heart rate, but the next 5 were not good with the power dropping down to 235 and heart at 161 average.

I had to back off during this period a bit and the legs were not feeling great.

The next 5 was even worse down at 222 and still averaging 158.

I was still giving everything and determined not to jack it in and tried all I could to lift things in the last 5, but the lift did not really happen until the last 2. This 5 minute block did average 246 but the heart rate was back up at 161.

Overall for the 20 minute test I averaged 242w (which is a fraction above my FTP) with an average heart of 158 (max 167, which is only 6 off my all time max for cycling).

I definitely could not have given any more and that is where I am at.

When I think about things I need to remember that I was laid up completely with the chest infection 4 weeks ago and not training at all and the first couple of weeks back on it were building up. I think it goes to show how much that took out of me. The other mitigating factors is the fatigue from all the training. If TP is to be believed in terms of the Fatigue rating, that is currently up at the peak I had for Ride London last year.

I am disappointed, but I know that I have more to give. Generally I have never done my best FTP score when doing the tests, they tend to come in Zwift or Crit races. Maybe next time I am due a test effort I will do a Zwift race and see what happens.

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Day 3

60-75 minute zwift – I want this to be pretty easy at no more than 3watt per kg at any stage and generally around 130-150 watts

Nothing exciting to report on this one. I was doing as much as I could to stick with the plan of not pushing too hard. I had the watch set to show me the power zone and w/kg so I could measure whether I was going to hard or not.

I was riding Zwift on fairly random routes that would involve hills and flats, but I was avoiding the big mountain so that I did not push on.

I only went above 3w/kg for about 10 seconds across the whole ride and averaged 154 overall, so only just over the target zone and the average heart rate was only 112.

The legs had recovered pretty well from the test yesterday, although they would not have wanted to do another one today.

I was just focused on the power and keeping the cadence nice and high to spin things out

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Day 4

Brick: 4 x 6 mins + 10/10/10 – Ride 10 warm up with 4 * 6 minutes @ sweetspot then 10/10/10 progression run

Brick Part 1 – Ride

This was the 9th consecutive day of training and the legs were definitely feeling a bit tired but not too bad considering.

Getting home changed straight away, quickly get the bike set up and jumped on it. I had debated whether to do road on turbo, but everything was set up for turbo and easier to stick with a schedule on it.

With the session planned in to Zwift I started out with the warm up, gradually building up until it was time for the blocks.

The first one took getting on for 3 minutes to get the heart rate up in to the zone, but once there the only thing I was focused on was the heart rate, I did not worry about the power, just using that as a guide but no more.

I was quite happy with the control I had with the heart rate with them averaging 140, 141, 143 & 143. All of the ones after the first the heart rate got up to the zone in just over a minute.

Not just with the control, but the power averages were pretty good at 237, 238, 235 & 232. All 4 of them above the FTP level I managed the other day!

So getting to the warm down I used the last few seconds to untie the shoes while still trying to pedal.

That was it, but I had to spend a few seconds saving the activity in Zwift and getting to the door before the transition, that probably took 45 seconds or more of the transition, but I was ready to run with the shoes on. Out of the back door locked up and out on the street in 1:50, not bad. I had to quickly run back in to the house though to grab the water that I had left on the table!

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Brick Part 2 – Run

After the slight hiccup with the water I was out on the road. I was having to manually monitor the watch as Multisport just does not work properly in Garmin at the moment so I can not use a structured workout. I knew what I need to do though.

There was no way that I would be able to keep the heart rate down at the levels in the plan, but what I was wanting to do was keep the first one as controlled as possible then increase each one by about 10 bpm.

The first ten minutes were fine and I actually felt like I was running OK and when the ten minutes were up I lifted the pace and got the heart rate up so it was now about controlling it, which I did.

The final 10 minutes were quicker and I was blowing, but I was still running well (big surprise) and was feeling good. I even managed to pick the pace up a bit as if I was pushing for the finish.

The heart rate average for the 3 blocks were 140, 148 & 157, so not too bad in terms of progression and the pace was 5:44, 5:00 & 4:47 (the last one being more up than the others)

It is starting to feel that things are coming together again and the pace is returning. Yes, at the end of this I was blowing and done in, but it gives confidence for the Duathlon in a couple of weeks. I just need to pace the first run and then everything else should fall in to place.

That is 2 weeks on the trot where I have been pleased with the brick sessions

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Day 6

75 minutes with 6 x 5 mins @ threshold all from 90s jogged recovery

After a night out I was not exactly feeling my best and was tempted to have a rest day instead, but I jumped in the car and headed to the coast to force myself in to a run.

I also planned on doing an out and back run which would mean that I would have to run it all as the turning point would be around the half distance mark.

So setting off I was definitely not feeling good but after about ten minutes or so I started to feel a bit better and the breathing calmed down a bit, which allowed me to focus on the intervals.

I did not really know how I would go, but I was focused on getting the heart rate up and not worrying about the pace.

They went remarkably well considering and I managed to do all 6 of them without any major problems. I am pleased with the average heart rates of 153, 157, 157, 158, 158 & 157 so bang on target. The pace was also not too bad at 4:48, 4:46, 4:50, 4:44, 4:46 & 4:56. I am really pleased with the consistency of those especially as there was mixed terrain, road, grass, hard packed path and some pebbles!

Once the intervals were up I settled back down in to a slower pace, but as per normal the heart rate did not want to come down, despite me trying to ease back as much as possible. I did then realise that I might just be able to hit 15km by the end, a good mental confidence boost if I did, and as the heart rate was staying up I did push the last couple of km to try and hit it. The good news was that at exactly the end of the workout the distance ticked over to 15km.

That all helps with the confidence as I know that I would have been able to keep going for another few without too much trouble, so that should mean that the half distance is back in the legs. That will be good for later in the year

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Day 7

Long Ride – Ride this easy chris…and aim to control lactate levels up hills….spin them out…

This was going to be a big ride for me, in fact my 3rd longest one ever, before one training ride and Ride London.

Going solo on a long ride is not easy as you need to keep the mind focused, but it does mean you can go at your own pace.

So heading out first thing in the morning it was a perfect day, a bit chilly, but dry and calm.

I was just keeping things nice and easy to start, knowing that there were 2 big lumps mid ride.

However, it turned out that I got a handful of segment PB’s on the very first part of the ride.  I was definitely not pushing and I did not think the legs felt that great at the start, following the run yesterday.  They were on fairly well ridden segments as well.

I was cruising along quite nicely averaging about 28kmh for the first 30km, but then the routing went a bit off and took me down some tracks.  I had to try and navigate round and still ended up going down a track.  The Garmin also took for ever to re-route properly and I had to keep stopping to work out which way I needed to go.

This affected the rhythm and also the pace quite a lot.

Anyway, once back on track it was time for the first of the big climbs.  This was Toys Hill, the first of 2 climbs in Simon Warrens 100 Greatest Climbs.  This comes in at 2.7km in length and averages 6% with a max (according to the app) of 18%.  This was more like 20% but I will not argue.

The climb starts fairly gently and then ramps up and then ramps up to something of a wall at the end.

I was just sitting in the saddle and keeping things moving forward, staying seated for just about all of it, just a moment towards the top.  I had seen a rider quite a way in front of me at the bottom and remarkably I reeled him in and went past him towards the top, the rode away.

I was able to put the power down a bit as I went over the top.

It was a tough climb but not impossible.  I had set a notional target time of 12:00 to ride it, and when I got home found out I beat that and did it in 11:28.

After a brief flat and down hill dash it was then time for the next one, this one had a lot less cyclists around and was a different challenge.  Yorks Hill is only 600m in length but averages 14% and max over 20%.  This one was tougher and did have to spend a bit of time out of the saddle.

These are the sort of climbs that I will survive but very slowly!  The road was not as good as Toys and very narrow, but luckily no traffic coming.  This was definitely hard but I got to the top and as soon as the 20% plus section was over I managed to speed up over the top.

For this one I had estimated 4:40 for it and hit that exactly!

So that was the big climbing over and done with, but there was still about 500m of rolling climbs to go.

I set about getting back home riding a good tempo, but not pushing too hard.  The average speed at this time was about 25kmh but I wanted to increase that a bit and to get through 100km in less than 4 hours.

I was riding well and feeling good in the legs and was just enjoying myself.  I hit the 100km mark just under 3h 55 and then pushed home.

The most remarkable thing about the ride was then getting segment pb’s at the end, and on segments that I have ridden a lot!  One of them I have 55 entries in Strava!  I did not feel as if I was going too hard and the heart rate was well under control.

A very pleasing ride.  The biggest problem is just the comfort in the saddle.  That is an hour more than I have done for a long time and it took its toll a bit

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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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