Coaching – Week 73

The week of my first ever Duathlon and really pleased with how it all went…

Day 1

OPTIONAL 35-40 minute relaxed run – You might find that your legs feel dead and a bit beaten up Chris – if so I’d rather you took today as a rest day. If you’re up and moving ok then by all means run but HR at 70% MHR throughout

Surprisingly the legs did not feel too bad, or is it that they have not yet had chance to feel too bad!  The lungs however were not so good, so this was a bit more a struggle.  It was not too bad once I was up and running but I was totally focused on running easy, shame I had to go straight up hill from the hotel though.  It was good to be out and freshening up before a long drive home

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Day 2

Brick – 40 minute bike with final 10 at FTP
2-3 minutes rest and transition
6 x 400m (or 90s) at 5km pace with 60s rest

Part 1

With the bike still all set up for the road I went outside rather than doing this on the turbo, saves setting things up in the living room. It was damp and it turned out to bolder than expected due to the rain that had fallen.

I had an aborted start and had to double back as I had forgotten my water, so a quick pit stop and I was off again.

The good news was that although it had rained it had been hard so the roads were wet but not greasy so I could ride normally.

The first half an hour was nice and steady and I was keeping things nicely controlled on the hills, nothing like Yorkshire! Then the last 10 I was on rolling and then gradual declining terrain so I was pushing hard to try and get up to an FTP effort. I was judging this mainly on effort as on the road the power varies so much.

The average power for this block was 222, slightly under FTP but not bad after the weekend.

So as soon as I got home I was off the bike, getting it back in to the garage and ready to run as soon as possible.

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Part 2

So after a couple of minutes I was back out for the run. The first couple of minutes were just getting in my stride and then I hit the 400m blocks.

I was probably to hard at the start of the first one but on the others I was trying to do more of a steady pace rather than hitting hard and then fading.

Most of the 400m blocks were between 4:15 and 4:30 pace, which is not bad. Not sure I would be able to sustain that for an entire 5k though after a ride, but no doubt we will see on Sunday!

One issue that is still lurking is with the chest. When I am at peak I am really struggling, in the same way I felt when I had the infection in March. I get the feeling that I am still suffering with the after effects of it and the peak is not there at the moment. I will continue to monitor this and get to the doctors if needed.

This does not seem to be such a problem on the bike, but I spend less time at the highest levels of intensity

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Day 3

45 minute easy run pre breakfast

This was a struggle. With the brick session last night I had eaten later than normal and not slept as much as I would have needed so I was very tired. It would have been easy to bin the session but I wanted to get it done and to wake up.

I was out later than I would have needed to be to get the full time in, but I was going to do half of it at an easy intensity.

There was a lot of overall tiredness and lack of energy, but the run was fine and a nice steady pace. The tank was feeling pretty empty at the end but it was good to be out. The lungs were not too bad, but I was not at the intensity of yesterday. Today is likely to be a long day with work so I could not push this session to the evening

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Day 5

Bonus Swim

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Day 6

15-20 minute relaxed run + strides

Just a nice steady easy run.  Nothing much to say about this one other than that I was keeping it as easy as possible before the Duathlon.  The strides were comparatively easy but the last couple I pushed a bit harder and got the pace up

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35 minute bike with 5 x 1 minute high cadence sprints

I was originally scheduled to do a nice easy ride and bike check, but as I have missed the ride on Thursday I decided to do that session rather than the easy one. Not ideal the day before the Duathlon, but that event was a practice event so I was less worried about it.

I headed out on a familiar route and keeping things nicely controlled I got through the first 20 minutes nice and comfortably at an average of 159 watts.

Moving on to the seated sprints was fine and I got through them with no issues. The average cadence for them was 111, 105, 112, 108 & 100 and the powers were 289, 303, 294, 278 & 295.

Quite happy with those as I was not absolutely flat out as although the Duathlon was practice I did not want to stress the legs too much

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Day 7

Bonus Swim

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Battlefiled Duathlon

Run 1 – 5km

This was it, my first ever Duathlon. This was being treated very much as a practice ahead of London Duathlon in September, but I would certainly give it my all.

Turning up at 8am on what was a colder morning than predicted it was going to be an interesting morning, especially if it warmed up. It is never easy knowing how many layers to wear when it is cold, but especially tricky when it is the first time doing anything like this.

With everything set up and keeping warm it was time for the off. The long and Olympic distance runners set off and then it was the sprinters. Whoever called an event that I thought would take 90 minutes is mad!

On the line I was ready to go and with a set plan in my head. Do not go to hard, run to a comfy pace and ultimately I wanted to run the second 5km about the same pace rather than fading, but that was an hour away.

The country roads were good and the run was a straight out and back, but undulating. I kept the first couple of km under control and was pleased to be ahead of my target pace, but then as the road started to climb so did the heart rate. The problem I have been having since the virus in March started to be a bit of a problem with the breathing, but I kept things controlled.

After the turn at the half way point I was happy with how I was going and was determined to keep a nice steady pace through to the end of the run and in to transition. The official time for the first run was 23:39 in 4:44km pace, which was ahead of my target of 5:00.

This was now the new bit, transition. Running in to transition I was trying to calm the breathing and prepare for the ride. I got the shoes and helmet on as quickly as I could and trotted out of the transition zone, leg 1 done!

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Bike – 19km

Getting across the road and mounting the bike it was time for the ride, how would the legs feel after a comparatively hard 5km? Surprisingly pretty good. I set off at a good pace, but determined to spend the first couple of km settling in, recovering and then going hard.

As it was a small field I did not have many people in sight, but I did have one rider and I cruised up to him without getting in to the draft. After a minute or so behind him the road opened and went down hill, that was the cue for me to go. I was amazed that I was able to breeze past him and I then set out on my way.

I was gradually catching people and passing them. It was clear who the runners were v riders and I was in the riders category. I was only passed by one other rider, someone on a TT bike, but other than that I was the one doing the catching and passing.

It was great to do a TT style event, not having done one for about 10 months.

The first half was quick as it was more down than up and I was averaging 33.3kph at this point, but it was also in to quite a tough head wind.

The second half was tougher with more climbing and an average speed of 29.9kph is very pleasing.

I caught my final rider with just a few hundred metres to go, thought about settling in behind him but after a brief moment to catch my breath I went past and powered to the end of the ride.

Getting to the dismount line I was off and trotting back in to transition. The overall time was 37:06 with an average speed of 31kmh, I will take that after a run and also knowing I had another run to go.

Getting through the transition again I got sorted out and headed out in to the complete unknown! I was not sure about the legs at the start of the ride, but now how would they be?

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Run 2 – 5km

The second run was exactly the same route as the first, which is a great way to test how the performance.

Putting the cap on like a proper duathlete I started running and was determined to see it home.

The guy who I overtook at the end of the ride went past me, but it was obvious that he was a good runner.

Looking at the watch I was pretty much at the same pace as the first run, if not a little quicker, could I keep it going?

Well the short answer was no and I did slow up, but not much. Some of the quick runners were gaining on me, some of the ones I has passed on the bike, but I was keeping to my rhythm and effort levels. I let them go as there was no way I would keep up but it was only 2 more that went past.

As we were getting towards the end the last 2km felt horrible, but still sub 5:00km pace. I could tell there was someone catching me and with every last bit of energy I had I lifted the pace and managed to hold him off by a few seconds. Not sure where that energy came from and the heart rate was pretty much as my max.

So that was it, the first Duathlon finished. Getting through the line I was knackered but it was good to speak to a few of the other runners at the end and recover, before the added ride to add extra mileage!

The official time for the second run was 24:03 in 4:46 pace. This measure a fraction longer than the previous and I am very pleased that I did that sort of pace, just 2 seconds slower than the first run

When I got the results I was very surprised to have come in 8th overall. It was a small field of 39 and 11th male out of 22. I even won my category! OK, lets get that in to perspective, there were only 2 of us but a win is a win I am definitely happy with how it all went and if I can get through transition a little quicker there was 30 seconds or so I could have shaved off.

The most pleasing thing was how the legs were in the bike and the second run, no issues at the start of either of them

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60 minute easy cool down on bike – Sorry about this – Tour of Cambridgeshire in mind here 😉

After finishing the duathlon, having a breather and a bit of a change it was back out on the bike for another hour. I was going to be taking this one nice and steady and aiming for around 25km. The route was randomly selected in the Garmin, but knowing the countryside round there I knew it would be rolling.

Again the legs did not feel too bad and the first half of the ride was very pleasant and I was riding nicely. It did get tougher as I turned in to the wind and discovered 12% plus hills, but still pretty good going and not overly difficult. Could I have gone longer? Yes. Would I have wanted to? No. One of the main reasons was that I was still in my tri shorts and the roads are rough!

I could have happily jumped in to the car after the race and headed home, but I made the right decision to ride it there and then.

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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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