Coaching – Week 76

Another big week in preparation for the Tour of Cambridgeshire, attempting qualification for the Gran Fondo World Championships!…

Day 2

Brick Part 1 – Ride – 60 min turbo with 4 x 10 mins (5 easy) – I want you to aim to increase the power output each block by 5-10 watts with final 10 at or just over threshold.

OK, that was brutal! I was 50/50 in terms of whether or not to do it as the legs and body were tired, but I was home, the weather good and had a day where letting off a bit of steam would be good.

As a result I hit the road rather than using the turbo. This is always going to be more difficult to get the power outputs right, but I had 2 devices on the handle bars, with one current power in a big graphical form and the other with the lap power.

The focus was purely on the power output and I was trying to keep it as consistent as I could for a road ride at 5pm!

I made sure I got through the most difficult part for traffic before starting the ride and then I was off.

Short warm up done and I was trying to get the ride so that the interval blocks were on suitable sections.

With the legs not really feeling it at the start I was not sure how I would go. The first block started OK but I could feel it but then the legs started to come to me and it felt like I was going well.

With a few interruptions on the next couple of blocks I was progressing nicely and hitting the targets or above, progressing in terms of average power for each block.

The final block started at a point where I knew I would be able to do a lower average cadence so I went for it.

I was flying and on the one tricky down hill stretch a car pulled out and I had to slow down as I caught her up and then I had to really test the brakes as another car was coming and they could not pass each other! This was really annoying as I was really going well and I lost 10-15 seconds at least while they sorted themselves out. Also this was right at the bottom of a hill so all speed had gone.

The average power on that one was dropping quickly but I was determined to get It back up. I was also riding angry by that point as the driver had been useless!

Anyway, once the block was done I was not quite as close to home as I had wanted so carried on pushing.

Getting home I got the bike in the garage and got ready for the run.

The ride had been really good with the average powers for the blocks being 229, 233, 242 & 251 (despite the problem). The normalised power though was even better, 236, 245, 243 & 266 and most pleasing (although painful for me to do) was the average cadence in the last block of 79!

There were loads of segment PB’s including several that I am now in the top 1% overall (well ridden segments)

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Brick Part 2 – Run – 30 minute run to include 4 x 3 mins hard, 2 mins steady

The transition was not as quick as normal, but still only a few minutes, but I was out as quickly as I could.

Doing 5 minutes fairly gentle trotting to start before doing the intervals was needed, but pleased with 5:21 pace for what felt really slow.

Then the ‘hard’ blocks. This was basically going to be as hard as I could go, not necessarily fast, but as hard as I body would allow.

The first couple were fine but 3 & 4 did feel like I was treading water a bit. The recovery between them was slow and did not really bring the heart rate down as much as I would want.

The really positive thing is that I did it and managed to still lift the pace in the intervals. The heart rate was right up towards the top end of my zones, maxing out at 169 the effort was definitely there!

The pace over the 4 blocks were 4:10, 4:10, 4:31 & 4:24.

After the last bit of warm down I was very pleased to be finished! It was a warm day and the temperatures for the run were over 20c and I was sweating buckets!

Overall very pleased with how it went given I nearly did not do it

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75 Easy Ride – Appreciate after yesterday time might be a bit tight for this – if so 45-60 relaxed on the bike is fine.

Poor nights sleep so was awake and went out as soon as it was light enough.

Glorious morning for it and great to be out with very little traffic.

I was focused on just riding easy and not really looking at the data. The first part of the ride is up a gradual slope so it was always going to be above the required rate, but when I got back to analyse the data I was amazed to see segment pb’s, especially as I have ridden them a few times. I was definitely not pushing and the legs were very tired after yesterday.

The rest of the ride was the same, just keeping things turning over and taking it at a steady rate, but with an average power of 176 I am very pleased as the heart rate was only 117. I even eased towards the end as the legs were getting tired, but all was good

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Day 4

30 minute recovery run + 3 x 200m at mile pace

This was meant to be done Thursday (carried over to Friday) and I could have a list of excuses as long as my arm for not doing it, too hot, too tired, stiff legs after 2 hours in the garden the night before, etc, but ultimately, I just did not have the motivation to do it. Also, my diet this week has not been great and that did not help, going to resolve that!

Having given myself a good talking too I went out to do it this morning instead, 12 hours late is not too bad and I will still attempt the scheduled run for today later (but that really will be hot for me!).

The legs felt tired but OK once they were up and running. Even before 7am it was nearly 20c so a warm run!

I did 20 minutes steady before doing the 200m blocks. I was running at a pace that I felt would be the most I could cope with for a mile, but that was off from where I ultimately want to be, would love to be around 3:45 per km, but I was more like 4:06. Obviously there may me some slight variance due to GPS and getting up to speed so I am not disappointed but I know the Westminster Mile will not be a pb!

After each block I did 40 seconds easy job and off again.

Then it was just 10 minutes trotting home.

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Day 5

Threshold: 60 mins with 3 x 10 (3) – We definitely need a running threshold top up and want to return to weekly threshold running very soon once the Tour du Cambridgeshire is under your belt. 3 x 10 minutes a touch slower than current 10km pace Chris (a pace you could hold for and hour hard or 85% MHR). 3 minute jogged recovery.

Well, that was hot! My sensor said it was up to 30c and I would definitely believe it!

This was also my second run of the day after carrying over the one from last night.

The chosen route today was not going to let me run at close to 10k pace as I was going to make it in the woods and what would be tough terrain, but it also meant it was going to provide some shade and hopefully a little cooler (but it is all relative!)

It was nice to go and run some different routes and it does give a bit more confidence with the ankle, although I was being careful with my footing.

So the warm up done and then on to the threshold blocks. I was focused on the effort/heart rate and not the pace at all. Given the terrain and the weather I am pleased with how these went, yes all over 5:00 km pace, but rough under foot and steep hills!

I did have to put in a few walks up the steepest hills, mainly to bring the heart rate under control, but not too bad really.

I have to say I was absolutely soaked. I do sweat a lot anyway, but this was the most for a long time. Good job I had a bottle of electrolyte with me, very much needed, as was the stretching session after. Fingers crossed that the legs will be good for the ride in the morning

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Day 6

100km bike with final 50km to include 3 x 10km blocks at 90% FTP or close from 3km very gentle recovery

After a brief warm up to go and get some new kit for running I set off.  It had been raining but had stopped and was warming up.

The basic plan was nice and steady for 50km and then do the blocks.

The overall ride though was one of those where things just do not really go to plan.  The legs did not feel great, but they can be pushed, a puncture after just 5km but luckily the sealant in the Tubeless tyre worked (first time it has been tested but it did mean riding the rest with a lower pressure read tyre), the power meter being hit hard by a stone and nearly coming off at 15km (another stop to fix it) and the cross winds were really tough, oh and as for the drivers I will not say much about them!

With all of that I am hoping that it is the bad ride out of the way.

I felt brutalised when I got home though, hanging on for grim death in the cross winds was really tough and the terrible road surfaces meant I just felt done when I got back.

Anyway, the first 50km was OK, the power numbers were not amazing but steady in the first 50.  I was also trying to plan the route where I hit the toughest hill at 50km but it was reading 49km when I hit ‘The Wall’, so it meant that I started the efforts early.

The Wall is a well known climb down this way and after starting to climb it turns a couple of corners and then goes straight up for about 800m.  Topping out just under 20% but it is more of a mental battle as you can see straight to the top.

I had in mind some time between 8 & 9 minutes based on keeping the effort in check and what others have ridden, but cruising up as much as I could I did it in 7:37 (quicker than anyone else I follow on Strava).  The average heart rate for it, overall 1.5km at 8% was only 146 and average power of 267 so pleased with that.

Anyway, after that was done it was time to knuckle down to the sweetspot blocks.  I was setting about it in Ashford Forest and powered straight over the top of the climb but it was then that I was wrestling with the cross winds.

The 3 blocks do not read great on the stats, but the effort was there.  Given  that they were on the road and the conditions with average powers of 197, 191 & 187.  However, I was having to take care on some of the descents, junctions and also slowing for cars.  The normalised power is probably a better reading with 206, 207 & 209.  Still about 10w off what I should have been put not too bad.

What this ride did show was that the legs are tired and that there was no point even thinking about the Westminster Mile on Sunday morning, that would not be a good idea

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Day 7

30-40 minute recovery run – We’ll need to release the rust from your legs after yesterday. Provided the run feels good please add 4 x 80m strides after

Rust, what rust? Oh yes, all of that rust in the legs. They really did not feel like it this morning, but it was good to get out and stretch them a bit.

The first half of the run was lovely, nice and down hill and it was good to be able to stride out a bit without putting in too much effort.

The second half was obviously more of a challenge up hill but not too bad.

I did prove 2 points though:

  • I can not count or remember how many sets of strides I had done, I missed the last one
  • It was the right decision not to do the Westminster Mile. Yes, I could have run a mile hard, but it would have been slow and there was no power in the legs when I did the strides

All good though and nice to have been out

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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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