Monday, 24 March 2014

90 mins Tri ride at Cyclopark with Faye

Objectives: For starters a mile brisk walk from school, then off to the Cyclopark for a 90 mins hard push. Then carried on with calf and shoulder stretches.

Session Details: The mile walk was absolutely fine and the calf felt excellent under this level of workload, I resisted the temptation to break into a jog.

The Cyclopark was it's usual indecisive self! We were told on the phone some of the circuit was being used before 12:00 but when we got there it was all open. Half way into the ride part of the circuit was closed off to let some wally 'rollerblade'. Grrrrr.

Execution: The effort was pretty consistent and hard - somewhere between Olympic and HIM pace. The circuit was in the new (clockwise) direction but the wind was fierce. This meant that my efforts were about 5-10% harder than a still day, but still, all good training.

I averaged 21.9mph (no aero helmet or disk wheel today) and totalled just 33 miles.

Here is a short video of the up hill section (I know, Faye is no David Bailey).


Garmin file:

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Dainish weekend

A rest weekend sightseeing with the Mangat/Baxter combo. About half a marathon of walking and a couple of core sessions thrown in for good measure.

Managed a 'tight' treadmill mile but left it at that as the walking was making both calves sore. Shoulder stretches continued.

Ate loads so should be a little more buoyant for swimming!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

VO2 Sportive 9th March 2014 - 120K

I booked this sportive last year as I thought an early season ride (post skiing) of somewhere between HIM and IM length, would give me a good idea of my road cycling form.

Last weeks calf injury put the ride in doubt but after a couple of test turbo's I was confident to at least give the ride a start, with the back up plan of Faye picking me up in the car if I got into any difficulty.

Great weather made this the first really 'dry' ride of the year (there were some puddles but thats nit-picking). I was in about the 5th wave to set out so was about 100 riders back from the start. I was able to pass a lot of riders up to the 25 mile point, I then shared the ride with one guy before leaving him behind on a ling hill then it was solo for the last 40 miles. I wasn't overtaken for the entire ride.

Nutrition went well (high 5 drink & gels) and I didn't need a pit-stop. My back/bum got a bit sore for the last 20 miles where I'm a bit sportive rusty and my left pedal made some wording 'clicking' noises. Other than a 2 min red light stop the ride was pretty smooth and the calf didn't get any worse. I held back on the hills as thats where I felt the calf was most vulnerable.

I came 10th position out of 400 (Platinum level - Sub 4:30)

Here's what the event organisers say about the route:

The 120km route takes in some stunning scenery around Kent and Sussex.  Starting in front of the beautiful Fosse Bank School, the route takes a short anti-clockwise loop before heading to Shipbourne for the first major climb of the route - Shipbourne Hill.

From there the route winds across to Knole Park in Sevenoaks and descends River Hill before entering Weald village. From Weald the route heads to Chiddingstone and around Bough Beech where it climbs the 2nd major climb - Ide Hill. At the top is the first feed station.

After taking in the scenery and some food the course descends to Brasted before climbing Toys Hill. Descend into Four Elms, where the two distances split and the 120km route continues on to Edenbridge. The route then climbs and takes a 5 mile stretch of road taking you to the Ashdown Forest .There the climb is up Chuck Hatch to the top of the stunning Ashdown Forest. At the top is the 2nd Feed station.

Descend into Groombridge and across to Penshurst to climb up past PORC on Grove Road. From there the route winds its way back across to Bough Beech and onto Chiddingstone Causeway. The route then turns left to Weald and climbs Hubbards Hill, before following the road to the T-junction at the end and turning right onto the main road out of Sevenoaks. Descend River Hill and head towards Hildenborough. Then finish back at The Walled Garden.
me 10th position out of 400 (Platinum level - Sub 4:30)

Heres the Garmin file: (note HR data was spurious for the first 5 mins - I estimate the effort to be at 78%max HR)

Heres the Strava file:

Monday, 3 March 2014

The toughest training day

As you progress through a season of training, through the easy long sessions of the base period, the faster harder build period and lastly the race specific nature of the peak period, it's becoming pretty clear to me what the toughest days are....

The ones where you don't train.

Rest days really are a time to savour. They are a time to look forward to and a time to gain some much needed 'family credits'. These are not the days I'm referring to. It's the days missed through injury.

With my job as a firefighter, I have become pretty adapt at dealing with incidents that for most are pretty catastrophic and life changing. When it comes to personal training setbacks however (and by that I mean injury), I'm pretty pathetic.

I've had enough of there setbacks now to know that they can always be overcome. In the multi-sport world you can usually turn your focus to at least one other discipline. You just have to manage your expectations a little differently and usually a solution presents itself.

Despite this rather obvious realisation, I still (always) find setbacks difficult to deal with. So to manage the current one and hopefully to ease the process of any future ones I have put together a checklist of the stages to expect and hopefully overcome.

Prevent the injury in the first place
Plan workouts with an emphasis on stress and rest.
Keep an eye on technique and equipment fit (& wear and tear).
Regularly assess technique and form.
Make core strength and conditioning sessions reflect the training activities.

Stop as soon as injury has occurred
It's too easy to exercise through pain in order to just make the last interval, or last mile, or to make it home. The brief achievement of doing so is greatly outweighed by the missed training during recovery.

Treat injury instantly & correctly
Experience has shown me how and when to treat an injury. Usually it's instantly and patiently. I have found it useful to look back through training data to see how long the recovery took and what the process involved. Hopefully by applying the previous step (stopping as soon as injury occurs), recovery of the current condition shouldn't take so long.

If unsure, consult
I know a good Physio who so far has been faultless in injury diagnosis and recovery advice. Looking at the big picture...... money and time well spent.

Assess time period
Be realistic about recovery time, again from experience. Use periodic test measures to assess progress so that exercise intensity can be adjusted accordingly.

Find alternatives
It's a multi disciplined sport where all 3 disciplines benefit from improvement and each discipline benefits from cross over fitness of the other 2. Every stroke, revolution and stride (if done correctly) is a step closer to that finish line.

Record and learn
The athlete that plans and records... Succeeds. This applies not just to distances and speeds, but also to how it felt especially when training with injuries - let's face it, most of the time.

There you have it, simple, what could possibly go wrong. Train smart!