Well today is a glorious sunny day. Great weather this morning after last night’s freaky thunderstorm and torrential rain. Great weather for an outdoor swim… but that’s not on the plan for today. Today calls for a hour cycle followed by a short transition run. Looking forward to that after work. The only minor concern is the residual fatigue from Sunday’s cycle. I’m surprised that the legs are still a little tired – I guess the ride was tougher than I thought. My guess is that due to the number of stops and mini-rest breaks my aerobic system had time to recover from the efforts but the leg muscles didn’t recover. So by the end of the ride my CV system was not fatigued but my legs were. Interesting to consider the difference.
Yesterday’s swim went well even though the arms were still a bit achy from Saturday’s long swim. With the taper beginning these muscle aches will pass fairly quickly now which is great! During the taper I intend to keep an eye on my CTL to ensure that it does not fall too much. My CTL has not been rising for a while, but rather keeping steady, so hopefully the taper won’t let it drop too much. Joe Friel, the guru, has a great blog entry Strong and Weak Form which discusses the art of taping to come into form while keeping an eye on CTL. I hope that my coach’s plan does not taper to fast causing my CTL to drop dramatically… if I start getting concerned I will discuss this with my coach and perhaps increase intensity/volume slightly to keep the CTL decreasing “optimally”. Yes, another plug for the great WKO+ software – it really is this great!
Nineteen days till race day… EEEEK!
Well the countdown is well and truly underway now. Less than 4 weeks till Ironman Austria 2009. YIKES!
I would be lying if I said I was not getting nervous and starting to have those “have I done enough” doubts. Right now however I just need to stay focused on the remaining training sessions and ensure I get some quality workouts in in the next week or two. Then the taper can begin. Hopefully a couple of big sessions before the taper will give my TSS a boost and allow my to peak at just the right time, with a good CTL and rising TSB.
Annoyingly I am having some issues with my bicycle which I am frantic to get sorted promptly. In hind sight, the bike should have had the service a fortnight before Challenge Barcelona rather than after the race. Hopefully all the issues I’ve noticed will be sorted in the next couple of days in time for the last big ride this weekend.
My swim today was not great. I kept feeling like I was very low in the water and was not breathing very well. I think I need to do a couple more pool sessions to keep the feel for the water going but also a couple of open water sessions in the wetsuit to give my confidence a boost.
My main concern is picking up a running injury prior to the race. I have one really long run left and fingers crossed I don’t hurt myself. I’ll keep the ice on tap and do lots of stretching.
Anyway, better head to bed to get my beauty sleep!
Well it’s yet another month since my last blog post. I feel somewhat disappointed that I have not blogged more as I am sure it would be a great record to look back on. Anyway, I’m going to summarize the last month’s training efforts in a couple of paragraphs…
Early March saw me putting in a couple of big weeks of training to prepare for the training camp in Spain. The big weeks were OK but noticably draining. I think I do need to concentrate on getting more sleep during such weeks. More sleep equates to more recovery and more recovery equates to more training “freshness”.
The week in Spain was great. I went over to a company called Girona Cycling. Gareth and Fiona are friendly, knowledgeable and generally all round good coaches. I have been over to them a couple of times now and always enjoy the cycling in Span. The roads are great quality with almost no potholes! Although the company is called Girona Cycling they cater for triathletes too. This week consisted of a number of rides including two into France and back. One of the rides came back into Spain via the Col de Banyules. My word – what an awful (great if you’re a masochist) hill. Not too long but an incredible gradient. My Garmin recorded the following for the Col de Banyules climb:
- last 250m avg 23% gradient
- last 500m avg 17.3%
- last 1km avg 16%
- last 2km avg 12%
- last 2.5km avg 10.2%
- last 3km avg 8.9%
- last 4km avg 7.3%
- last 4.5km avg 6.7%
Quite a tough hill in my books. I recorded my highest ever cycling heart rate on this hill. At one point I was going so slowly I thought I was going to fall over. If you ever try this climb back into Spain I would suggest the use of a compact and a cassette such as a 12-25. I’m sure many cyclists would not find this hill too challenging, but for someone of my dubious calibre it was tough! At least I managed it all the way without stopping!
The training camp did wonders for my CTL… but with any rapid rise in the CTL my TSB plummeted to around -90. Upon return to the UK I came down with a nasty cold. It knocked me off any serious training for roughly two weeks. I managed to put some sessions in but nothing too long or too intense. In fact, I am still trying to get 100% over the stuffy nose.
Over the Easter bank holiday weekend I did some long cycles and runs which got my CTL to edge upwards. The highlight of the bank holiday weekend though was getting in a 4100m swim in 1h29. That’s roughly 2m10/100m which isn’t too shabby for me. So at least I know I can swim the IM distance now!
I did a 5hour cycle last weekend – a very slow pace. Too slow for me I think. We covered a bit over 110km so an average of around 21km/h which is quite slow. I need to target my training sessions more and ensure my training partners cycle at appropriate power levels and hence paces.
This week has been shabby on the training front and tomorrow is an easier day – 1hr swim and 1hr bike. Sunday is the first race of the season – a super sprint – 400m / 15km / 5km. I will be looking to do a “steady” pace as I don’t want to get injured at this point in the season. I am currently thinking I should have perhaps been targeting an Olympic distance race around now but hindsight is always 20/20!
So in summary my CTL is dropping since the training camp due to injury and some light weeks training (due to missed sessions and sessions done at too easy an intensity). I need to get myself back into gear and focus the training for the next two months (until IM Austria).
Wish me luck!
Well it’s been a while since I posted on the blog so thought it would be a good time to post an update.
My training has begun again and is going along well. My swimming form is still not up to scratch and needs work. My bike form seems OK, based on efforts on the rollers. The weather is just not conducive to outside rides – so much so that last weekend I did a two hour stint on the rollers. Ouch! My run form seems as good as can be expected too.
So in summary, I’m reasonable happy with my fitness at the moment and am working on base training. My training for the next few weeks will be reasonably low intensity to get more base training completed.
For the coming season I have decided to use a combination of WKO+ and Training Peaks to track my training and races. I am keen to utilise WKO+’s TSS/IF scores in my training plan. This will be easy for cycling which is based around power meter readings. Running TSS (rTSS) is based around threshold pace, which in my mind might not be terribly accurate, but is better than nothing. WKO+ doesn’t calculate a TSS for swim sessions, but I found a formula to use to calculate a swimTSS value. Hopefully these three sets of TSS scores will be useful in managing training loads and fitness levels. Of course, it could all end up being just a lot of extra work.
WKO+ will also keep track of my cycling critical power (CP) / functional threshold power (FTP). This will be interesting and will hopefully creep up over the next couple of months.
So all that remains now is to keep to my coach’s plan and not skip any sessions.
Happy Christmas to all my readers (just in case I don’t post before then!).