MTB Season Closing Fast

It’s getting pretty slippery out there on the trails. I should just put the bike away and focus on other things until next year. Yesterday I attempted to do a lap of the local trail and -while any chance of putting in a fast time is gone- I had some good fun doing an easy lap and trying to find new lines. So much so that I’ve now bought two new tyres in the hope that they will extend the season by a few weeks.

Schwalbe Hans Dampf Snakeskins. TrailStar up front and a PaceStar out back.

That now puts me three pairs of tyres down that never ending rabbit-hole in the search for MTB traction.

Training is good in general. Back on track. Running is nearly regular again.
On the down side: that saddle sore came back yesterday. Going to have to go biblical on it now.

Weekend plans: MTB ride and 50-60 minute run. Try to sneak a swim too.

Run

I’m still trying to get back to regular running and ran home from work in an effort to do just that. I felt very good and really enjoyed it the whole way. Upon downloading the data I was surprised to see it was so slow but that doesn’t matter for now. Getting out there and enjoying it are all that is important for now.

Spent the rest of the evening on another project:

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Swim Two

Second time at the club’s swim training and I’m starting to feel better already.
There was a noticeable improvement on last week however the depth of my fitness was exposed towards the end of the set when I really had to dig hard just to hold pace.

Having the HRM only confirmed this feeling. HR crept up and up throughout the entire workout. If I had been fit this would not have been the case:

Swim

Base

Started my base period today which will mostly be on rollers as far as the bike is concerned.

I just played about today with different intervals durations and intensities and eventually hit on a good session. Good in two ways (three if it actually works).

The set is just spending 10 minutes at 220w and jumping up to other intensities at random.
A few seconds at 400w, 30 seconds at 300w and sometimes just bouncing up ad down 5 seconds at a time between some higher power and 220w. The aim is to not drop lower than 220w.

The purpose is to simulate what actually happens in a bunch as a race approaches it’s end; high overall pace and lots of surges and attacks.

The good point is that there is no format… just make it hard.
Another good point is that it keeps the head fresh.

The set could be stiffened up a little by defining 5 or 6 intervals and do them at random… I’ll play with the idea for a few weeks. During the base period these are only games. As the season approaches these will be brutal.

Swim – Bike

Took the plunge and went swimming with the club last night. I usually try to get a few solo swims before I go back and shame myself but last night I just decided to go. No real swimming since last May. Turned out to be the right decision. I was ok until the last ten minutes… even then I wasn’t too bad. I did feel my form slip for the second half of the set. I’ll get that sorted pretty quickly though.

Today I did a lunch time MTB rode with Richie. He pretty much left me for dead on anything resembling a hill but I enjoyed being out nonetheless. Lovely Autumn day.

Bikee

I forgot to mention – I tried out my new Garmin Swim pulse band. It records your HR while swimming. In principal it works – I had a HR curve on garmin connect after I swam. Unfortunately when I overlay HR and Pace (HR and any other metric actually) the HR graph is about 30% shorter than. My guess is that the HR is not being recorded during the rest intervals and the other metrics are. I’ll have a read around and see what I find.

Next Year

It’s time to plan next year. Planning races was never my weak point; planing the training for to do very well in those planned races was always my limiter.
The way I should go about it this year is to list my limiters and then compare that to the type of cyclist I could be. Work on it from there.

Lidingö MTB was the first race this year and will also be my first race next year.
To do well in Lidingö you need to:
Be as light as possible on race day.
Be able to manage a strong surges for all the hills – approximately 46 punchy hills in the race.
Hills are distributed as follows:

First 10km:12 short sharp and fast hills. All hills are under 2 minutes but are attacked very hard. Key is recovery on the downhills.

10-25km: Only 10 hills but they are longer with three of them being about three minutes.

25-35km: Nine hills in this section.Five are about 2 minutes. one is three minutes, the others are under a minute.

35-46km: This is easy. Three small hills (1 min, 2 min, 1:30). Time to shake out the legs.

46-50km: Three punchy hills and then very rolling terrain.

50-59km: This is where you’re likely to blow up. 12 hills in 9km. Five of them are significant (4,3,2,2,2 minutes. Very steep too). There is the one only technical section of the course here, between 54 and 55km – very steep climb followed by a rocky technical descent. It it’s wet it’s going to be tricky.

59-63km: Downhill.

So there needs to be a long ride once a week and lots of hard intervals during the week on the trainer.

To be continued…

21 hours later

Just 21 hours after yesterdays great ride, I headed out on the trail again. This time with Richie. The depth -or should I say shallowness- of my fitness was apparent because my legs felt sore from the get-go. Having company though gave my legs no let up. When Richie was behind me I felt pressure to keep the speed up, when I was behind him I fought to hold on to him – he later told me that he was pressured by having me behind him so went extra hard.
The result was the fastest lap I have ever done which is a result. Combine that fact with the fact that I’m not fit AND I’m tired from yesterday’s ride.

As I type this I feel absolutely drained. A shadow of a man. Rest is needed. There’ll be no swimming tonight.

Great MTB ride

I’ve been sidelined by a saddle sore for a few weeks now. During times like this it’s easy to forget the good; to forget why you do what you do. Even when you are at peak fitness, injury free, you can get mowed down by the competition and feel : “Why do I do this?”.

Today I got back on the bike, with no real enthusiasm and just hit the NICK trail. Two minutes in I was having fun. Everything just flowed – the hills seemed short, the technical sections seemed easy, the bike seemed to just do hat it had to. I nearly laughed out loud because I was having so much fun. So because of this, I’ve added a new category to my posts: “Remember!”.

It’s a tag I can click when I need to remember why I do this. Today is the first of what I hope are many of these posts.

Get Going Again

I’m finally moving again. The saddle sore won’t go away but the positive side of that is that I am running again. And the even better thing is that my running speed/endurance is coming on surprisingly quick. The speed an effort required to hold that speed is nearly back to normal, only the HR is very high – 10-15 bpm over what it would be when I’m ‘fit’.

I have been reviewing my end of season reviews. In reviewing my reviews I see a pattern:
Very good at setting goals.
Very bad at making LONG TERM plans to reach those goals.
Very good at letting things get in the way of those goals.

In addition to that, there has been a complete lack of consistency in my training.

Something has to change.

I’m going to have a good think and figure out what I actually have time for before I make any new plans.

Watch this space…