Swim and Sweet Spots

Did a swim after work. Moderate pace and the start with come quite descent 100s and 200s at the end.

After an hour of procrastination I managed my best ever performance on the sweet spots today. Felt strong throughout but really had to dig on the last one – what’s good is that the last one was the 6th one. It’s too late to type any more for now. I may do more tomorrow.

Splits Today (Av. Power):
246W, 243W, 245W, 245W, 246W, 262W

Last Sessions (Newest on top):
234W, 234W, 237W, 234W, 233W
234W, 229W, 235W, 235W, 249W
226W, 227W, 225W, 229W, 225W, 242W
236W, 238W, 239W, 239W, 264W
229W, 228W, 231W, 229W, 258W
226W, 221W, 225W, 228W, 246W
223W, 225W, 227W, 228W, 240W

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 23.15.26

Higher power numbers are good. But there’s also this:

IMG_8064

Rest, Ride and Run

I took the day off after my morning MTB session with Johan. Legs were very tired. We had dinner guests on Saturday and I hit the bed at 00:10 and set the clock for 06:00… I reckoned nearly six hours sleep and a 3-4 hour bike ride would be just the ticket. Alarm sounded and I felt pretty dam tired. Nevertheless up I got and started to eat a big breakfast… still tired. Coffee. Still sleepy. I then glanced at the microwave clock -the only one in the house that doesn’t automatically set itself- 05:20. Spring forward time! Had I known when I was going to bed I probably wouldn’t have bothered.

It took at least 40 minutes for my legs to get going on the bike and once they did I felt good. Needed up doing three and a half hours and  was plenty tired afterwards. To top off the long weekend I’m just back from an easy 9km run. 5:00/km – felt good doing so.

Tomorrow I hope to get to swimming with the club. Maybe a weight session during the day too.

Plod and Roll

I sit here typing here exhausted. I just attempted a 20 minute power nap that turned into a 35 minute nap-snooze-nap. Bloody tired! What has made me tired? Seven hours training in five days could be it although I hadn’t felt tired until about one hour into today’s ride. Yesterday’s ‘run’ was probably the first sign but I’m so irregular at running that I can’t tell if I’m just slow or just tired. The run was indeed slow yesterday but I assumed that it was the result of not running very much but I can now say that the result of that run was brought on by physical stress.

So what do I do now?

Rest, recover and ride again tomorrow?

A part of me wants to get seven hours cycling done in three days but my head -and my legs- tell me that this will probably not happen. As a thought experiment for now, what would happen if I kept pushing through this tiredness barrier? How long would it take to recover? Would the gains be worth it? Would there be any gains?

I most likely will never find out.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 18.22.02

New VO2 Session

I read about and tried a new bike session today. The day was spend pondering on the gap between what the figures ‘sound’ like and how they would actually feel. My research on the web led me to the following set:

40 x 0:40/0:20 @ 110% FTP

What was I wondering about?
I was wondering if it should be 115% FTP… I felt it should have been but the world wide web told me not to.

Like anything I do, once I committed to the 110% version that was what I stuck with, Until I didn’t. The last 10 minutes were done at 115% FTP.

Overall the session was not difficult. There was never a time that I wished it ended. This leaves me with a conundrum: Do it at 115% FTP next time or leave it as it is. Should every VO2 max set leave you falling off the bike? Amazingly enough, after all these years, all the books I’ve read, the research I’ve done; I still can’t answer that basic simple question.

It looked like this:
Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 22.31.31

Swim

I went swimming with the club again. Once again I left angry. The new ‘coach’ they hired is nothing more than a swimsmooth shill. The amount of equipment on the poolside is embarrassing – even for a triathlete. There is honestly no way to get out of the pool mid-session because of all the shit piled up around the blocks. Pull-buoy, paddles, fins, bands, water bottles and beepers. I ignored the shit as much as possible and kept quiet until I saw the main set: 800m, set your beeper at something speed + 5 etc… I looked around, waiting for people to say – “hey coach, what the fuck is this all about” but no, they each took out their beepers and off they went.

After 12 years it’s probably time to leave the club.

Despite the planned training set, I managed to get a good session done. The 800m beeper set I swam without the beeper and held 1:32/100m – pretty ok considering I’m not swimming very much these days.

Today I’ll probably hit the trainer… try a 40:20 VO2 set maybe,

VO2 13s – Very Difficult Today

Did the VO2 session today – the week was rearranged because of home planning so I did the set today. Legs still felt a little tired from Sunday’s long ride. I did a solid warmup and felt good. Starting the first set I also felt good. Unfortunately I think I gave it too much because I started to fall apart mid way through the second, the third was pure survival. Comparing it to the previous weeks sets it looks bad:

Today’s VO2 Max session:
487kJ, av. 230W, NP 252W, TSS 53,1

Previous sessions:
500kJ, av. 234W, NP 255W, TSS 54,9
500kJ, av. 235W, NP 255W, TSS 54,6 * 13×0:30 earlier were 12x
467kJ, av. 235W, NP 256W, TSS 56,5
469kJ, av. 240 W, NP 257 W, TSS 56,1
474kJ, av. 239 W, NP 258 W, TSS 57,2
439kJ, av. 222 W, NP 240W, TSS 54,0

When we take a deeper look though it actually looks like a great session; a breakthrough of sorts. I usually hold back (unintentionally) in the first set but today the first one was the biggest numbers I have hit all year. As a result I faded. I’d like to think that although the numbers of the subsequent sets were lower the fact that I was fighting through an over-extension will give me more benefit than the numbers show. It looked like this:

VO2Monday

 

Longest Of The Year

It wasn’t planned but today was the longest ride of the year. Out to Lidding again to do the second section of the course – managed to get a good way around it. I sit here now typing with pretty tired legs – tomorrow my plan is to do the VO2 13s – I’m not looking forward to it however it will be done. Today looked like this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 22.56.37

And this:

Duration

3:26:53

Distance

66.499

km

Work

0

kJ

Average Power

0

watts

Average Heart Rate

132

bpm

Average Speed

20.2

kph

Pace

02:59

min/km

Thinking Some More

I’ve been thinking further on the ‘wall’ I’ve been hitting lately with regards to my cycling performance. From a purely training metrics perspective I have become stagnant. In addition to the stagnant metrics there is also a problem from with the sensations I have been experiencing during the sessions. They feel damn hard!

Of all the methods to combat this I see three leaders:

1/ Keep on truckin’ and push through that wall.
2/ Take a rest – come back fresher and stronger.
3/ Change something (Swap out the sweet spots for longer intervals – 2×20? and Add more VO2 max sessions.)

I’ll read, think and ask my peers over the next few days. The positive side is that my motivation is still good;  there’s no way I could have finished last night’s session if that wasn’t the case. I REALLY pushed through discomfort in that session.

Sour Spots

These were not sweet. I started them tired and finished exhausted. I’m not feeling that I’m improving during the last two weeks. The (same) training sessions are feeling as hard, if not harder than previous and the metrics are stagnant.

This tells me that something needs to change. I’ve been following the same protocol for a very long time and I’ve probably adapted to it and somewhat settled into it. It’s time to shock the system and stimulate fitness in another way.

My first thought is to double up on the VO2 max sessions for a few weeks. My legs don’t exactly like this thoughts but I suppose that’s probably the point. So have I just decided what to do? Let me talk to a few people and decide tomorrow. Now it’s time to recover.

Metrics:

Work: 654kJ
NP: 229W
Av. P: 223W
TSS: 61,1
Av. HR: 154 bpm

Splits Today (Av. Power):
234W, 234W, 237W, 234W, 233W

Last Sessions (Newest on top):
234W, 229W, 235W, 235W, 249W
226W, 227W, 225W, 229W, 225W, 242W
236W, 238W, 239W, 239W, 264W
229W, 228W, 231W, 229W, 258W
226W, 221W, 225W, 228W, 246W
223W, 225W, 227W, 228W, 240W

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 23.09.32

Keep Moving

Gym again tonight… not planned but my other plans were squeezed out by work. First up was a run – My legs are quite sore from last nights weights so I had no idea how I would feel. Starting out I felt ok and I actually felt better and better as the run continued. After 10 minutes I changed the incline from 1% to 2% and, despite it taking a little more effort to run, it felt better. More stable and it seemed that it made me use my quads more. Hard to describe but I’ll probably be running at 2% from now on.

After that I decided to do a 5km row in the Concept2. Started out very easy and feeling very bad. Just like yesterday it came good and I did the last 2km @ under 2:00/500m. 50 minutes training for the day – enough to count but not enough to increase specific fitness.

Tomorrow is a long sweet spot session and a short swim. Swim is planned during work so I very much doubt that I’ll be able to do it. Nonetheless I’ll plan for it.

Feeling good and making progress.
51 days to Lidding MTB… getting close.