Another good week with 6 bike sessions in. But my god the turbo is boring!!!
have found 'making a murderer ' on Netflix which helps to ease the boredom, but the sweat and the lack of wind, despite a fan is hard to cope with!
Maybe what i need is a motor in my bike! The news came out this week that a young Belgian rider had been found to have a motor in one of her bikes. Firstly, i'd love to be in the position where i had multiple bikes!!!
But in all seriousness, it is something i had heard was going on before this - the example of Ryder Hesjedal's bike continuing to move after he had crashed!
Last week i talked about FTP and training with Power - this is what i have done for the last 2 weeks and it is much more valuable than training just to HR as it really keeps you working hard and at the right intensities for the right length of time.
But in terms of racing, the aim is to stick to a set percentage of your FTP, certainly in Ironman. So if my aim is to stick to 80% of my FTP, currently this will mean me racing around 177w. If i was to have a motor in my frame that gave me an extra 25w, then i would effectively be racing at 92% of my FTP whilst having no ill effects. So in terms of Ironman it would be an incredible advantage, hence why it needs to be clamped down on and this young rider needs to be used as an example and given more than the suggested 6months ban.
Greg Lemond showed in an advert at last years TdeF how easy it was to build a frame with a small motor in and how easily the wiring could be hidden.
In my opinion this is no different to doping/EPO use.
Cheating is cheating. This includes DRAFTING in Ironman!!!
So, in the absence of wanting to cheat, it is back to the task of the turbo this week, with a welcome ride outside on Saturday with some of the group heading to France.
Ii didn't add 2 conditioning sessions this week, but that is the task for the week ahead.
A good first week, although it started pretty horribly with a FTP test. As i have spoken about these before i won't go into too much detail - but basically it is an all out 20min test. After a sustained warm-up, including a 5min all out effort, to get rif od any anaerobic power, you ride for 20minutes at the greatest intensity you can sustain for that time. This gives you a FTP score, which is used to base training off and then can be re-tested as a marker for improvements in fitness and cycling technique.
Just to say - this score is not to be compared to other people - what can be compared is your watts/kg as this takes into account body weight. My score for this recent test was a FTP of 221w. at my current weight of 87.7kg (!) - my current score is 2.52 w/kg. This can and hopefully will be be improved my increasing my ability to sustain a higher power output and also by losing weight!
At the start line of Ironman Frankfurt i was working off a FTP of 284w and i weighed 82kg, so my score was 3.46 w/kg.
My goal (incase you're interested is a score of 3.83 - a FTP of 300 and a body weight of 78kg.
I have uploaded a video of the final 5mins (recording was playing up), but shows the pain!
This week, i managed 6 rides as was not feeling great on saturday. But other than that started watching making a murderer on Netflix, makes me want to get back on the bike.
This week, i'm aiming for 7 rides and adding a conditioning session twice a week as well. Hopefully maintain this for February then either add in running (if knee gets the all clear) if not add in 2-3 swims per week.
well, that didn't last long did it!
A frustrating few weeks have led to zero training - a real issue with my knee, hopefully now diagnosed, but resulted in a sharp pain when any load applied to it, even stairs became difficult. For a brief moment in time i thought the season was on hold. I have had to cancel my plans for the marathon, as i won't be running for a while, but hopefully soon.
I also thought that i would have to hire a car and be the support crew for the trip to France - which would have been rubbish, although made logistics easier!!
On that note, i have added a page to the website, detailing the France trip this year and hopefully more trips to come.
On to my training, the focus now has to be the bike. I am going to aim to be on the bike 7days a week, with the reality that i will make 6. 4 of which will be trainer road session and the others will just be 30-45mins sat at 75-80% FTP so that i just spend time on the bike.
I want to be in cracking bike shape come France - if you head to the page and have a look at the routes you will see why!!! Climbing around 4500-5000m per day!
Weekly updates to come!
The new Year brings new promises to myself once again!!!
A rough time through November and December with not only a new born, but a new born that wasn't very well and it seemed like we spent most of our time either in the hospital or waiting at the doctors.
That combined with a few niggling injuries probably made worse by squeezing in sessions when not quite ready, meant a poor period in terms of training - then Christmas came and well it didnt seem right to be training instead of eating.
On that note, i spectacularly failed with my first goal of sub 80kg by Christmas so instead of losing 5kg's, i have put on more than 3 and now weight 87.3kg - the heaviest i have ever been - certainly the most out of shape body wise.
So the new year brings new ideas and new plans for myself.
15 weeks till Brighton Marathon - eeeekkkk! Not sure that is still on the cards, but i want to train towards it anyway - see how we go.
So this week, i have 4 runs and 4 bikes to do - 100% required.
10hrs and 15mins of exercise planned - lets see how we go!
This is my new schedule for Brighton Marathon:
So, after a few weeks of random training and injury. Have decided to change tack slightly on the focus of the sessions. I don't think my body was prepared enough for a high volume of high intensity work. Therefore I have (been forced to) backed off on the running and plan to run 3or4 5-15km runs at a steady pace around the 4:45/km per week for the next 4/5 weeks, before starting a proper 16 week training schedule going into the Brighton marathon. 16 weeks out falls on the 28th December, so will allow me a bit of down time over the Christmas period.
On the bike side, I have completely changed the plan. I was planning on working on my 40km TT plan, but realised after a few sessions that the intensity of doing this wouldn't mix in with the running!
So have reverted to type, but a more structured type. So with 46 weeks to go till the Ironman in Barcelona, I plan on doing the following:
Weeks 1-18 - traditional base
Weeks 19-30 - sweet spot base
Weeks 31-38 - sustained power build
Weeks 39-46 - IM specific plan.
I went into my final race of last season with a functional threshold power of 278watts, having done very little riding over the last few months I thought I would take a few watts off of this for my 40km TT plan, and went with 250watts. However, having started this week on my traditional base I started he week off with the assessment, whereby you complete 2x8min intervals and then your FTP and threshold heart rate are calculated from this.
I got a bit of a shock when my reading came back as 221watts. Might explain why I was struggling with the intensity of the 40km TT plan!!! But also has given me a massive incentive to get going on building this back up over the season.
It is recommended that you can increase 3-4% every 4-6 weeks, so if I take my reading as 221w and take the average figures of 3% every 4 weeks, all of a sudden I can set myself some goals.
An FTP of
245w by the end of traditional base (week 18)
275w by end of sweet spot base
290w by end of power build
300w by end of IM specific plan.
This would reach my pre-season goal of FTP of 300w!
Let's see how that pans out!
Not a good week, training wise. Too much socialising and laziness. That topped off with a step onto the scales this morning and hitting 85kg – has made me give myself a kick up the a##e.
Next week – must do better!
So, my first full week back training is done – a mixed week, but it will hopefully only get better. Set out on my 800’s on Monday and had a little niggle in my calf, so left it at 2 – those 2 felt good aerobically! didn't run for the rest of the week.
My main focus this week was to start out on the turbo on a warm up week to a 12 week plan designed around increasing my Functional Threshold Power (FTP). This is the average power you can sustain for 60minutes – a very unpleasant test which is why it is recommended to a CP30 test – a critical power test over 30minutes where by you then take 95% of that to get your FTP. Where does FTP fit in to Ironman racing? In short, during an Ironman race you aim to roughly ride at around 70-75% of your FTP – assuming adequate fitness and relevant training. So therefore the higher your FTP is the faster you will go – Hopefully!
So starting from Monday I am targeting a 12 week 40km TT program with a description as follows:
“The three-prong approach works to build a body capable of your highest sustainable power, forges a mind that not only tolerates high levels of discomfort but seeks them out, and dresses it all in increasingly effective levels of aerodynamics.”
Not sure I read that before I decided to do it and if I did I don’t think I would be doing it!!!
So I will be sure to let you know how that goes.
I have always found winter training tough – I hate cycling outside in the cold, for both being wet and cold but also having to clean the bike every week! So this year, all my training till March will be indoor on the turbo – so I have set myself up with a training room – in my shed! Complete with fan, speakers and ipad stand with a whole lot of breaking bad to watch! (see pic)
So, next week I have 4 runs and 4 bikes to do. If that all goes to plan I will add in 2 strength sessions from the following week…..
Have a good week’s training. Any questions on the above, please ask.
2015 season review and 2016 season plans!
So, the end of the 2015 triathlon season has come marked by a hot hot race in Hawaii. My efforts of blogging my season updates on a weekly basis was pathetic, and unfortunately whilst I wouldn’t say my season outcomes were pathetic – they were not what I was hoping for!
The season for me culminated in Ironman Frankfurt, it was a ludicrously hot day with temperatures reaching 41 degrees, but I wasn’t happy with the way I reacted or coped with the weather even if the tarmac was melting. But there were plenty of lessons learnt, not least that in extreme conditions power is secondary to Heart Rate!
Anyway, it took me a long time to get over the race, not only the disappointment of my race outcome, but the feeling that you train for a whole year for the main race of your year to be effectively taken out of your control by the hottest day ever in Germany! I have felt the effects of PIMB (Post-Iron-Man-Blues) before but this was more than usual.
I did lots of contemplating about whether to have a year off from racing long or whether to stop doing them all together. I sat down and started to think about what I want to get out of it all – ultimately the lure of going sub 10 is too strong, but also I have a lot of athletes that I coach and that just ask for advice, and I don’t feel it would be fair for me to coach them/give them advice on what I used to do – this is an ever evolving sport and the theories behind coaching and development areever changing, so the best place to be to soak up that information is bang in the middle of the sport, competing.
So, having taken the remainder of July and the whole of August completely off (6 weeks), I took this time to sit down and work out my 2016 season.
I wanted to come up with 10 goals to achieve next year and then plan the season around these. This is what I came up with:
- Sub 3hr Marathon – previous best of 3:31 at end of challenge Henley *Might have been short!
- Sub 10hr Ironman – previous best of 10:31 at Challenge Henley
- FTP (Functional Threshold Power) 300+ watts. Currently at 285W
- 1hr25 ½ marathon – previous best of 1:31
- Hit 75kg – currently at 83kg
- Sub 40min 10k
- Sub 6:30 and then sub 3:00 for CSS swim time trial.
- Sub 80kg by Xmas
- Sub 2hr20 at Olympic distance – previous best 2hr22
- Complete Kingston run at marathon pace
So with these goals in mind (as you can see it gets harder to come up with goals after about 6!) I then started to think about how I would achieve these.
Now, we recently had an addition to the family and it certainly wasn’t the most straightforward of times, but thankfully all is ok now and the worrying is over, now we just have to adapt to the sleepless nights once again!
So with the arrival of a new baby, I knew that lots and lots of winter miles on the bike was out of the question and lets be honest isn’t much fun in winter, therefore I decided that I was going to do a very late season Ironman – so I have decided to do Ironman Barcelona – It is in October, so allows plenty of summer training and also, pretty much guaranteed it won’t be 40+ degrees hot!
This would also allow me to try and tick off one of my all-time wants – a sub 3hr marathon. Having been unsuccessful in getting a place in London marathon, I am aiming to run the Brighton marathon which is a week earlier on 17th April.
These two form the basis of my training program and other events and goals will be fitted in/achieved around these.
The only other thing of note is a trip out to South of France that I am organising - a 3 day cycle trip in the Alps, which should be amazing as we will attempt 3 stages of the 2015 TdeF back to back, culminating in a handicapped time trial up Alpe D’Huez – more of that nearer to the time!
So my list of races/key dates for the 2016 season (at the moment) is as follows:
21st February – Richmond half marathon or Hampton court half marathon
12/13th March – Lake District training weekend
20th March – Kingston run (20miles)
17th April – Brighton Marathon
15th May – Chiltern 100
25th-29th May – France cycle trip
7th or 14th August – Olympic distance triathlon – somewhere!
2nd October – Ironman Barcelona
So now I have my season planned out – it is time I got my A into G and started proper training.
I have been running at the track for the past 3 weeks and next week I start up with the turbo sessions, then the following week I build in a circuits session.
My aim is to keep this blog updated with my training weeks all the way through to Barcelona
If you would like any help in planning your season just drop me an e-mail and I will help you out – I love planning!!!
Hopefully i will last longer than November!
A couple of weeks have passed without updating this, partly because of a slightly frustrating period in which i couldn't get the power meter working accurately - its a horrible feeling when you push yourself to the maximum then to only find out that the power meter wasn't working, so couldn't get the data from it that i wanted. Managed to get heart rate data so will be working off that until we re-test in a months time. Along with that i have been a bit ill and busy with a new project at work and that coupled with very short days has meant i have missed a couple of sessions - which annoys me.
Hopefully it is an upward curve from here.
A good week despite the drop in temperatures! Things are starting to feel a little easier now and the routine is well and truly set. Only 6 weeks till Xmas means the evenings are really closing in, so night time training is limited to swimming, although I did one run this week and sunset (which seemed like it was 3pm!!!) but you forget some stunning views (see the photo below of Henley at dusk)
6 weeks till Xmas also means I need to start some shopping! And also thinking of some ideas for myself - one of the best things about triathlon is the unlimited amount of stuff to buy, however there is a cost to that! So writing out a Xmas list is always fun - never too old for a Xmas list!
So with that attention turns to next year and what I would like for racing and winter training.
Here are some of the things I think are requisite for good winter training program's:
Turbo trainer - personally prefer fluid ones as they are quieter and allow you to watch films/TV and thus break the boredom!
Cold gear - my personal favourites are by sub sport - brilliantly cheap and really good quality. A good base layer for both upper and lower body
Beanie - breathable yet warm properties. So will keep you warm for the first 5-10mins but won't make you too hot once warmed up.
Overshoes - I always struggle with cold feet on rides. They are great at breaking the wind and stopping spray. Another good trick is deep heat on your toes before you put socks on.
Lights - a rear light is a must for any outdoor ride even during daylight hours
Mudguards - especially when riding in a group.
Swim tools - kick float, pull bouy and paddles will all help with stroke technique.
Personally I am looking to next years racing as what I'm wearing - after 2 years in the same kit - think it's time for new stuff. Always fun choosing colours and brands!
On the training front I now move into my first base period. This the start of 2015. It's exciting.
Less exciting is the functional threshold power (FTP) test I have on the bike this week - 20mins flat out. Never will 20mins seem sooooo long. More on that and the implications of FTP and power : weight I talked about a few weeks ago next week.
Enjoy your week.
A much better week this week - a really good week.
Every session completed - 9 in total plus a couple of gym and stretching sessions.
Starting to get into a routine and that is what it is all about, not just fitting in the sessions, but also sorting out eating times and family commitments in and around training, once this is sorted, hopefully no sessions will be missed - well not too many anyway!
This first month has been all about this and is called the preparation phase, i have one more week of this before the volume starts to increase into double figure hours and into the next phase which is called the base phase. The way i like to teach people is that training is like a pyramid. You have 3 main phases in triathlon training - BASE, BUILD, PEAK. In a pyramid it would look like this for a small build phase:
P E A K
B U I L D
B A S E
However, if you have a large Base phase, in other words start training earlier out from your main race and so give your self more training time, the pyramid will look like this:
P E A K
B U I L D
B A S E
As my rather simple illustration shows that the larger the Base the phase, the larger and the higher the Peak and thus the better shape/fitness you are in - hopefully!!!
That said, the issue with having such a large base phase can be overtraining as you are putting your body through 9-10months of tough and sometimes very intense training - this will ultimately lead to injury not to mention other side effects such as: poor sleeping patterns, grumpiness, depression - all things that can put a strain on relationships in a sport that takes so much time training that relationships can already be pushed to their limits.
So this is why the preparation phase is used to get you into some shape/routine before the training starts to ramp up.
Anyway, i need to stop blabbering on!
Have a good week.
Not a great week this week, despite starting out with good intentions it quickly fell by the wayside. I went out for a ride on Tuesday in the 'hurricane' - wasn't much of a hurricane, however it was windy and obviously more windy than i thought. When i got home, i had a really bad headache and was in a bad place for the rest of the day with what i can only describe as a migrain - although i don't suffer from these so not sure!
Anyway i felt so bad that i went to bed at 6pm, which meant i woke up at 3am and couldn't sleep - all this put in abad place for wednesday, where i didn't train.
Friday night i met up with a few friends in Henley, which finished about 2am - and so the weekend as also written off!
I have been thinking about how i can improve myself next year - hopefully the addition of a coach will help, but i have started to think about what i can do.
My main conclusion was racing weight. As an ex-rugby player, my physical make-up is very different to that of many triathletes you see racing and many i race against. For example i tend to be around 78kg when it comes to race season (July-Seltember), but currently i am 84kg. The majority of other triahtletes will tend to be around 65-70kg - so I am lumping an extra 10kg around 225km!
However, it is not that simple - certainly on the bike - where i really want to make improvements this year. As opposed to weight, the most important factor is something called power-weight ratio. I will go into more depth on this as i go through the next few weeks and start to do some power tests, but essentially it is the power you can apply on the bike over a certain distance once weight is taken into account. So it is not as easy as losing weight, because if you lose muscle strength within that your power levels will drop. Ideally you lose weight but don't lose power and so your power : weight increases and the faster you go for less energy.
Anyway, i won't be too technical as this goes along, but i do love figures so expect lots of these.
Must do better next week!
My first full week of training finished - it pales in comparison to my training schedule in the build up to races in summer, but it is good none the less to get back in to all 3 disciplines.
An attempt at a ride on the turbo trainer (realised i need a new one) failed, so went out on the roads twice this week, but the main task this week was getting back in the pool - in the past i have always put off swimming till the new year, but not only was i back in the pool but in only my second session my coach had me doing a swim test involving a 200m max effort followed by 5mins easy swimming immediately into 400m max effort - WOW - the last 150m of the 400m i could barely swim!!!
Anyway that is done and now don't need to do that for a while and the next time i do, i will hopefully be in better shape when it comes to swimming or at least back into the groove!
A couple more weeks of this base training will hopefully get me into a routine i can regularly follow.
Onto next week we go.......
Whilst the 2014 season finally comes to a close with the 38th running of Kona, this weekend signalled the start of my own 2015 season!
Having done 2 Ironman races in 2014, and fallen slightly below where i wanted to be, most recently IM Copenhagen in August, i decided that instead of taking 2 months off and then doing recreational training for 2 months before proper training starts 6 months out, i decided to take only 5 weeks off triathlon specific training and i hit the gym after only 2 weeks off.
Those 5 weeks finish on Monday and i have 9 months till Ironman Frankfurt.
I have taken the step to have a coach this year and whilst in the past i have self-coached my self, i feel the need to have somebody else to answer to. It works for my clients, so it is something i have decided to do - and i am really excited about it. Some new ideas and fresh approaches i hope will make me a better athlete and get me to where i want to be by the end of 2015.
On that note, I have set out my races for 2015 and they are as follows:
Spring Ballbuster - March
Reading Half Marathon - March
Spartan 70.3 - May
IM Frankfurt - July
IM Wales - September - Potentially!!!!
My main goal for 2015 is to go SUB 10 at IM Frankfurt.
So this weekend i managed a 45min run and a 1hr bike - felt ok, better than i thought i would be after 5 weeks of doing nothing of either!!!
Tomorrow i start with a rest day - i like this new approach - and have till the end of November of BASE training to get me into a routine of training.
However, it also includes testing on each of the 3 disciplines, starting with a swim test on Friday - could be interesting - not sure i can even swim 400m right now, let alone as fast as i can!!!
Anyway, i aim to update this on a weekly/regular basis to keep a log of my training.
Hope you enjoy.
Have a good week and try to do something you have been putting off this week.