A New Chapter

NewChapterThis week I got my new Zipp 404 Powertap rear wheel. Here it is looking sweet on my P3C. I now also have a funky computer to capture tonnes of data.

NewChapter2Now I can head out and collect ride data including power, heart rate and cadence.  The wheel itself is beautiful – it’s real nice to look at and feels great to ride. Will be able to fully report on how I find it in a couple of weeks after the European Long Course. The plan is to race on it and to certain training sessions with it. Don’t really want to train all the time on such an expensive wheel. My first ride out on this new wheel made me feel like I was starting a new chapter in my training.

On Tuesday I headed out to meet Russell riding this new setup. My plan was to ride as I normally would and just see what the data showed. It was pretty clear just from looking at the power that I am pushing  a lot more than a few years a go when I last used a power meter regularly. I did a 6.5 hr ride and had a straight average power of 192 watts for an average hr of 105. I was pretty pleased with this. Also there’s been a clear change in my cadence – it used to be I was never below 90 but this time the average was 74. I did a period of riding a bigger gear on my fixed to try and get me pushing a bigger gear. I don’t know whether this was an influence but I now feel much more comfortable on the bike pushing at a lower cadence. My riding is noticeably stronger now.

Here’s the data from the ride. I don’t have the greatest analysis software so I may have to go buy Training Peaks and the software to let me run windows on my mac. We will see.

NewChapter3

The ride was broken in three as is the norm for my tuesday ride. First 2 hours is generally easy going through the early morning london traffic. Then I do about 3 hours with Russ where we tick along quite nicely. Then I have 1.5 hours or so home just riding how I feel.

The first period my HR average about 95  and my watts well under 200. Then 2.5 hours with Russ, average watts 207 and HR 107. The first hour after this on my own I averaged 218 at 121bpm. Interestingly this felt very relaxed riding. Throughout my cadence was mid 70s

Looking at HR zones I spent the first third largely just nudging bottom of zone 1, second bit largely in zone 1 and final third nudging into zone 2. This is what I would have described as a decent solid ride. I’d certainly feel I got good training benefit from it but looking at the data it really was quite an easy ride. It took the typical form of my progressively riding more strongly. I’m looking forward to being in Christchurch and seeing what my more solid solo efforts translate to. However, tomorrow I may get an idea as there’s going to be some more Mid Summer Madness.

Since coming back from New Zealand I’ve felt my swimming has been slightly on a back burner. It took a short burst of training at Club La Santa to get it back in to shape but even that was just solid steady state swimming. This last week I’ve had a couple of squad sessions where I was able to get a measure of where I am and I must admit I was very pleasantly surprised. At the end of one session I managed a 1:11 100m and on Monday near the end of the main set I did a 5:15 400m with paddles. Paddles usually slow me down. This is so encouraging as I’ve maintained my swim form with what I would have thought was less than maintenance training.

Running has really been pretty easy. I’ve been concious of giving my foot an easy time and thus didn’t run for two weeks. I’ve now done nothing longer than 1 hr runs and not run more than 3 days consecutive. I’ve felt good running. My plan is to not push the running at all pre the European Long Course. After that whilst moving in to my new home I will give running a little more focus.

I feel fully motivated with my training at the moment. I’m ticking a long nicely at about 30 hours a week which I find very comfortable to do. Given I’ve been getting three long rides in each week you can see the bulk of these hours comes in 3 days meaning the other days are quite relaxed. It’s making me feel really refreshed and I plan to continue like this for a few more weeks before really starting to focus on Kona preparations. I can’t wait !

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