Not managed any photos this trip yet so the photo is from two years ago when we came out here just as I was able to ride. I find myself harping back to my injury two years ago though part of me tries not too. However, it’s become a major marker in my history with regularly looking at stuff as first since then, or best since then … still waiting to be able to compare favourably to before then ! This picture shows how happy I was two years ago – I was training again ! I was also having a beer at virtually every stop on the bike and with every meal … I was loving it. Two years on and I’m back again training and supporting but this time it’s full gas. I’m running properly which is awesome.
I’m out here at the moment with Russ and he is riding the strongest I think he’s ever ridden with me. Yesterday we did my IM+ route (skip the bit in and out of town but add an ascent of Femes to make it to 180km). I was finally feeling a fair bit better after my prolonged illness. I was riding reasonably strong but still nothing like I was on the camp – the most noticeable difference was back then I was able to hammer full bore on all the climbs. Yesterday I had to be conservative. It was hot as well, noticeably so in that there were a couple of times where I felt ill and it was definitely down to the heat as once we stopped, shade cold water and ice cream and I felt better.
At our final stop we both commented on how tired we were but despite that the final bit of the ride provided highest wattages of the day. Russ would go through to the front and make me suffer. We kept upping the ante. Eventually, coming through Masdache, Russ was on the front up this rise and he faded so I put everything in to surging by in the hope that would be the final straw … he stuck with me and said “we’ll have to call a truce soon”. I immediately replied “I’m happy for a truce right now” … we sat up and rolled in the last 15km (13 of them downhill). Quite a ride.
It’s been a solid week so far. Slowly building from my starting point of illness. I now think I’m ready to push next week. Here’s the training so far:
- Tue: Swim: 3.5km / Bike: 75km / Run: 12km / hours: 4.6
- Wed: Swim: 4km / Bike: 84km / Run: 0km / hours: 4.4
- Thurs: Swim: 3.8km / Bike: 0km / Run: 25km / hours: 3.5
- Fri: Swim: 2.1km / Bike: 113km / Run: 10km / hours: 5.5
- Sat: Swim: 4km / Bike: 179km / Run: 0km / hours: 7.5
- Sun: Swim: 4km / Bike: 71km / Run: 5km / hours: 4.1
I’ve been using RaceDay Apollo alongside my own training database for over 6 months now. It’s a pretty cool piece of software allowing both recording of your training data and planning. It calculates training stress across all disciplines and provide various methods for each depending on how much data you can get (eg it can use power, HR or pace vs critical speed). It has parameters for how much a given session improves your fitness and how much fatigue it creates together with ones that specify how quickly this fitness and fatigue will decay. Two additional things make it really cool.
Firstly, by recording test results it will calculate these parameters to best fit the model to your data. This allows this to really personalise to you and how your react. Provided you perform appropriate test sessions at regular intervals this can be very useful allowing quite careful planning of you progression and taper to a race.
Secondly, it provides a tool to pick out best efforts over a period. For instance, show me my best 20 30 minute power intervals over the past 6 months. Once you have these you can automatically transfer these to test results and re-calibrate your model. For those that like to play with data and try and get best fits it’s awesome.
Through the winter (summer for me!) I recorded data, took tests and just wanted to see how it fits. Now as I lead up to Austria I spend some time planning ahead to schedule sessions so as to peak for the race. Here’s how it looks:
The first graph shows my training stress balance since the beginning of the year to today. The second graph includes the plan through to Ironman Austria.
This graph reflects that I seem to recover from swim sessions quickly (i.e. fatigue decays very quickly).There’s been a steady decrease in my swim fitness following Wanaka and then getting back to the UK and no squad. The increase in fitness recently is largely due to the squad sessions. The plan through to Austria involves making maximum use of the squad sessions with a slight ease up ahead of UK 70.3 and an easy race week. It looks pretty good on the graph eh !! At the beginning of that graph was Challenge Wanaka and thats probably the strongest I’ve ever felt swimming in an Ironman. If this is correct I should be swimming better come IM Austria
Graph covers the same period as the swim one. Overall fitness was maintained during the early part of the year between Wanaka and IM NZ Then you can see the big drop off when I took an end of season break followed by a big jump in fitness at the EverydayTraining camp. Since then I’ve managed to maintain my form by consistent riding. The problem once you get some high numbers for fitness is that to push them on requires some serious riding. I’ve put together a plan that gives me some improvement in bike fitness.
As I mentioned in my previous post running has been proving difficult because of a reluctance on my part to really push it. At the moment my run fitness is orders of magnitude off where it was. 10k used to be a distance I could happily run no matter how I feel. Now, it feels like a long way. The first graph shows an increase in fitness through to Ironman New Zealand though it didn’t translate in to a good run at that race. I had a good break and since then have done some steady weeks though this week is the first week over 30 miles. The lack of underlying base fitness has meant it suffered significantly from the illness I’ve had on and off for weeks. So how to get in to shape to have any sort of chance of an Ironman PB at Austria. I’ve put together a plan that, in theory, gives much greater fitness. It’s based around building up my long run each week together with a faster run (some intervals), a brick run off my long bike and another brick run off a short bike. With my lack of running over several years it will be a case of seeing if I can handle the volume.
In order to plan this with RaceDay Apollo you just put in the planned training stress. From there I need to construct appropriate sessions to deliver it all whilst trying to keep it within my 100 hour cap. Will make it interesting as the stress can’t just come from training long hours !