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Charlotteville Club Run

My first ever club run!

Out to Odiham with the Charlotteville CC. A round trip of 60 miles or so and some fine company. Quite mild compared to Saturday. I think this is the way to go on these cold winter weekends ... beats beasting around the Surrey Hills on my lonesome ... that will start in January!

The Challenge Ahead

One of the benefits of obsessively collecting data whilst riding is the ability to analyse amd compare past and present performance and make informed decisions about my training strategy.
Below is a comparison of my mean maximal power output for last season vs my current performance this season. I'm down across the board, something I am more than aware of when I ride.
This chart will help me quantify that. So, every month I'll share this chart and lets see what improvements take place (or don't) and figure out why and adapt training going forward. BTW, it is true to say that I haven't collected a lot of data so far this season and yes, by performing more rides I'll collect more favourable data etc -- The bottom line, however, is that my performance is down by well over 20% across the board.
At least I know what I'm capable of and can set a realistic target -- to get the dotted line above last season in every respect.
November 2007 - The only way is up!
Its probably …

Armadillos back

What a depressing moment - taking off the conti gp4000s summer tyres and replacing them with a set of spesh armadillos. Winter training has arrived. Mind you, its flooded out there and I've picked up the flu so bike maintenance is about all I can look forward to.


winter is well and truly here

This is where the magic happens ...

All setup for base training ... ok, so it will all get shipped up to the pad in Brum tonight but you get the general picture. Nice bit of kit the computrainer ... lots of new things to learn.

It doesn't do the workouts for you though - so that'll be the same as last year!


Square One

Either I've lost cycling fitness due to running or the Computrainer has brought me back down to earth** ... or maybe a bit of both. I did 1 hour on the CT last night in my Endurance HR zone (132-145) and had to keep the load at 150 watts.

Strength? What Strength. I guess I'm back to square one.

At least I've got tools I can trust and it is the beginning of base training. I've got almost 7 months to prepare for La Marmotte and I know where I am starting from. More importantly, this year I understand what matters and what doesn't.

Here are my estimated zones based upon an FTP of 250 watts (HR then Watts);
Recovery 131 or lower, 139 or lower Endurance 132-145, 140-189Tempo 146-152, 190-227Threshold 153-162, 228-264V02max 163+, 265-302Anaerobic Capacity 163+, 303+I don't feel ready for a proper FTP test - dusting off the cobwebs from the running. I'll do a test next weekend making sure I get a bit of rest beforehand. So for now I reckon 250w on the CT is realistic …

Coggan's Book

Mmmm. Blank post for a week - apologies for that, not sure where the text disappeared to for this post.

Anyhoo it was a reference to the truly most excellent book "Training and Racing with a PowerMeter" by Coggan and Hunter. Read it again last week in readiness for my new toy arriving (its here, I'm trying to set it up).

Funny how a season of cycling later I finally understand what the hell they're on about. Sometimes you just think you understand.......

Not sure I noticed the fact that even the shortest workout in the book is still a 2 hour session. Mmmm, I might need a bigger iPod for the new turbo!

New Season, New Tools

OK. So I'm only coming out of prep phase for next year but now is the time to tool up. I've ordered a Computrainer Lab turbo trainer. I've been hankering after one of these babies since my test at Cyclefit last year and figure I can now justify the expense ... I reckon with an Etape and FWC finish I can now call myself a cyclist.

It compliments the Powertap on Bike A very nicely ... but also looking for a new Bike C for the winter training since Bike B is permanently attached to turbo (since it seems to be made from iron girders). Planet X are the current favorites since you can get 'em via Halfords cycle2work scheme that my current employers have signed up to.

I've also signed up to trainingpeaks.com for an online diary and plan. Mostly since it integrates with CyclingPeaks WKO+ so nicely and the virtual coach seems quite helpful. Yes, I know, shock horror this year I actually have a plan! You can monitor my training plan via the public interface to see if I'm r…

FLM ... he says no

Another rejection. 6 years and 6 rejects - we'll be there by default in 09. Apparently the rules changed a couple of years ago and automatic entry went out to 6 rejects from 5. Although we haven't got the official confirmation yet we know we're not in 'cause the cheques for accepted entrants get cashed 28/29th October and ours didn't.

Hey, at least I get a straight run at La Marmotte, no excuses for lack of training opportunity. And we can both plan well in advance for the Flora since we know we have an entry for 2009.

NY Marathon Update

Supermum got round in a respectable 4:47 Quite amazed at the level of interest in this one. Slightly ashamed that I didn't actually run it, despite having a number. I could blather on about injuries and training complications but in truth it came down to either my wife or I would miss the event to look after the kids (our "sitter" pulled out of the trip a few months earlier).

Given I've had all the attention this year with the FWC, AdH time trial and Etape it seemed only right that 'er indoors should get the gig. She did us proud with a painful, but satisfying 4:47 (which is also a PB). I'll be posting her account of what turned out to be an amazing day (and trip to the Big Apple) at a later date (i.e. when she has written it). The photies look pretty good too.

I'm busy planning this season and getting those UK sportives booked up ... I'm definitely back for the '08 season and raring to get cracking.

Fly out tomorrow

Probably look after the kids whilst Sam runs. Childcare issues and injuries have kept me off the streets. I got up to 18 miles and in good shape so "I could make it round" - but not sure I'd actually enjoy it ... of course my motivation may change when I get there and get caught up in the atmosphere etc.

A week in the big apple cheering on the missus is all good though. Will report back on 'er indoors rather than 'im upstairs....

You must have noticed the Etape route was posted recently Pau-Hautacam over Le Tourmalet. Looks like a nice route - but not quite a taxing as this year's.

I really fancy a pop at La Marmotte and the time trial on the following day ........

12 miles, Injury getting better

Ran for 12 miles mostly on the flat, 1:42. Felt fine except for the pain in my foot, which is better but still niggly.

Put down a deposit to do Etape next year and probably do Marmotte as well. I'm working on the better half to see if I can slip in Gran Fondo Campagnolo for good measure. I'll definitely be back to te Fred Whitton, which looking back at this year is definitely comparable to Etape.

Anyways ... still trudging along.

Still here...

I've been very quiet, apologies. I'm doing the weekly long run and getting other sessions (incuding the turbo and hills) in during the week. I've got to admit that running isn't very interesting! Went for a run, had a tweak in my ankle. Went for a run, felt ok. Went for a run, shins ached etc. etc. it makes for a dull old blog!

Its not like there is any interesting gadgetry or training regimes. You just run. I've got a forerunner and a schedule and just keep at it.

I'm not made for this kind of training ;-)

I'm going to sign up for next year's Etape - if I can't get in to that then either the Marmotte or Campag Gran Fondo will be next on my hit list.

I'm missing the bike :-(

I'm sure London and NY marathons are going to be an awesome experience but frankly I'd rather be on my bike.

Long, Long Run

Went out for just over 2 hours yesterday and felt dreadful for the first half an hour. I'm beginning to realise that I'm not really cut out for this endurance running melarkey. I think I'll stick to cycling after the marathon. It hurts too much during the run and then in the recovery afterwards. My ankles are sore, my calves are a little tight and knees have a tweak. You don't get that on the bike.

Maybe I need to get rid of the negative head and run more regularly ... or maybe less.

Yeesh.

NYC Number allocated

We're both in. 2:09 events have got us uploaded and we've got our numbers for the NY marathon. Long, Long run of 16 miles on Monday. Its all getting a bit more serious.

Sorted out some decent routes around the canals in Brum, which is nice cause canals tend to be pretty flat!!!!

2007 Tour of the Surrey Hills

12th of 120, 4:45 and a Gold medal. Gotta be pleased with that. It turns out that all these months I missed out the last climb of the route up Staples Lane. The weather was forecast for torrential rain but I was gonna be riding this event even if the whole route was flooded. It bookends my cycling year.Last year I rode it in just over 6:30, with a bit of getting lost and a lot of being knackered and overweight. It kick started my attack on Alpe D'Huez and the FWC and of course, L'Etape du Tour so I had to race it again to see where I'd got to.Ironically, in the 4 weeks since Etape I've had back problems, stomach problems and biscuit addiction problems so I'm back to 80kg again. Didn't make much difference on the day though.Met up with an old acquaintance from Weybridge RC and rode with him for a while, he punctured at Box hill and I kept on going, keen to get that Gold medal.Spent most of the ride on my own, it felt just like a training ride despite the wind an…

Half-baked ToSH

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to go for a Tour of the Surrey Hills after running a half marathon the day before. Especially since I'd done nothing for the week prior. To say I was hurting would be an understatement. Imagine my relief when approaching the Coldharbour lane route to the top of Leith Hill upon finding the road closed ... oh shucks, I'll have to avoid the hills and take the A25 home :-)

Still, looking at my average speeds and heart-rate on the hilly bits I'm in ok shape and certainly haven't lost much, despite having stuffed my face for 14 days straight (!).

Nice to get back in the saddle and enjoy the glorious (and oh so hot!) weather ...

From Grimpeur to Roleur ...

13 mile long run

Mad dogs and englishmen. Not exactly Etape heat but not far off. Another hilly long run in the heat and faster than last week. Not a lot left in the tank at the end and the heart rate average is 10 bpm higher than last week but that'll be the heat anyway.

Quite pleased since I've done absolutely nothing all week, except eat a tonne of unhealthy biscuits, chocolate, cake etc. Doing a ToSH tomorrow in prep for the real thing on the 19th and turning over a fresh leaf on the "fuelling" front. I think I deserved a bit of fun....

A nice run in the sun, temperature in the 30s!

12 mile Long Run

So the schedule had me down for a 12 miler at 9:15 pace. Sam and I ran a "hilly" (800m of ascent) 11.25 miler at a steady 9:30 pace. I figure this is good enough for a first long run and I certainly could have gone harder since my average heart rate was 137bpm to a max of 158 and felt strong as we stopped for a cool down and gentle walk to home.

I have bought a garmin forerunner and so the long run data is below, the polar data is rather boring by contrast so I haven't bothered to show it. You'll notice a 4 minute break at about 20 minutes into the run, I took an impromptu 'comfort' break ...

First long run data, sans heart rate ...

Déjà Vu

6th time Lucky then ... The entry form arrived today and we're dutifully filling out the form ... again. How many naff FLM fleeces can we put up with ;-)

Having applied every year since 2001 this will be the 6th time my wife and I have entered the lottery for the FLM. This time we will get in automatically since we've missed out 5 times in a row, which is fair enough.

I'm not at all resentful of the shisters like Jade who get a preferential place then turn up without any training and last about 2 miles before giving up. Hey, its all for charity after all. If you really want to run the FLM then don't live in the UK and use an operator...

Handy Pacing Chart

I never could quite work out the speed and pacing stuff, especially when you're on a treadmill and want to run at 9:15 minute mile pace ... wots that in kph then? The above is a handy chart to work it out.

Also shows the marathon time you'd get if you did that pace for 26.2 miles.

Marathon Training Plan

That was just too easy - got a decent enough schedule from Runners World using their smart coach tool. I even get 3 days to ride my bike at a 'moderate' pace (i.e. rest and corss train).I'll review after the first couple of weeks. Have to admit I am a big believer in higher intensity training followed by enough time for recovery and adaptation. The fact that it comes from Runners World is also re-assuring.Why wasn't bike training this easy? All those meso- macro- and micro- cycles and periodization etc etc. I just wanted a training programme like this ...WkDateMonTuesWedsThursFriSatSunTotal17/23
7/29Rest
/ XTEasy Run
Dist: 7mi
@9:15Rest
/ XTTempo Run
Dist: 6mi, inc
Warm; 4mi@7:50; CoolEasy Run
Dist: 6mi
@9:15Rest
/ XTLong Run
Dist: 12mi
@9:1531 miles27/30
8/5