Well that was a tough week.
This week was probably my biggest load week in almost six months. However it wasn’t just the volume, but the intensity that went with the load. Four of the six sessions for the week were .85 Intensity Factor (1 is a full session at threshold) and if you know my sessions that means there is a fair bit of time spent above threshold coupled with recovery.
After a gravel ride in the dismal Melbourne weather conditions on Sunday, I backed up with a very solid Vo2 Max session on Monday. Not my preferred but it’s what my schedule allowed. I was carrying a bit of fatigue into the session, which is not ideal for a VO2 Max session. Suffice to say by the end of it, I was borderline sobbing in a corner. However later in the day I came good.
Tuesday was Recovery Ride day. Most people really do not get the idea of a Recovery Ride. They tend to just do it too hard. Me, well I love them. Its a great way to start the day. I manage my to do list, think about new ways of tormenting (Oops I meaning training) my athletes. Think about what has happened in the last week; what I got ‘Right’ and what I got ‘Wrong’. Hopefully the ‘Right’ List is bigger than the ‘Wrong’ List. It helps you prepare and freshen up for the next hard session, but more’s the point, it helps you get your head in the right place for that next hard session. To be honest these session can be every bit as productive for your training as your physically hardest sessions.
Sweetspot sessions are great at helping improve your FTP. If VO2 Max sessions pull your body out of its comfort zone kicking and screaming, Sweetspot sessions give your FTP a bit more of a push from behind. They are a little more gentle on the body, as you don’t cop as much of the nasty bi-products of working above threshold.
All that aside, it didn’t matter today because I really struggled. I had Four 10 minute threshold intervals, getting through the first two ok, hanging on by a thread in the 3rd one only to snap the thread and plummet in the last 4 mins of the final set. I got to a point where the head is saying “Go”, but the legs were saying “Go get stuffed!”. I was completely smashed for the remainder of the day and was looking for my pillow and a sleep from about 10am in the morning. Not a great sign of being recovered from Monday’s session. even if I had a training session planned for the next day I would have had a forced day off.
Super Saturday is my biggest training day of the week. Usually this is because I do my own session, followed by the CCW Zwift Shop ride. Today was no different. I had a willing training partner in super performer, Dale Maizels. Dale is as hard as they come and if you want someone to make you get through a session, then she is perfect. This session was a toughie. 10min Threshold intervals, with a minute recovery between them. Solid stuff and a great way to sweat out the Shiraz from the night before. I’m pretty sure the Shiraz is NOT performance enhancing.
That session done and dusted and the CCW Zwift Shop Ride rolled out for our usual loop around the Road to Ruins loop. This has doubled in size int he last two weeks, with plenty of guys and girls getting involved. Its a pretty solid little 60 – 70 mins, which from the feedback I am getting everyone is loving. After my earlier session I was forced to sit toward the back, but rest assured I still worked hard.
Sunday was a trip up the Alpe du Zwift again, however this time I would do it as a free ride. Last time I did threshold intervals with 3 minutes between them. Ah today should be easier right? No not at all! If you have set erg intervals through a training programme, then the changes in gradient become irrelevant. You just go at the power set for you. Today the gradient would govern those changes in load. To be honest I felt like I spent an hour at threshold, despite what my numbers would say.
All up another solid week, but looking forward to spending more time outside on the bike. Dillon Swifte from Defined Media has put together a short video on my first week. Check it out for a giggle (at me).