2016 – Getting Started

As most of you know I’ve had a really bumpy winter this year, on an off training with a torn ligament and 2 inflamed tendons in my ankle wasn’t exactly the best off season I was hoping for. None the less, 8 weeks into rehab and I think I’m seeing some form again, although I don’t want to jinx it!!

Today was the first race of 2016 for me, my ankle is at around 85/90% rendering me still unable to run, and some days it is still rather painful, however I am beginning to see some miles go into the legs from the bike. And what better way to kick start the year, than my favourite Frome 10 mile TT.


It’s a great course and one I’m familiar with, I used it last season as a monthly benchmark to track gains on the bike, so I knew it’d give me a very clear indication of my form going into summer.

With no miles in the legs from winter I knew I was already a step behind everyone, leaving me lots of work to do. 8 weeks of training isn’t a long time, the first 2/3 weeks were at very low intensities and only in the last month have I started hitting anywhere near the mileage  I need, and I also have a degree to do remember!


None the less, my prep has been good. Last week I did a 315 watt hour instead of rest day and exactly a week ago I held some decent watts into a head wind on the AVC segment, followed by dragging 15 Bath riders round the chain gang route, intermittently helped by the South West cycling god – Rob Pears. On Tuesday I managed 15 minutes at 350 watts exactly before finishing the session with another 75 minutes at 255 watts. So I knew my legs would have a bit of kick.


I had to be up early this morning to make sure I’d got 5/6 hours work done before I rode over to the race, not an ideal start to the day but I knew the difference that would make would only be a few seconds.

Cycling over to the race I felt pretty good, the sun was out and I was hoping the rain showers would hold off. I didn’t do any bursts as I was just trusting my legs to take care of business. Biggest error of the day.


As I pushed off the start I noticed my cleat was sliding about. So I stropped my way round the course, got hit by the rain, stuck in traffic and was struggling to hit any form of rhythm. Making every excuse under the sun as I went round, instead of getting focussed and getting the job done.

When I finished I saw my time of 23:06 and smashed straight home with my toys well and truly out of the pram. Luckily my ankle held out and there wasn’t too much pain in that department.

On later analysis I managed a 355 Watt average on a tricky day. Considering Rob Pears, course record holder, averaged 337 watts and finished with a time of 20:29. 20:03 on the strava segment being pipped by Matt Burden. I’d say I’m fairly happy with my average, although I don’t feel I deserve it! But the watts don’t lie.

It’s definitely taught me a few things:
1. Eat less baked goods.
2. Don’t throw a strop just because something is going wrong, it’s not always all bad.
3. I need ‘aero-ing up’.

back to the healthies

None the less, 25 seconds off my PB and a 355W average, lets get this degree done, sort my ankle out fully and then see what the summer holds.

The Rest Day Conundrum

Rest day. Just the thought of it is enough to get any athlete excited.
A day of doing nothing, no training anyway, replenishing the nutrient stores, doing the general admin from the week and making sure you’re fresh for the next block of training.

But do we really need a rest day? Is it just me that gets bored of not being able to train for a whole day once a week?!

Jan Frodeno the current ironman world champion has said that he can take up to three days at a time off training just to make sure he is ready to get every session done at 100%. Although GB rowing coach Dan Harris gives his athletes a morning off once a month, and he’s produced some of the biggest ergos in the under 23 rowing squad!

Had to be careful of the typo there 😉

So what really is the benefit of a rest day? And do we really need one every week.

Well first things first, any good coach will tell you that you need to listen to your body. If you’re overly run down, picking up too many niggles or getting ill. You need to stop, take a rest, get some sleep, get some food in and come back in a couple of days time.
And we all know it’s a fine line between form and failure, many athletes can be injured or ill just after peak as their bodies are pushed right to the limits, working harder than they ever have before.


And yes, I’m also well aware that you don’t get fitter from training, you get fitter from recovering. Recovering well is the key to any athletes success, as much of it happens behind the scenes as it does in the session. Prehab and rehab, fuelling and resting. All major parts of the process.

But if you’re eating well, getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, and all that’s really making you take a rest day is a little bit of fatigue in the legs, then why not crack on?

 

Some dinner time healthies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, do a lighter session or two once a week, cut back the intensity or the mileage, get some active recovery in. But a rest day doesn’t necessarily have to mean you completely take the day off, there are still gains to be had! A rest day once every two weeks can be just as effective, pushing 100% out of every session for 12-14 solid days can really take it out of you, although testing the physical and mental ability is only going to make you come back stronger, fitter, better.

Everyone is different and each athlete is going to have something that works that may not work for everyone else. Listening to your body is key, but don’t miss a days training just because the bloke in the office wants you to be lazy and stop him feeling guilty!

A Catch Up

Hello!

How have you been?

So nearly 2 months since I actually appeared or wrote anything decent, what’s been happening?!

Well I took a break. Stepped back, focused on my degree, and even saw my family over Easter!


Since October I’ve been struggling with a torn ligament and 2 inflamed tendons in my ankle, although I’m glad to say my Strava has now sprung to life and were really starting to get somewhere.


I’ve just been hovering  in the middle of the 90′ indoor bikes and long days in the architecture studio. Hitting deadlines and attempting to build mileage!

I’ve always been very public in posting everything i do, I don’t see any reasons not to. If anyone wants to copy they’d always be one step behind, and there’s no harm in people seeing how fit you are, so you might have caught up on strava.

You may even have seen my guest appearance at the Bath Cc chaingang, helping Rob Pears with a few watts.



I need to give a special shout out to Malcolm at physioimpulse, bath. His extensive knowledge of the mechanics of the body whilst running and cycling has helped me no end in my rehabilitation. His techniques to release the tension in my lower legs and pelvis has really helped my recovery and started me off on a fantastic platform to move forward.

It’s still causing me some pain, and I can’t run yet. However, I can cycle. So watch this space!

Maybe.

When I’ve lost 5kg.

And got through the 33 days until I hand in 70% of my degree. Uh oh!