Miles. My favourite concept.
Do miles, go fast. Fact.
I can already feel the high intensity, low volume advocates amongst you squirming. Wriggling around in your chairs.
Miles are speed.
As I check in during my rest between sessions, nothing makes me more excited than the thought of tomorrow’s rest day.
Another 30 hour week to slot into the start of July, May and June checking out at both exactly 92 hours of training.
That’s a lot of miles.
So I’m overtrained, fatigued, off form, going slow, doing damage. Maybe, maybe not.
I took a rest day last Saturday, didn’t do a lot. Socialised at Henley, did a 3 hour drive, had a nice dinner. Easy money. And after just one day off, I turned up to the start of the Manchester and district 100 mile tt.
Now I’ve never done a 100 mile tt before. In fact it was only the 4th time I’d ever sat on a tt bike.
I’ve heard the rumours, read the Internet reviews. ‘Tt bikes take 3 months to get used to’… ‘It’s only on your 3rd 100 you get close to pacing it right’.
And in fairness, you cyclists & triathletes do come up with some absolute nonsense.
I choo’d round in a comfortable 3:53:04. My heart rate not even breaching the high 60’s. Second to Ben Norbury, Congleton’s finest, by 20 seconds. Who was later peeled from the bike.
So that started the week off nicely. An hour in the pool Monday, my first run in 6 months, and another pacey 90km on the road bike. Fine. Tuesday another hour and a 10k run.
They’re adding up these miles.
So on a heavy set of legs I span over to the start of the Congleton 10 mile tt, only to see a fresh Ben Norbury on the start line again.
Well it was my mums birthday, so I couldn’t put down a bad performance. But everyone else’s rest was sure to help their legs. I smashed round with a heart rate of low 160’s, again not over 170 or even getting near my max of 190.
So I must have gone slow, because I’m over trained, right?
I checked in a pretty 20:45, a win. 21 seconds up on Ben and almost 3 minutes out from third.
Since then the week has developed into 610km on the bike, 65km running and a cheeky 9,000m in the pool. (Not including last Sunday’s 100).
Ok ok you get my point, I do miles, but could I be faster if I brought back the mileage?
Probably not. It’s all about the base. The bottom of the pyramid.
8 hours sleep a night, 20-30 minutes of stretching and rolling a day. And a healthy diet closely monitored by the head of athlete welfare (my mum) and I’m fresh from day to day.
As I start to taper for Europeans in 2 weeks I have 4 races to really explore the speed available.
I haven’t had the time to run far enough to do any damage to the race. The miles just aren’t there. But as my fatigue comes down and my form comes up.
Watch this space.