Sunday, 16 December 2007

Tom's training diary... week 3 of 32...

The aim of these first four weeks is to get back in to the habit, and get my body used to the demands of, training around 20 hours a week. After three weeks it's going pretty well with week three as follows...

With last Sunday being so hard and also such a long day what with getting up to watch the fight at 4 and then staying up way past my bedtime for the Virgin Active Road Runners Christmas Party I decided to ditch my Monday morning swim in favour of a much needed lie-in. As I've talked about in today's blog entry sleep is so so important in training and having been nearly 9 hours short of my weekly target last week it was time to make amends. At 17:20 my overall hours were slightly down but still good with plenty of work in all my key areas.

Having adopted a new swim technique since last Sunday's TTC swim camp and also taking a swim rest on Monday I fancied a crack at my 400pb (5:51). I am now swimming what is called 'power-on' swimming which demands a much higher cadence than traditional front-quadrant / catch-up style (I'll no doubt go in to the details as to why in a future blog entry) and so was pleased with 5:57 seeing as I've only been back in the pool for a couple of weeks and had completely revamped my swim tech only two days before. Volume was down at 9k but as usual my swim just gradually improves..

Another good week with some decent volume. Although I'm not quite getting the miles I'd like in this is largely due to the Baltic weather keeping me on the turbo. I did get out on Friday with BenG which demonstrated quite well how hard I'll need to work to go sub-5 hours for the 112 miles in Germany. Ben and I were pretty close in terms of bike performance this year with me beating him by 5 seconds in one 10 mile TT and him beating me by 10 in the other! This week it was all I could do to suck on to his wheel... partly me not quite on the ball and partly Ben riding very strongly. As usual I imagine my speed will drag it's heels and turn up just in time around May/June.

I've put the least intensity into this area of my training so as to minimise the chances of injury through the sudden increase in volume. Nothing has been hard yet and week 4 will be no different. Weeks 5-8 I'll chuck in some harder work with the aim of hitting my first real target of this training block (sub 80 minutes at the Brass Monkey - end of week 8). I must remember not to focus too much on this however as my 'A' race is not till 5 months later.

After last week's dismal effort on the sleep front I decided to prioritise it this week and came in at a rather impressive 56.5 hours! I can really feel the difference from last week and am determined to average 8 hours a night again in week 4. I've also committed to at least one proper stretch session a week so H and I spent about 90 minutes at Virgin this afternoon going through pretty much every PNF move we know. I particularly suffer from tight hip flexors which although fortunately don't seem to lead to injuries I think they pull my legs down a bit low when swimming and stop me getting my hips forward when running. A couple of weeks effort on them will hopefully help in both those areas.

Workout of the week
Another bike session this week... with the weather being so bad it can be hard (and often dangerous) to get out on your bike, this is where the turbo comes in. Our Tacx Flow's have revolutionised our training but the more people we talk to the more it seems that they struggle to spend time on this great training tool. This Wednesday H and I did a two hour session... most people would cringe at the thought of spending so long on a turbo but structured properly the time can really fly. A 'ramp' is where you gradually increase your effort in a series of steps and in this session we broke the two hours down in to ten individual ramps of gradually decreasing duration... ramp one was 5x6 minute steps (30 mins), ramp two was 5x5 minutes (25 mins) then 5x4 minutes, 5x3, 5x2 and 5x1 minute before finishing off with 4x1, 3x1, 2x1 and 1x1 minutes. The longest section without change was therefore only six minutes and each ramp started at an rpe of about 4/10 and finished at about 8/10 effort. The time flew by and before we knew it we had banked a couple of quality training hours.

I made good progress at the beginning of the week but steadied a bit toward the end. Now tipping the scales at 73.1 kilos a total loss of 1.7 kgs in the three weeks and just over 7 from my race weight target.


Jevon said...

good work mate. An idea for your hands on the bike if you suffer from poor circulation ... I use Gore Windstopper gloves which have proved inadequate so I invested in a pair of Gore undergloves to go under them which work a treat. Layering seems to be the way to go. Also, if it's raining you could slip on a pair of disposable latex gloves between the thin gore gloves and your outer gloves if it's raining.

Also... how did you get the training spreadsheet onto the site? It's good and effective!

Tom said...

Hi Jevon,

Already travelling the 'layered' path! H and I bought some Assos 'winter glove system packs' which consist of three different gloves to be worn in various combinations. They actually seem to work very well in the dry even when it's freezing. They do struggle in the wet however and your latex glove idea sounds like a blinder!

To get the spreadsheet on the blog I took a screen shot by pressing 'Prt Sc' then pasting it in to photoshop before croppng etc. The the only way it seems possible to make the image large enough is to upload it to Picasa then embed it in your post using html. I could talk you through it on the phone if needed?