Sunday, 21 February 2010

A small chink of light maybe?

It's been three weeks since, in a last minute attempt to turn my failing two-wheeled form around, I set myself the target of sixteen cycling hours per week for the sixteen weeks leading up to Ironman Lanzarote. Sitting here gazing out of our office window at some pretty serious snow things could have been looking tough, but with 15 hours and 45 minutes banked since Monday, a short afternoon turbo is all I need to stay ahead of the game.

Looking through my plans for the remaining 13 weeks until Lanza there a a couple of weeks where 16 hours would not only be difficult to achieve but also raise the injury / burnout risks too high. So, I've moved the goal posts a little (don't worry Mr Lord, I'm still following your 'at least' advice) by saying that my overall running total will not fall behind 16 hours per week i.e. after four weeks I will be on 'at least' 64 hours, after five weeks 80 hours etc etc. Some individual weeks may drop below the target 16 however...

The week commencing the first of March takes me down south for the spring Ballbuster, I've done this race every year of my multi-sport career and it will give me some great feedback on where I am. I'll want a fairly easy week because of that and bearing in mind it's on a Saturday, only involves 90 minutes of cycling and we have to drive all the way home for cross country the following day I think any more than about ten hours total ride time for that week would be the wrong thing to do in terms of rest and recovery... I'll need to have 'banked' six hours therefore over the four preceeding weeks in order to stay ahead. At the moment I'm 2:45 over and a two hour turbo this afternoon will take me to 4:30 over... another 90 minutes is needed next week then... so 17.5 hours it is.

My other major problem week is London Marathon week but with plenty of time to go, including the Easter holidays, that shouldn't be too problematic.

Finally, of course, there's Ironman race week... this is a 256 hours in 16 weeks challenge after all... a 5:30 ride on race day and another three hours in race week would require a pre race-week credit of seven and a half hours...

I'm enjoying feeling like a cyclist though and am getting stronger every single day so despite still getting dropped on the majority of my group rides things are definitely looking up...

... talking of looking up, and hopefully I'm not cursing things here, I've had a complete week off swimming and following physio, massage and stretching am hopeful that tomorrow morning's easy couple of k will be pain free!

Running? My trainers have really kept me going over the last few months where everything else has fallen by the side... my weekly mileage isn't stellar but I'm probably running as well as I ever have at this time of year and more importantly I'm really loving it. Unfortunately we had to abandon getting to this morning's cross country race in Dewsbury... when, as the snow fell thick and fast, we saw three accidents and lost control of our own car, all within ten minutes, we took the sensible decision to come home and right the blog ;) Which now it's done I think an easy 90 minute run in the snow is calling...

See you next week,


p.s. What with training, working, podcasting etc I've been unable to find the time to read any of the various blogs I subscribe to. My normal daily 'zero' of my Google reader hasn't happened for well over a month and with 300 articles to read apologies if I've neglected my fellow bloggers... there is light at the end of the tunnel in areas other than just training though so fingers crossed I'll stumble upon a lazy afternoon sometime soon and catch up with the world ;)


lord_lordy said...

Moving the goalposts is as it should be ! Targets like that are good motivationally but, in my experience, should come with a warning. It's a target but it doesn't HAVE to be met. It's an arbitrary target and your goal is really to race well not to do 16 x 16 hours !
Having said that - consistency I've found to be key - 4 x 16 is not the same as 2 x 24 and 2 x 8 in it's training effect. So I reckon you really need to assess how much you really want a super strong performance and what you're willing to sacrifice. I gave up cross country when I got serious about Ironman because it prevented consistent week in week out bike volume.
The year I did Lanza (and performed well) I also sacrificed a good London Marathon and ensured I didn't run it too hard by riding 170 miles the day before.
Not saying this is right for you just giving you food for thought from my experience.

Tom said...

I'm definitely following a similar thought pattern to you mate, and have taken inspiration over the years from your blog. For me I need to set that unbreakable goal of keeping up with 16 hours per week to date i.e. 16 after one week, 64 after four weeks etc. It all comes down to my week will power as if I give myself any kind of leeway it just doesn't happen. Booze has been the prime example with the only way I managed to kick the binge drinking was to set the absolute rule of no more than one drink on any one day, which I've stuck to for nearly six years and has changed my life.

I think the technical term is 'sh*t or bust' ;)

With regards of London I'll be busy the fri and sat with Marathon Talk stuff but will be looking for good bike mileage that week and then will hold back in the race, treat it as my last long run and look to come in just under three hours. I'm running stronger no than when I went 2.49 so 2.59 should be steady away.

Keep the advice coming ;)