August 2014

Recovery?

It’s been a month of trying to get back on track after rupturing my right hip bursa in the Worthing Triathlon last month. An ultrasound confirmed that it had ruptured and torn from its membrane, and that the fluid that had collected behind it and was preventing it from re attaching and healing. I had a large needle stuck in under local anaesthetic to remove the fluid and since then it’s been a slow recovery.

It’s a strange injury. Since having the fluid aspirated I’ve been able to run and ride…as long as I don’t touch the hip! Ironically swimming with a wetsuit hurt the most because of the pressure on it but it’s slowly getting better and I’ve been able to get some decent volume in fortunately and it looks like IM Mallorca is on.

I’ve managed a reasonable amount of swimming in August, 46.2km. A lot of OW swimming, I’ve some weeks managed 3 lake swims and alongside a few harder pool swims it was a decent month.

I’ve ridden 1,241km including the final 4 Club 10’s of the year and the WCA 100. The 10’s were OK, no PB’s but generally solid rides. The 100 was something else. Riding in torrential rain with thunder and lightning in the tail end of Hurricane Bertha was an interesting experience. The race wasn’t great though as I died a horrible death in the last 25 having picked a relatively conservative power target. On reflection I think it was more down to increasing my run volume dramatically after 3 weeks of no running at all. Hopefully.

I’ve ridden an easy long ride each week of 100 miles and also ‘enjoyed’ a hilly ride around the Cornish coast when we were staying in Penryn for  wedding.  As hard as I tried I couldn’t find any flat parts of the coastline apart from the Penzance

On that note I’ve been getting back to a decent run volume as quickly as I’ve dared in a last ditch bid to regain some run fitness before Mallorca. From no running for 3 weeks I’ve run 27, 50, 60, 66 and 75km in the past 5 and slowly I’m beginning to feel like I can run again.

A long run a week has gradually increased in length and was up to a 33km run at around 3:10 marathon pace. A solid run that felt hard but comfortably so. A few other hilly runs and some easy paced stuff has made up the volume. I’ve also done a couple of short transition runs after the 100 mile rides at a quick pace, around 4:00/km.

One other thing I’ve gone back to after the hip injury has been Body Balance. It’s something I’ve done for over a year and has been great for my distinct lack of flexibility. After 6 weeks of not going it was good to go back.

It’s IM Mallorca next month, on the 27th, and hopefully I’ll be on the startline. After my experience at The Outlaw I’m taking nothing for granted.

One more 100 mile TT on the A100/4 next weekend – I’m undecided whether to race it or ride at IM power. Given the Welsh experience this month I’ll probably be a bit cautious! With the Clonmore 25 mile TT 6 days before the IM, hopefully that will be a good last hard ride beforehand.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks building a new bike frame up. I bought an ADR Nero frame and have gradually moved the bits from the Focus over to the new frame. The first test ride was the last Club 10 and unfortunately the headset came loose at around the 6 mile mark so I eased off for the final 4…. and still managed to get my ‘normal’ finishing position on 20-25Watts off my normal 10 Power so that bodes well. The BCDA 100 will be a good test!

 

July 2014

I hope not but July could have been the month that ended a realistic chance of doing well at IM Mallorca, it certainly did that for the Outlaw, my other main aim of the year.

Almost two triathlons in the month, the Worthing Triathlon which caused all the problems and 2/3rds of the Outlaw. Somewhat gallingly I had been really coming into some form before Worthing and everything was looking good but a crash on the bike in wet and horrible conditions meant that I could only do the swim and bike of the Outlaw.

I had a reasonable result at Worthing despite the crash, swimming 23:23 – hard to read anything into time in a sea swim but coming out of the water in about the place I thought I would. Rode OK before coming down on the second to last roundabout and gently rode in the final 2k to T2 intending quit but got sucked into starting the run having arrived in T2 with another athlete. I still rode a 1:05 for the 6th best bike split despite the crash and then ran my best 10k to date off the bike, a 38:15 despite a lump on the side of my hip the size of a melon which has turned out to be a ruptured bursa.

That meant that I wasn’t able to do the Outlaw run, only managing a poor swim of 63 mins and a decent bike of 4:58 before bailing on the race.

I swum 52km during the month with plenty of open water practice. The Outlaw swim though was an experience I’d like to forget. I’ve never been as close to having a panic attack in the water and was battered, bruised had no room to swim at all and had my goggles kicked off. I swam a 63 minute swim when I was (I think) in shape to swim around the hour mark with a decent swim and a good draft. Looking back I think the Outlaw swim has more potential for a battering as everybody merges from the right with those on the left having nowhere to go because of the edge of the lake unlike a ‘normal’ swim where an arrowhead can form. Still some good signs though swimming 63 despite that.

I covered 1,317km in July, a decent amount of riding, partly due to not being able to run. Despite the bike crash I managed to ride the National 100 TT, although not at full tilt. I rode the first 90 miles at Ironman power before riding the last 10 hard for a 4:19 and also a new 10 mile PB on the P881 of 21:28 so at least that was going well.

The Outlaw ride was a hard ride with the wind building up and getting hotter throughout. I was pleased with the ride overtaking for most of the first half before having a very lonely second half, seeing only 3 other riders, passing 2 and being overtaken by Kevin Dawson. No shame in that I think! The 4:58 was the 5th fastest of the individual riders and one of only 11 sub 5 hour rides including all the relay riders although mine of course doesn’t count as I didn’t actually finish…

After Worthing I’ve run very little during the month with only 71km run. I started to run again gradually towards the end of the month so it’s been a month wasted in that regard but it was just too painful to be able to run sensibly.

August was going to be full steam ahead for IM Mallorca but how realistic a decent run is I’ll have to wait and see. I can only hope that the treatment I’ve started to get will enable me to get enough run training in to regain the lost run fitness.

 

Hoping for a swim/bike workout

It’s been a week without posting as I have gradually got my head around the fact I almost certainly won’t be racing the full Outlaw next weekend. Still no running and while the swelling on my hip, although still very painful to the touch, is slowly improving, the muscle pull in my groin has become more noticeable, again presumably as it has less protection from any swelling.

I’ve been able to ride and swim this week and maybe that hasn’t helped but in all honesty I’d ridden throughout the week including a 10 mile TT with no pain when cycling but it became more evident on an easy ride on Friday so I’m not sure why that should be.

So, no running for 2 weeks now, and I’m still hoping to be able to use the Outlaw as a swim/bike training session at least to make a little use of the entry fee. I’m still gutted though as it was the first race I entered for this year, it would have been a good test before Mallorca and I’d liked to have thought I would have somewhere near the front of the race.

This week has not been entirely wasted though with 17,400m swum and 332km on the bike.

I’ve even managed a new 10 mile PB at the a3crg club 10 on the P881 of 21:28 with a new power PB for the distance as well of 291W on what was a quick but fairly windy evening. I’m riding the P881R Open TT on Wednesday (hopefully) which is generally a quicker course so if the weather conditions play ball that could be quick as well.

In a bid to keep up posting all my sessions this last weeks are below and I’ll make sure I regain my motivation to start posting daily again now I’ve got my head around not finishing the Outlaw!

Monday

20k bike commute to see the Dr about my hip and an easy swim

Swim file: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/541616765

Tuesday

Long 121k bike: http://tpks.ws/wqKd

Wednesday

2k steady swim: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/542787489

a3crg 10 mile TT: http://tpks.ws/5TtV plus 20km warming up and cooling down

Thursday

Long steady 4k pool swim: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/543333367

HIlly 84k bike ride: http://tpks.ws/9427

Friday

3k in the pool as 6 x 500m: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/544049966

I rode 7k to the pool and another 59km easy home! http://tpks.ws/N5tO although this ws when my groin pull made itself felt.

Saturday:

4.9k open water swim with the main set a 350m swim at 62 minute IM pace: http://tpks.ws/cUFC

Sunday:

2k easy swim: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/545332058

April 2014

No multisport racing in April but plenty of TT’s now the season is back. A 25, 15 and 5 10’s with one period of 3 of those TT’s in 4 days! HRC had our Open 10 on the Saturday, a rearranged PTTL 15 miler the day after on the Sunday  and a Club 10 on the Tuesday.

Generally they’ve been pretty good for me and have shown a decent improvement from last year. Of the 2 Open 10’s I’ve done, the first Open 10’s I ever done, the faster was a 22:21 at the HRC  10. The 25 was OK with a 58:23, not quite the time or power I was wanting but it was essentially the first race of the year and fairly cold.

The best sporting Club 10 has been a 23.22 but what has been really good is that I’ve been beating guys who were almost always ahead of me last year so whatever the actual times are it’s a good indication that I’ve improved a good amount over the winter.

During April I swum 30km, a good bit down on last month and it’s been showing as I’m not swimming as well as I was then. I had the Postal Hour Swim as a real target and was swimming some hard and some long sessions. This month hasn’t been as consistent and I need to get back to it in May.

The first week of April was a cycling week in Mallorca and although I did some swimming as was filmed for technique stuff which was really good but with no real volume and after that week I kept getting cramp in the bottom of my foot when swimming which I’m pretty sure was down to the cycling volume from that week. It’s gradually got better but has still been a limiting factor right to the end of the month. Once I get back from Bermuda (after a few sea swims!) it’s time for a planned build to the Outlaw.

In the week I spent in Mallorca I rode just under 650km with all of the IM Mallorca bike course, one day of 210km and the Sa Colabra climb. It was a good to get a really big week on the bike and managed to ride the main climb of IM Mallorca 3 times.

The TT’s came in the remainder of the month with a couple of long rides thrown in as well including a trip to Nottingham for a ride of the Outlaw bike loops for a monthly total of 1,246km.

Not a massive amount of running during April with 132km total. After the Mallorca week where the focus was the bike and an easy recovery week following that I ran two 45km weeks with long runs of 1:45 and 2 hours.

The first 10 days of May have been spent in Bermuda, hence the late monthly review but after that it’s time to get back to consistent weeks in the 10 week build to the Outlaw. I’ve got a rough week planned out with a race each weekend, mostly Time Trials, but a couple of triathlons as well all of which I’ll be treating as training.

A Week in Mallorca

Day One – Sunday

 

After a night where the only sleep was a 45 minute nap on the plane and arriving around lunchtime we had an easy first day with only a run.

Overall it was only around 7.5km but a good amount of it was walking as it was largely trails where some were really rocky and as it had been raining were really slippery. Going downhill on the route back was particularly treacherous.

 

IMG_3040

Mallorcan hills

Run1: http://tpks.ws/OIF8

Run 2: http://tpks.ws/Zr7d

 

Day Two – Monday

 

Onto the bikes.

We did the second loop of the IM Mallorca bike but starting in Pollenca, up the climb to Lluc where we stopped for a quick look and then onto the garage at the top for a coffee.

The main part of the climb is around 427m ascent over 7.5 km at 5.5% and I rode with Nick, nicely doing lots of overtaking, doing the climb in 26 minutes at 253W average.

After the coffee we headed down the other side to carry on the second part of the loop. I do need to be slightly braver on the descents as I was too cautious going down the hairpins especially.

The second part of the loop had some really fast parts on decent roads and some really shitty side roads that weren’t much more than track so I hope that gets improved before the race!

We finished the loop back in Alcudia before heading back the 10k or so along the coast to Pollenca via Tolo’s for another coffee.

Total distance for the day was 94km

 

Col de Sa Batalla

Looking up the Col de Feminia

Ride 1: http://tpks.ws/6Zl1

Ride 2: http://tpks.ws/oKVl

 

Day Three – Tuesday

 

Similar to the previous day, except we rode the first loop of IM Mallorca. After the 10k ride to the start point we headed South to Arta before returning along the out and back section, and inland to Petra and a stop for lunch.

After lunch it was back to the coast and Can Pickfort before going inland again to Sa Poblo and returning to Alcudia and T2 and finally the 10k back to Pollenca.

Total distance for the day was 123km.

We finished the day with a short pool session where Nick filmed us swimming – that was really interesting and there were a good number of things for me work on.

 

Ride 1: http://tpks.ws/cPpC

Ride 2: http://tpks.ws/3yHc

Swim:

 

Overlooking Sa Colabra

 

I made my own way off on Wednesday as John was feeling the pace a bit and was finding it hard to keep up. As it was primarily his week which I was tagging along with and I was feeling a bit guilty about having done what I wanted to I left him and Nick to to what he wanted to do as I headed off to do the whole IM course.

I wanted to ride it in order so I first headed for Alcudia and the start before retracing the roads we had covered in the previous couple of days. I spent most of the day passing people including a couple of German riders who decided to tag on for the ride. I pushed at or just above threshold for around 6 minutes, dropping one after a couple and the second one just before the roundabout I was turning off at. A good little blast at nearly 40kph and 262W for a while although probably not the best preparation for the climb ahead!

As I made my way round to the climb with the wind direction as it was it was always hard going inland and much faster the other way and the gradual gradient of around 1% into the wind for 30 minutes to the base of the climb was leg sapping as well.

I took the climb slower than the first ride but tried to use lower gearing going up to judge what sort of cassette I’ll use on race day. I’ve got a compact on the Argon 18 and managed to get up the 7.5k using the 21 on the back as my lowest gear.

After a 20 minute stop at the top to buy more water, a Mars Bar and a bottle of Coke – the cafe was heaving – I carried on and finished the loop as before in Alcudia before heading back up the coast to Pollenca.

Total distance was my longest ride at 210km.

The only way to finish that length of ride was with a brick run! I headed out for a 30 minute run – 15 minutes down the coast and back at a decent clip averaging 4:16/km for 7km, bang on 3 hour marathon pace. It felt OK for 30 minutes and I could have gone on for longer but there’s no way that currently I could hold that for the full marathon as yet!!

 

Ride: http://tpks.ws/dAZT

 

Recovery food from Tolo’s

 

The weather was predicted to be crap so we started the day with a run before breakfast. 13k in total with a 4km loop as an effort

The rain didn’t come in as planned in the morning so I headed out for an easy recovery ride, 33km taking it very easily.

The third session of the day was a swim – just over 1000m – but with lots of drills focussing on what I had improved in the precious session, particularly on moving away from a straight arm recovery.

 

 

Run: http://tpks.ws/nofR

Ride: http://tpks.ws/uWJk

Swim:

 

Day Six – Friday

 

Again a poor morning of weather so we headed to the pool first for a few more drills and then 10×50 afterwards at a slightly faster pace.

Straight to Alcudia then to run a loop of the run course. It works out at loop of just over 9km – flat down the Promenade, returning along the main road before heading up and out of town up a decent hill and about 1k up a cycle path along a main road. Not the most interesting part of the run and whilst not steep will probably feel fairly steep.

Back to the apartment and out on the bike again for another 77k. Up the hill from the race, down the descent and back a slightly shorter way than the loop back to Pollenca. Still around 1000m of climbing though.

 

Swim:

Run: http://tpks.ws/XvP1

Ride: http://tpks.ws/rMUu

 

The only way out is up

The only way out is up

Day Seven – Saturday

 

The final day and the final ride. I wanted to ride the biggest climb on the Island, that of Sa Colabra, clocking in at 10k at 7.1% average. One of the other features of Sa Colabra is that there is a good amount of climbing to get to the climb, either the Col de Femenia which is the main climb of IM Mallorca, or up the descent of the Ironman, the Col de sa Batalla. As we hadn’t cycled up that way during the week that was the way we headed.

After getting up the 7.8k at 5% of the sa Batalla there was still a fair amount of climbing to get to the start of the Sa Colabra descent, the Col de Cal Reis at 632m but for the next 20 minutes it was all downhill!

Once at the bottom the only way was back out again up the road we came down, one of the more bizarre things about cyclists is the wish for some reason to ride down a steep hill with the intention of riding a bicycle back up it!

We started relatively easily but were still overtaking other riders but gradually it got harder. There are some flatter parts where you can drop a few gears but also a few steeper sections at around 12%, but for the most part it hovered around 7-8%. We were joined by another rider we passed who left the guy he was riding with and he sat on my wheel for around 3k before pushing on for a bit. He gained probably 10 metres on me before I gradually caught back up and re-passed him and after that he dropped off and I put time into him to the top. Very nice!

Overall the climb took me 40 minutes which I was fairly happy with given the amount of riding I’d done in the past six days, I wasn’t exactly fresh going into the ride!

After the ride back down the Pollenca it had been a ride of 108km with a total ascent of just under 2000m.

Ride: http://tpks.ws/D76e

Overall a big week of over 30 hours. I rode 646km over 6 days riding with a total of 6,500m climbing. I ran just under 30km and swum 3 times for not too many metres but picked up a lot from being filmed.

Next race...

IM Mallorca

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