2019 Review and looking at 2020

Looking back through 2019, there has been some great progress and some crappy setbacks.  While I haven’t been able to run for around a third of the year, I still look at 2019 as a successful transition year.

 

Some basic numbers 

  • Swim: 157 sessions with a total of 336.6km
  • Bike: 260 sessions with a total of 10,129.2km
  • Run: 129 sessions with a total of 1098.3km
  • Strength: 169 sessions
  • Total core training time (Swim, bike, run & strength): 632:28 hours
  • Total extras training time (mobility, oxygen deprivation, foam roller, meditation): 110:35hrs

I am actually happy with most of these numbers above as the start of the year was simply a horrible start with chickenpox, moving house and whopping cough.  There were three weeks with zero training throughout the year.

Looking back at my training log, from 2016 to compare to now, showed

  • Swim: I completed 2 more swim sessions than my record in 2017 however 2018 I completed 8km more.
  • Bike: I completed 75 more rides than in 2017 and 1028.2km more than in 2017.
  • Run: worse ever year.  I would have to go back in my written diaries to see a lower number.  By guess, worst year since 2010.
  • Strength: This took me by surprise as 2017 I had completed 21 extra strength sessions than 2019.

 

2020 Goals 

I have set some basic goals that I would like to achieve as a minimum:

  • Swim: 400km
  • Bike: 10,000km
  • Run: 2,000km
  • Strength: 200 sessions
  • Core Training Time: 800 hours

While these numbers really represent very little, my program each week, each training block, each race, is based around CTL, T-Score, ATL, TSB numbers.  I have more or less moved my dat to day training log to Today’s Plan now so I can take more of a analytical approach to my training.

Coles Bay Half – February 2020

  • Bike CTL: 70
  • Run CTL: 20
  • Total CTL: 90 (can see this is a training race)

 

Ironman 70.3 Cairns – June 2020

  • Bike CTL: 84
  • Run CTL: 52
  • Total CTL: 136

 

Coming back from a running injury 

Back in August I rolled my ankle pretty bad.  From mid November I started incline treadmill walking and from mid December I slowly started running.  When I mean slowly started running I mean my first run was 40min incline treadmill walk with 4x 30sec run with 5min of walking between.  By December I found out I now have Plantar Fasciitis.

I have been really good with rehab and currently I am running 40 minutes with 1min walk every 4min of running.  Yes there is pain but I am managing this and hope it will be in my past within the next month or so.  I am working on this issue 4-5 times a day.

I aim to do Coles Bay Half in February.  This will be simply a training race as I will still be slowly building back my run.  This season I will be targeting Ironman 70.3 Cairns in June however EVERYTHING I have done and I am doing is completely targeted towards Ironman Australia in 2021.

 

Ironman Australia 2021

When I stated this project it was 104 weeks with 26 training blocks.  while the focus on most of these blocks had changed from when I first set everything out, I am still very focused and I am currently about to complete training block nine.

While I am a little behind on the swim than I thought I would have been at this time, I am in front on the bike.

More information on the coming year in the next few weeks.

 

Rehab and progress

Since I rolled my ankle bad in late August, it feels very unstable compared to my other ankle.  This is common for people who sprain or fracture their ankle.  Unless correctly rehabilitated, it can lead to chronic ankle instability and chronic pain.

I have been massaging, ice/heat therapy, compression and venous drainage.  Four weeks ago I started strength work on the ankle.  A lot of balancing at first and this has progressed to balancing on a balance board.  I am not comfortable to start balancing on four inch pipes yet but maybe in a month or so.

Two weeks ago, I started incline treadmill walking and twice a week I am doing 3x 10 second walking on tippy toes with 10kg dumbbells in each hand.  My ankle feels much stronger and more stable but there is a lot of work left to do. It feels ready to start running but I am deploying patience and will slowly keep working on getting back to full health. While I am still hopeful I will be right for a half Ironman in February, I’m not willing to register for the race just yet.

 

In Other News

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My son and I did the Sally’s Ride last weekend.  We did the 45km event and made the newspaper.  The weather was shithouse! Strong winds and a few times it bucketed down with rain.

 

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This is what I look like at 3:45am lifting weights. Not that good looking I must admit…..

Catch Up on the blog

Running:

So it looks like my ankle is a lot worse than I thought it was.  I am almost positive I have a fracture.  Since I rolled my ankle in late August, I gave it close to a month of rest than since that time, I have done a number of test runs with a good week or so between tests.  I can run with no pain but as soon as I finish running, my ankle is sore for a few days.

Because I waited so long and how complicated the ankle is, a fracture may not show up on a x-ray so I am just not going to run for the rest of this year and really focus on swim, bike and the gym.

I “may” from 1st December start incline walking on the treadmill again.   I will assess as I get closer.

Bike:  

When I started this project, I set myself targets of what I wanted to achieve along the way.  Since I had stopped running, my cycling has been going from strength to strength every week.  It is crazy how many new peak power records I have set.  I did a FTP test last Tuesday and I went far better than I had thought I would with a new FTP of 308 watts.  This is the number I had hopped to hit in May 2021 so I am pumped I got it this soon.

Past FTP tests:

  • 10/10/2016 – 251 watts
  • 4/2/2017 – 261 watts
  • 29/3/2017 – 265 watts
  • 11/7/2017 – 278 watts
  • 13/2/2018 – 282 watts
  • 9/3/2019 – 275 watts
  • 18/5/2019 – 283 watts
  • 1/7/2019 – 287 watts
  • 23/10/2019 – 295 watts
  • 22/10/2019 – 308 watts 

 

Swim: 

Not running has allowed me to add an extra 3-4 swims per four week training blocks. There is nothing really to report here just yet, just turning the laps over.

 

Gym:

Also with not running has afforded me an extra session per week that I can lift weights.  It has taken me months (and months) to get to this stage but I am finally at the stage that I am now lifting heavy in my sessions and it is not having a negative impact on any of my other training.

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As I have mentioned a few times in past blogs, I had planed to pace Jack during the Burnie Ten.  Unfortunately I was unable to do this.  Because Jack is only ten years old, he was a little concerned running 10km on his own, I lined up with him at the starting line and watched him run off.  I jumped on my bike and rode up and was “one of them” who likes to ride alongside a run race.

Progress Update

Not being able to run has given me an opportunity to fast track my cycling.  I am currently where I thought I would be in June next year with both my cycling threshold and my VO2 MAX.  I feel that over this current four week training block, I will also see my swim CSS move up one or possibly two levels and this makes me happy…… and I like to be happy.

 

Cycling:

When I created my KPI chart and goals, I wanted to have a FTP of around 295 by June 2020.  With all the threshold training I have been doing this past three weeks as well as all the riding I did during the winter cycle challenge where everyday was a ride, I have just seen my riding improve faster than I ever thought it would of…… If only the Ironman bike was under two hours…. I would nail it.

The 92 rides in 92 days really helped increase my VO2 max ceiling and built a load of cycling strength so when I decided to do two 2x 20min @95% of FTP & 2x 40min @ 90% of FTP each week for the past three weeks, everything has lifted and has lifted fast.

I have broken so many peak power times over the past three week with my 30min, 40min and 60min being broken every week at least once over the past three weeks.  Personal bests are meant to be hard to break but I am breaking so many each week, I no longer get excited when I see a new peak power number.  The peak personal best that was my favorite however is the 10min power I did on Monday breaking the previous power by almost 40 watts….  I did pop for that one.

This week I saw my FTP go from 288 to 295 and keep in mind that this was 275 back in May.

 

VO2 MAX

Talking about back in May, my VO2 MAX was 53ml/kg/min in May and now it is currently 61ml/kg/min.  This puts me around the top 15 in my age group if we were to look at “average”.

 

Swim

I did a CSS test on Wednesday and while my CSS score didn’t change (1:38), I was faster in both the 400m TT (6:25) and the 200m TT (3:09)

Why am I excited about this?  Because this tells me a lot. If my 400m TT was 6:23 (2 seconds faster) my CSS score goes down to 1:37 and if it goes down to 6:20 (5 seconds faster), my SCC score goes down to 1:36.

In the past couple of months, most/all my swim sessions have been a lot of short, sharp, fast sets of 25, 50 75 100 and I would have some 200s within my warm up. This is the reason my 200m TT time showed the greater improvement and my 400m TT wasn’t as impressive.  Makes sense.

This shows that I need to start including a threshold session once a week into my program and I can move up one or two levels within my swimming.

This is why I am a fan of CSS and I am not a big fan of the 1000m TT, you can’t take a lot away from doing a 1000m TT whereas a CSS test will tell you want you need to work on.

The Critical Swim Test (CSS)

Warm Up:
300m,
200m with fins of 50m broken arrow, 50m free
200m pull and paddles breathing per lap 3/5/7/3
100m with pull of 12m scull, 12m doggy paddle, 25m free

Build:
4x 50m of 25m MAD, 25m easy
4x 100m mad with 20sec rest

Main Set:
400m Time Trial
5-8min rest with some easy laps and stretching
200m time trial.

Cool Down:
200m Choice

You take your numbers and punch them into a CSS calculator to get your results.

 

KPIs

While I am a head on the bike and I feel like I am about to make a break through in the swim, I need to start working on my power to weight ratio and building back my run as soon as my ankle is right and things should start to even out within a few months.

Here is my current KPI

Current KPI

End of training block Five

Big bowl of watts please!

As mentioned last week, I have been focusing of threshold training last week and this week on the bike seeing as I am currently not running.  While I am walking around in a constant state of fatigue, my legs during these rides are happy as a pig in shit. Its just an hour or two after the session they remind me they would rather have a beach holiday.

With the gains I made during the cycling challenge and now doing four thresholds sessions per week, I really do feel like my bike has taken a step or two forward and I am doing things on the bike I have never been able to do before.

 

Ankle 

My ankle is still not right.  I am still not running nor can I kick during swimming. I did have a good breakthrough with my rehab this week.  I have been doing everything right and my ankle hasn’t been showing any signs of improvements until I thought that my fibula may have moved very slightly out of position and being an unqualified doctor, I decided to move the bone back into place. At first I tried to talking my wife into doing this for me, as I showed her what to do but she wasn’t able to put enough force into the fibula so for a few days in a row, I was pushing my fibula up and back and I would get instant relief from it and come Friday, I think I was able to get it back into place and my ankle has started showing signs of getting better.

Sunday I was painting and I rolled my ankle over a shoe and I got zero pain, a few days prior I would of hit the roof.  I will have another week off running and reassess.  I know I need to be right for a 10km run race in four weeks as I am pacing my son during this race.

 

New Power Zones

I mentioned that I have developed a new zone list for cycling with power that has ten different zones.  While I have spent a crazy number of hours developing the zone list, I have spent even more time monitoring and assessing it. at this stage, I think this new zone list is the best thing since slice bread.

 

Summary 

I have now completed five full training blocks and have only twenty one remaining.  Here is a glance of the last five training blocks.

Training Block Summary

 

This is my peak power chart,  in the past week I got a new peak power for 40min & 60min.  I think I have broken these two or three times in the past two weeks.

Peak Power

 

This is my Load Chart for the past six months.

Load Chart

 

Good shit to come!

Tim

Sweet Week For Pain

Not running this week and next week has made me change things right around and change focus in the middle of the training block.  I am now calling it a “Sweet Week” as I focus on the bike with a lot of Sweet Spot Training (SST).  I am working off a six day cycle that looks like:

  • Day One: Main Set 2x 20min @95% of FTP (if I am not working then this becomes 3x 20min).
  • Day Two: Main Set 2x 40min @90% of FTP with cadence of 60 RPM (If I am not working then this becomes 3x 40min).
  • Day Three. moderate ride that is between 1-3 hours depending on my avlable training hours.
  • Day Four: Same as day one but add 5 extra watts.
  • Day Five: Same as day two but add 5 extra watts
  • Day Six: 1hr easy spin or rest

 

My swim sessions will not change however my gym sessions will take a step back and go on a maintenance program.

 

Reinventing the wheel? 

The current traditional power zones of Recovery, Endurance, Tempo, Threshold, VO2 & Anaerobic have never made much sense to me.  There are just too big of a gap within each zone.  This is why I have never given out zones in athlete’s programs.  I will give a percentage of their FTP to hold but never a zone. For example. there is a window of 42 watts for my VO2 zone.

I sat down this week and have spent an incredible amount of time developing my own zone chart that consists of ten zones, what fuel does each zone need and what I would expect from each zone.

From this zone chart I hope to develop for the athletes I coach and myself

  1. Better power control
  2. Better cadence control
  3. Better nutrition guidelines
  4. Create better self awareness
  5. Better understanding of a ride from the point of view of “Time in zones” (the current time in zones chart is a croc of shit)

Time in zone

Look at this ride I did Friday, 49.9% if the ride stuck in the new zone zone six….. sexy

Friday I changed my zone chart within Final Surge and Today’s Plan to start testing these new zones.  At this stage so good, I haven’t made any changes to the zones yet but it is still early days.  Yesterday I asked for volunteers from athletes I coach would they like to test these zones out so I can get a better picture from other athletes at different levels.

This is all part of the redevelopment of Train Smooth that I am currently working on so I can really help athletes with training correctly, recover better and eat healthier.

 

 

Running & Cycling

I am playing catch up on the blog for the past two weeks.

 

Cycle Challenge

I completed the cycle challenge where I rode ever day through winter.  Some stats from the challenge.

  • 92 rides in 92 days
  • Rode 3,059 km
  • 22 rides on the time trial bike
  • 64 rides on the road bike
  • 1 ride on the mountain bike
  • 5 rides on the gym spin bike
  • Had to have two days off the bike when I rolled my ankle, there were a couple of days I did double bike days.

During the challenge, I broke a number of personal best power watts (3sec, 4sec, 5sec, 10sec, 2min, 3min, 10min, 15min, 20min, 30min, 40min and 60min)

I really wanted to do another FTP test when the challenge had ended but my SRM power meter battery went flat and I need to send it away to have a battery replacement and to be calibrated.  While I have another power meter on the other bike, I only like to test on the same equipment in the same conditions so this will need to wait.

The biggest thing I have noticed from the cycle challenge is I am no longer in sync with my power meter. I can think I am riding easy but when I look at my power, I am riding at my Ironman race power.  Before I could guess my watts and be within 10 watts but now I can be off by 50 watts or more.

 

Running

I started running again on  28th August, I have to be careful when, where and how I run as my ankle is still not right.  For instant I can run on the treadmill with no concerns but when I run out side, I need the roads or footpath to be flat or lean down so my foot pronates. I can’t let it supination at all or I can receive pain in the ankle. If you were to see me run, you would be scratching your head thinking I am semi retarded as I go from the footpath, down on the road, back on the footpath, across to the other side of the road, back to the other side of the road, onto the footpath, etc, etc, etc as I try and run with the slopes of the ground.

I am still unable to kick in swimming so all my swims are still with a pool buoy.  I did however yesterday make the decision not to run for another two weeks to let my ankle heal.  Since running again, my ankle has shown no signs of improving where as when I wasn’t running for that month, it was improving each day.  It isn’t getting worse, it just isn’t getting better.

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Gym Infrastructure 

I saw online someone up the road was selling sets of dumbbells that a person with strong legs and no upper body strength like myself may need like 10kg, 12.5kg, 15kg, 17.5kg and 20kg.  Not willing to let a bargain pass me by, I jumped on them fast so now my gym is getting a little better and I continue to get a little stronger.

 

This is Jack on my TT bike riding Zwift.  This marked 100 rides in 100 days for him 

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