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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Now much decrease will an injury cost your run FTP

On the 2nd August I was doing an aerobic run and while I was running downhill, I rolled my foot on the edge of a pothole coursing me to stop running up until last Wednesday 28th August.  Just under four weeks, all I could do was walk full incline on my treadmill at home.

I have been using a Stryd Power meter now for just under a year. Recently Stryd released an auto calculator for critical power (FTP) that is 1% more accurate than completing a critical power test.

From Wednesday 28th August I started running again. At this stage, all my runs need to be in a controlled environment like a treadmill.

So how much rFTP decrease will occur when you can’t run for the best part of a month? 

  • On 2nd August my rFTP was 309 watts (3.9 watts per kg)
  • On  28th August my rFTP was 275 watts (3.4 watts per kg)
  • A total loss of 34 watts (0.5 watts per kg) – also my run CTL decreased by 10

It is worth noting that on 16th May, my rFTP was 319 (4.07 watts per kg) but from shortly after that test, I had been doing MAF training so my rFTP was slowly declining.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take for my rFTP to get back to where it was before I got injured and also before I started MAF training.

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Injury & can data tell me the feature?

I have very little to write about my week of training.  My ankle is 90% right and I hope to start running again Tuesday or Wednesday.  Because I have little to write about, I thought I would share some KPI and other numbers.

The race season has two (maybe three) Half Ironman races I am targeting.

  • Coles Bay Half (26 weeks away)
  • Cairns 70.3 (42 Weeks away)

 

Training to data

While I am training to data, I must first say that this is by far not necessary. I would guess my coaching skills would get to around 98% of this but I am simply enjoying numbers and data.  I guess I have watched too much Money Ball.

To find where I hope to peak in 26 weeks I need to know what my estimated T-Score (training stress) and me Intensity Factor (IF) number will be come race day.

 

Finding my Intensity Number

This is the weighted power divided by the FTP,  For example if I was to do a race at 80% of my FTP, it will look like “80% of my 288 FTP = 230.4 divided by 288 =0.8″

 

Finding my T-Score

Now this gets a little tricky and is why I write down everything so I don’t forget.

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To calculate race day T-Score

  1. Estimated time in seconds of the race (bike) (9000 seconds for a 2:30hr 70.3 ride)
  2. Multiple above with race day percentage of FTP (80% of FTP for the 70.3 bike will give us 233 watts)
  3. Multiple above with Intensity (Intensity is 0.8)

This will give us a total of 1677600 – You take this number and

5. Divide with FTP (5,825)

6. Divide with 3600 (seconds in an hour) = 1.61

7. Remove the decimal point and this is your T-Score “161” for what I would like to do at Coles Bay Half.

So now I have my T-Score, I need to workout my Cronic Training Load

Cronice Training Load (CTL) 

While my current CTL is 95.2, my bike CTL is 46.9 while my run is 19.3 (and is quickly falling by the day since I can’t run at the moment) with bike and run CTL being 66.2.

  • My goal bike CTL is 30% of my FTP = 86.4
  • My goal run CTL is 4x rFTP kph = 54.4

I add both these up and that will give me a combined CTL of 140.8 for the bike/run CTL.  I can then divide these up over the next 26 weeks till Coles Bay Half to give me a good guide to help track my fitness (see chart below)

Note that CTL is a six week rolling average.

CTL Tim Egge

 

Key Performance Indicator

While I am blogging about crap while I avoid the topic of my actual training this week, I have come up with key performance indicator for myself. The highlighted red is my current levels.

I look at this and think of the saying “When the stars align” and see what I need to work on to ensure all my stars align.

Tim's Kona KPI