Almost There

Last week was a tough week.  Bike Lactate Threshold test, 5KM race, longest brick of the program.  But with less than 4 weeks until race day I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  This is the last big week, then a more moderate week and then a two week taper.  The good news is I feel like I am just at the point of peaking and should be good to go for Knoxville.

The bike test went well on Thursday and overall I got some great feedback from the two tests.  My zones are set for my new program starting post Knoxville but more interestingly I found out I was training harder on the bike and not hard enough on the run.  Both HR zones were the same on the Mark Allen program with the limit being 147BPM.  The new program will have my run limit being 150 and my bike being 140 but also unlike the current program it is OK to go over those for brief periods.  In fact on the bike power will be the focus.  I am interested to see how it goes.

The bike test was hard, in fact I think it was harder than the run test.  Most likely because it was longer.  But at the end the data doesn’t lie and my new zones are set.  It was well worth the $100 for the test.  The test was the same deal as the run but instead of increasing speed every three minutes they upped the power by 20W.  I managed to maintain 288W for 3 minutes after building from 160W in 3 minute increments.  It was like a crazy long hill that just keeps getting steeper.

The next day was the Good Friday Road Race in which I ran the 5KM distance.  It was more of a speed workout but pushed me well beyond what I would do on the track.  It was painful.  But well worth it.  I pretty much pinned it from the start and held on for dear life.  Average HR of 171 is a record for me and a maximum HR of 182 is actually a record as well.  Red is HR, Blue is pace, Orange is cadence and Green is elevation.  Not a bad speed workout!

I’ve used the term “Fighting the Gorilla” a few times to describe training.  On Sunday that Gorilla put up a hell of a fight.  A crazy 30-50KM/hr North wind that I rode into uphill for two hours that turned into a nasty crosswind for sections made a tough ride.  At one point it got rainy and really cold, so cold I couldn’t open a Bonk Breaker, couldn’t shift gears and could barely squeeze a water bottle.  I was about to throw in the towel and the sun came out and my hands defrosted.  It was no where near as cold as last Sundays snow/sleet/rain ride but it was tougher overall.  3hr 35m later I was done with 111KM and off for a 6KM brick run at race pace.  It took a bit to get into the rhythm but the last few bricks have taught me a few things.

I think the real value in brick workouts comes from what you learn and not any gain in fitness.  It is all about getting to know how long it takes you to settle down, get into your running rhythm and get control of your HR and breathing.  For me it is about 12 minutes before I lose the noodly leg feeling and start to run.  I’ve learned to just run my pace and have confidence my legs will return to me shortly.  After sucking it up for 2.5KM I am comfortable.  Good to know come race day!

Throw in the 22KM 1h 45m run on Saturday and it was a crazy four days.  So crazy I missed the announcement of a bunch of new TrainingPeaks features.  I did see the new UI on Saturday morning when I got caught up with logging data and love it, very user friendly.  I’ll have to dig in a bit and look over yesterdays ride but you can check out what is new here.  I was thrilled with the new UI but the rest looks great too.

In other news my fat former self was highlighted on Beyond Transition and a podcast I recorded with RunRunLive was published as well.  If you have nothing better to do, and since you made it all the way to the end of this post you don’t, go give them a read/listen ;)


  1. I think you’ve sold me on getting some proper testing done! Your experience echoes what I’ve heard/read about run heartrates being about 10 bpm higher than bike HR.

    Enjoy your recovery week!

  2. Geodee there are plenty of places to get tested. I went with NRGPT in the Don Mills area. Sylvie was awesome during the tests and with detailed explanations of the results.

  3. I actually sent Nigel at NRG a quick email right after I posted that, LOL. I’ll be doing it after I’ve recovered from IMSG. I actually ride by there on my way to the office.