Monday, 31 May 2010

I'm over here...

Hey All

As per last week - I have put this weeks post is over here on vivacoppi.



Sunday, 23 May 2010

Viva Coppi

Hey Guys,

I've posted this weeks update on my new blog - vivacoppi.

Let me know what you think.


Sunday, 16 May 2010

Forza, forza


As its already past my bed-time I'll look to keep this weeks round-up to a few key points, with some additional info for you to look out for.

This week has seen a return to form following last weeks "recovery" week.

A solid 10.5 hours riding, plus some active-recovery swim sets and some functional strength work has given me a total week of 14.5 hours.

The swimming is going well and I'm starting to see some form & technique returning. Tuesdays squad session saw me returning to 1.40/100m at an easy cruise pace - so this tells me that I can get to 1.35/100m at a solid cruise pace pretty soon. The medium term goal is 1.30/100m at cruise pace - but I need to get a few other goals accomplished first before swimming can take a higher priority.

The swimming is definitely proving beneficial to my overall conditioning and recovery as well as bringing the discipline of early starts. I've actually found I have more energy now that I am getting back to the 5.30-6am starts - as opposed to the 7am lie-ins.

This goes back to my whole 'quality of life' soap-box moments so I won't go there tonight as time is getting on.

Bike-wise, I've had a pleasing week. 10.5 hours riding with a solid 4.5 hour ride over the Malverns on Saturday. My climbing improved as the ride progressed with some nice long, controlled climbs giving me a lot of confidence. As my mate was really hurting, due to back spasms, I had to cruise up one long climb. This wouldn't have been possible at one point in time but I found I was able to "float" up the climb at a nice cadence for minimal effort (power & heart rate). Obviously the speed wasn't too onerous but that wasn't the point, the point was that I could climb a decent gradient (7%) for minimal effort.

Those who have been following these posts for a while will know that I ride with a power meter - which I highly recommend to anyone looking to develop their cycling abilities.

Looking back at the last 4 weeks numbers, I am seeing some really positive improvements in my power output across all of the measured time frames (1 min, 5 min, 20 min and 60 min).

This last week has seen me improve my power at all of these time points, so they are now at their best I've ever produced.

For those who like the data, the numbers are as follows:

Peak 1 min = 419w

Peak 5 min = 301w

Peak 20 min = 253w

Peak 60 min = 211w

When considering a haven't been time-trailing ala Ironman training, I am pleased to see the improvement across both the short & long time periods.

I'll do a new FTP test soon - so this will give some really interesting comparisons to judge me development on.

I'm confident that my FTP will / has increased from 238 watts - but will wait and see before changing any zones etc.
So on paper its looking good - but believe me - my legs are feeling the workload. The persistent dull ache is there and although the swims help I reallly do need to do more stretching and mobility work.

I got a few stretch bands last week - so really should get more disciplined at installing a daily stretching routine into the system.

Ok, conscious of time, so will wrap here.

One last really important point is that I've set up a new blog which I plan on using on a more frequent basis to share more timely posts, photos, links etc during the week.

I've used the cool tumblr platform - which brings together photos, quotes, audio, video, text etc - and will just allow me to have a consistent place to land all of the different sources, inputs and outputs I wish to share with my "tribe".

So if you're interested in keeping up to date on my daily thoughts, inspirations, readings etc then please take a look.

Viva Coppi, forza life!


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Simplify and focus

Evening All,

Hope you've all had a good week.

My week? Not bad thanks.

A quieter week after the last two big weeks which was much needed as the "fog" had truly came in after last Sundays Sportive.

On Monday I was exhausted, you know that jet-lag feeling when you're not quite with it? Thats how I felt all day, never really got going and almost a kind of "sickie" feeling.

As its turned out I don't think this was all down to physical tiredness but also some sort of cold I have picked up.

On Sundays ride I never felt warm or even comfortable - but cold all the way around - and never really warmed up for the rest of the day - even after a steaming hot bath.

This has carried on all week - almost like a chill has got into me. I've struggled to shift a bloody persistent cough for a few weeks now and the sneezes have come on again.

So, taking this into account along with residual fatigue following some solid training weeks, I have focused this week on getting some simple structure back into my weekly routine.
Although tired I have forced myself to get back into the early morning swims. The swimming has been atrocious but it has been great to return to the good old days of early starts and feeling like something worthwhile has been achieved by 8am.

I've had three swims this week - two in the 50m outdoor lido - which is a great way to start the day.

The swimming is not good but a focus on drills and some baseline technique is proving beneficial. Although not racing triathlon this year, I am keen to swim regularly as the overall benefits to strength, flexibility and conditioning are superb.

I always feel better when I am swimming - my upper body strength and body composition are much better than when I just focus on running or cycling.

Cycling-wise, I've managed 100 miles this week. Not bad considering I haven't really been up for it. All the rides have been reasonably comfortable as the legs have let me know that they're pretty fooked!

The good signs are that as the week has progressed the jet-lag has diminished and the mojo has returned.

So this coming week will be about combining the mojo with the return to early mornings and early evenings.

Its when I start living this monastic type lifestyle that I really do appreciate the whole endurance lifestyle.

It makes me realise that this is how I wish to live my life.

It may seem boring to outsiders but it really is the most fulfilling lifestyle which carries over it over aspects of my life such as work and friends.

Sometimes it takes one of of these quieter weeks to make me appreciate this lifestyle more than the "hero" weeks. I like to use them as an opportunity to return to basics and create the platform for the forthcoming bigger weeks.

Ok, enough preaching, I've got to get off to bed as I have an early start tomorrow!



that was my party political broadcast on behalf of the

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Tomorrow we ride....

Ok, I know I say this every week but this is going to be short & snappy, as i'm shattered.

Over 14 hours & 220 miles in the saddle this week says it all.

Riding for 5 out of 7 days.

87 mile Sportive with over 9300 ft of climbing on Sunday hit the spot.

Really pleased with progress, now using the power meter to inform my climbing output with really good results.

Average power is increasing - riding at normalized power of 210 watts for over 6 hours today.

Climbing at a nice, controlled pace all the way through the climb. Good low cadence, keeping watts under control, enabling me to ride at a nice consistent pace on all gradients.

Starting to feel pretty fatigued, as seen by short temper returning and poor quality sleep.

Will look to bring swimming back into the mix next week. Nothing heavy but more as active recovery which I'm hoping will help with back and leg soreness.

Seeing good benefits from strength training as core is engaging better when climbing and quads are taking the load - as opposed to hamstrings which used to be the cause of my low power output.

Very pleased with nutrition. Clif Bars came to the rescue today when the hunger bonk started to appear. The newly discovered Biestmilch Booster worked very well again - helping me get through the mist of fatigue.

Six weeks to the Alps & Pyrenees - plenty of work still to be done. I thought todays climbs were long but they're nothing compared to what awaits me.

So although its going well, I'm acutely aware that I am heading into a whole new ball park, so need to stay disciplined and focused to give myself every chance of heading the Cols in the best possible condition.

I love having this focus and these goals. Its what I live for.

If that makes me sound shallow and one-dimensional then so be it.

I'd call it focused and driven.

Hey, I did tell you the short temper was returning....