Week 3 summary: 16–22 Jan

Rest day. Felt like I needed it: sore stiff back, left ankle sore where I twisted it stepping in a hole yesterday, and still got a bit of a dry cough from my xmas cold. Went to Oxford Brookes in the evening for another meeting about the development of the Harcourt Hill Cycling Facility. Quite a good, interesting meeting, an hour and a half went pretty quickly.

We watched “To boldy go – down” when I got back. Fascinating programme, I’ve always loved stories about free-divers and so on and it was good to meet one close up. Those saturation divers in the North Sea were nuts though – I can remember thinking that more than 30 years ago, the first time I heard about what they have to do. I guess they get paid well though.

AM. Swim 2900m. Steady. Included some mixed strokes, working on my left shoulder’s rotation.
AM. Physiotherapy. In between triathlon and bike chat ;-), Chris got me doing core stability-type exercises, moving my left arm in smooth, level movements without involving the shoulder.
PM. Run 10km/49, steady, HR151

PM. Turbo 32km, inc. 4x4km (2km rec.), hard __ HR147(167)
4km (done at ~300W) = 6:44 + 6:44 + 6:42 + 6:43 (average 35.7km/h),  recovery 2km at ~215W
Average session power 253W, cadence 90, Tacx gradient +3

AM. Swim 2500m, inc. 6x200m (30s rec.), brisk. The fire alarm went off halfway through the 200s. Fortunately they didn’t make us stand in the car park in our Speedos (they have survival blankets for that, we did ask, but I bet they’re just flimsy foil things), but it did kinda interrupt my session a bit!
PM. Run 16km/1:21, steady easy, HR151

PM. Turbo 32km/1:05:31 [29.3km/h, 234W, cadence 92, Tacx gradient +3], steady easy, HR135

AM. Run 11½km/62, XC at Shotover: 2 MTB hill laps + 1 flat park lap, brisk, HR150(165)
PM. Weights 0h55. Worked on abs and back, and with weight, shoulders and flyes (cable and dumbell)

Cycle 209km, inc. Poor Student Permanent 201km Audax/7h56 (inc. 13min stopped), brisk, HR135(158)
Jules is on nights at the moment, so I take every chance I can get to get out of the house so as not to disturb her whilst she’s sleeping.

It was going to be a very blowy day, but I headed out the door with my lights on soon after 7am and picked up my first receipt at Barclays Bank in  Turl Street. Strong headwinds all the way to Malmesbury, with the odd brief bit of shelter from villages and hedgerows along the way. I slogged along, average speed pretty low, but I figured that once I’d got to Malmesbury I’d pick up a bit of a tailwind and things would get easier. The first 20k to Cirencester was indeed nice, but beyond that, it was a real fight up the Whiteway – massive gusty crosswinds made steering my bike very uncomfortable. I spent most of the climb down on the drops to get more weight over the front wheel. By the time I’d made it over the climbs at Compton Abdale I was exhausted from fighting the wind and the gradients, and conditions didn’t get any better over the tops past the Broadway Tower and down into Chipping Campden. I stopped here for a refill of bottles and a couple of chocolate bars before a tailwind (at last!) finish back to Oxford. My arms gave up along here, and I had to do quite a bit of stretching to get comfortable as I rode along. I deviated slightly from the route at the end, preferring to ride back along the A40 cycle path rather than battle with the traffic through PearTree roundabout, and collected my finish receipt back in Turl Street  just under 8 hours after I’d left. That was a hard ride – battling with the wind for the first 5 hours or more.

Hours 16:14
Another good week’s training, slowly recovering from the previous week’s blood donation. I mixed in some intervals and my back’s starting to feel better. Decent long ride at the end of the week, although I can feel that I’ve got some way to go before I’m really comfortable with long distances – that’ll come.