Ticking it over

Winter is coming to an end on the Gold Coast. The mornings are still fresh (3 layers), but the days are hot, the sun’s rising earlier, and the magpies are getting frisky.

Since completing the Gold Coast Half Marathon six weeks ago, I’ve been slowly rebuilding my neglected cycling legs. No training plans, just trying to get out three times a week. Building a base. Ticking it over. I never intend to give-up biking when I train for a running race, but it seems to happen anyway. My bike CTL (fitness) dropped from 50 to 17 in just two months. In the last six weeks I’ve got it back to 40.

Bike CTL 2012.png

It’s always a humbling experience to rebuild your biking fitness. People you were dropping on climbs are now dropping you. Groups that were at your level are now up the road. You have different companions in the bunch. But only for a while. Within a few weeks the form starts to reappear and you flog yourself to hold the wheel of the faster groups.

And doubt appears. How strong was I before? Have these guys become stronger? Will I actually be able to catch back up to them, or will I forever be chasing the new levels they appear to have reached? Am I doing enough in training to get back up there? What did I do this time last year that I’m not doing now?

Having a power meter and power data from previous years helps allay fears. The PMC (Performance Management Chart) helps too. I’ve previously achieved my best power numbers when my CTL is above 40. Bingo!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be testing myself with full-on efforts up Springbrook. On the weekend I did a 23:47 – my 4th best effort, and not far off my best of 22:30 achieved in April this year. With a couple more good results it will be time to lay down a training plan for the Hervey Bay Hundred in three months. Specifically, I need to find my rhythm for a flat road time trial.

The last two weeks have seen me back at the pool. I’ve quickly gone from near-drowning, to my baseline 1:50min/100m race pace. Now it’s a steady grind to shave those extra seconds per 100m.

As per usual, I seem to be in a state of frinjury (on the fringe of an injury). I’ve been trying not to lose my half marathon running fitness, but an over-ambitious 18km trail run has seen hints of Plantar Fascitis. And last week’s opening duathlon run split of 4km at 3:38min/km pace has sent my calves shopping for a new owner. The real pain in the butt (literally), has been my right hamstring that has been niggling away for almost a year. This affects both riding and running so it’s been harder to rest and recover. Somewhere in the last few weeks it has become more than just a niggle. I might have to break my self-imposed physio ban to get this one sorted! CHA-CHING!!

Meanwhile, for a few more weeks, I’ll continue ticking it over…

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