Or, riding in Zone 2
An endurance ride or run means different things to different people, and it’s something that a lot of people get wrong, so I thought I’d try and clear up a few misunderstandings and misconceptions.
When I describe an endurance ride I ask someone to ride in Zone 2 for an extended period of time. The way that training works is that your body adapts to the training load that you place on it, so it is important to increase the distance that you ride, and make sure that you plan this well. If you increase your long rides/runs too early you will be at risk of burnout and reach your peak fitness too early. If you don’t increase your long rides/runs enough then your endurance will be compromised.
It is also important to make sure you pace the ride correctly, some mistakes that people make are:
- Riding too hard on hills, and then recovering on the flats and downs.
- Not riding consistently on the flats and downs.
If you are using a power meter it is easy to see if you are in the right zone, and I have found I ride more consistently when I use my power meter. If you are using heart rate then you can see from your heart rate graph how consistent you are. If your heart rate graph looks like the one below, then you may not be getting the benefit of an endurance ride.
Heart rate dips and peaks a lot.
Shown below is a more consistently paced ride where the heart rate remains fairly steady
Heart rate does not dip and peak as much.
People’s heart rates don’t tend to dip as much when they are running, but it is still important to be aware of your effort level and keep a constant pace. Don’t forget, triathlons are steady state events and you need to be able to swim, bike and run at a steady pace for an extended amount of time.
Increasing the Training load
With 10 weeks to go until Half Outlaw, (:-o) I have been increasing the intensity of my bike workouts. Had a great turbo session on Thursday. (I never thought I’d say that!) I used a Sufferfest video for my intervals, but ignored their instructions and focussed on 4 sweet spot intervals with long recoveries. There was a bit of stupidness at the end when you were meant to attack on and off, which I did do, which accounts for my power surges at the end. I also managed to run for 30 minutes on Monday without pain in my knee, so I’m feeling a lot more optimistic on that front. I also had a good swim on Friday, getting a PB for 400m, what a great week.
Training peaks data
My mum found some old photo’s of my grandad which she let me scan in. He was a cyclist, and died before I was born at the age of 49. He had the same birthday as me too, a bit of inspiration for me.
Robert Le Poulain 1950
Marked on the back is “Paris-Dieppe 1950”
First meeting of the Dynamos running group
On Saturday I organised the first meeting of the Narberth Dynamos running group. We met up at Templeton airfield and did a couple of intervals at tempo, trying to keep the same pace for both intervals. My volunteers did really well at pacing, and said they enjoyed it, so they will be back for some hill reps next week!
I did the risk assessment for it a few days before, as you can see my Garmin is still going crazy, so I phoned Garmin, and they are going to send me a refurbished/new one, the only trouble is I have to send it back! Without data for a few days how will I survive?
I decided to get a proper bike fit, as I have been messing about with my saddle and seat height without having a clue what I was doing, and have also been getting a stiff neck on my long rides. I have been following someone on Facebook whose husband does Retul bike fits, they sounded interesting so I googled it and found someone in Carmarthen doing them.
After a look on Facebook at reviews I decided to book a fit with Andy at Cranc cyclesports. When I arrived Andy got me a drink and generally made me feel very welcome before we discussed my main events this year. It turned out that we were both doing Ironman Wales this year for the first time! I then did some flexibility tests and was set up on my bike, warmed up and had the sensors placed. Andy made quite a few changes, he raised my saddle 18mm, and moved it back 29mm. The cockpit was lowered 5mm, and my stem was shortened to 80mm. This has resulted in a comfortable but more aggressive position. I’m looking forward to testing it out on a long ride.
The whole way through the fit Andy explained what he was doing and why, I would thoroughly recommend him, he even drove out to my house to fit the stem, as he didn’t have one in stock.
The end result!
Typical that on a rest week the weather is the best its been for months! Never mind I spent a few days in Bath with my mum to celebrate her birthday, and made use of the Roman baths, which again I can thoroughly recommend!
Spring like weather
When I got home I did an FTP test urggh. I got a free month of premium membership on Strava with my power meter so I thought I would make use of the Sufferfest FTP test while I still had the membership. I was 10 Watts higher than when I did the test in April last year, which is great, but also could be down to being more motivated by the video, or a different power meter, or bike fit, however I felt strong so I’ll assume that I have improved!
My Garmin has an intermittent fault with the elevation, which I am trying to sort out, I didn’t realise until I uploaded my ride and run to Strava how bad it was! Managed a couple of 20 min runs last week though so good news
After feeling pretty negative last week I have started to adjust to the change in season, and my loss of fitness. I have had my level 2 coursework to complete, and also Milo’s birthday to sort out, so I’ve been busy with that. Also I have been running, cycling and swimming WITHOUT my garmin!!!
Its been good not to have any pressure and I still need more time to recoup before next year. I made some progress planning next years training, and have also looked at areas that I can improve upon. Having the last race of the season as a DNF has focussed me a bit more on what I need to work on. I now have a list of strengths and weaknesses, and action points!
Got back into some baking, and chutney making, and have experimented making idli, (if you don’t know what they are the link is here) which I am now addicted to, I think they would be great snacks to take on long rides, so I am perfecting making them!
I spent all of Wednesday contemplating whether to do the last velos hill climb. At 4pm I was about to go out on a ride on my own, when I changed my mind and decided to go after all. I cycled there and back, it was a lovely way to close the season, getting back in the dark, and seeing the sun set behind Carew castle. I took a wobbly photo with my phone….you get the idea!
Carew on the way back from hill climb
I didn’t get my best time, but enjoyed myself, although I couldn’t stop coughing afterwards.
Results of Hill climb
I took my garmin, but had no power or Heart rate data, so was all good!