Editor’s note: Ian Murray is using Zwift to train for the International Triathlon Union Long Course World Championships held in Odense/Fyn, Denmark July 2018. His weekly Zwift Insider series discusses the previous week’s training and the plan for the upcoming week.

So, the last three weeks have been great. I finished up with my season on 12 November, and I set about enjoying myself. But all good things must come to and end, and unfortunately now, my off-season is over. It’s time to get work. No more slacking. No more ice cream dinners. No more lying around being lazy. Nope, those days are gone. We are 31 weeks out.

The glorious days of yore

For the last three weeks, I have done very little other than eat and relax. Seriously, I ate all of the things that I have been missing. Most have been missing due to availability vs limiting myself, but I also ate them in quantities that I would not have allowed during the season. Yeah, we’re talking lots of ice cream, oysters, all manner of fish sandwiches, drinks, desserts, etc. If I felt like eating it, I did. It was awesome. Of course, I am now 64kg, up from 60kg. That’s not that great, but it was needed.

On top of eating and drinking a bunch of wonderful things, I did very little working out. During the first week, I rode around Key West on a conch cruiser and did one easy run with one of the athletes I coach. That was it. Oh, I also slept a good bit. In the second week, I ran about 24 miles, but I did it with my wife at a pretty easy pace. So, it wasn’t taxing on my body. By week three, we were back from vacation, and I added a little bit. Three strength workouts, a couple days of commuting via bike, and a short swim to help loosen up the arms made up the last off-season week.

Well, maybe that’s not the whole truth

I guess I have to be honest. I did add one hard effort. On Saturday, I could not resist, and I did the TeamODZ Goats & Bears ride. I love to race, and I had not done anything hard in three weeks. Oh yeah, recipe for disaster! With my new-found kilos, I found myself relegated down to the B group. Let’s be honest, though, I was in no shape for the Bs, let alone the As.

The day started off pretty rough, as I could feel the squats and power cleans from the day prior’s workout in the legs before the race even started. Yeah, it hurt from the beginning.

Just as we hit the castle on the front side of the Epic KOM, I pulled the plug. I was in full implosion mode, as the first 25 minutes of the race had been at or near 4.0 w/kg, and I was in no way ready for that. I ended up recovering a bit before attacking the radio tower. I was grateful for the chance to recover on the downhills, and I limped home in 35th position or so. It may have been 36th, but who cares at that point. Not my best result, but meh, who cares? I’m still in the off-season!

Training begins! Time to destroy my body

December is not normally a great time for most people to train. This year, it has turned out to be a wonderful time for me to train. I have to stay here and work, but my wife has to travel to visit her mom. She’ll be gone for about a month, including over the holidays, so I have nothing else to do… really. Thus, I will train my face off! Here is what we have this week:

The first block of training will focus heavily on running and strength. Both are areas in which I need to work. Well, I am actually known as a strong runner, but ITU Worlds will have a 30K run vs a 21K run. That extra 5.7 miles is a big deal at the end of the race, so I want to build some of that strength early. Plus, it gives me time to ramp up the running volume before the extra cycling fatigues the legs even more. As you can see, the only riding I am doing is commuting, the TeamODZ SkillZ and DrillZ Ride, and the TeamODZ Saturday morning rides.

Week 1 of training will be about 760 TSS. It’s not as much as you will see later, but it’s going to hurt, especially coming off three easy weeks. I will be live streaming most of the workouts on Mixer, or on Facebook on Zwift Live by ODZ. If anyone wants to join in the fun, I will do the Monday and Friday runs at 5:15 AM EDT. The pace will be at around 7-7:30/mile.  I’ll try to check in mid-week to let you know how it’s going. Until then, Ride On!