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.

This week was about trying new nutrition and building up some volume.  I also decided to pick up a bit of intensity, but that wasn’t necessarily part of the plan.  Anyway, let’s get to the suffering.  That’s why you’re here.

Let’s Make it Hurt, But with Taste

So, one of the best things about my wife is that she is an active participant in the crazy train that I call my athletic life.  In that light, she has been talking about how to improve my nutrition to train better.  Actually, she keeps saying that I am getting too skinny and wants to find more ways to push calories on me.  Last week, we made our first set of Skratch Labs portables, the apple cinnamon rice squares, and they turned out ok.  This week, though, we switched to the blueberry-chocolate ones.  I love rice, blueberries, and chocolate, so I was looking forward to them.  My goal was to get my stomach accustomed to them so I used them to fuel my long ride as well as using them as snacks in the afternoon.

Monday started off a bit frustrating with a few more Zwift crashes.  Eventually, I got through my workout, but it was frustrating as all get out.  I think the bug that was causing the crashes has been fixed, though, as I haven’t had any recent issues.  At the end of the day, I headed down to the pool and met up with my Monday swim partner.  He’s the 16-year old son of a coworker, and the kid can flat out swim for someone new to the sport.  He’s pretty close to the same speed as I am, but he’s wearing boardshorts instead of jammers.  It’s a good match-up, as we push each other.  He has me at shorter distances, but I work him over once we get past 400 meters.  Ah, old man endurance!  You’ve gotta love it.

I followed up a good swim on Monday with a long swim on Tuesday morning, 3 x 1K descending.  I was a bit brutalized after the swim, and the subsequent workout in the gym at lunch made sure that sensation remained.  On Wednesday, I decided to channel my inner Lionel Sanders.  If you haven’t seen it, he’s got a great video of him doing 6 x 1K at around 3 minutes per 1K.  I didn’t go that crazy.  I did 4 x 1K on 200m walking rest, descending from 3:15 to 3:09.  I tell you, I felt great after that workout.  I might have been able to do one more, but I was already well over my TSS target for the day.  SkillZ and DrillZ later that day helped flush the crap out of the legs, and I set out to drown myself the next morning, doing 16 x 100m in the pool.  Not my fastest splits, but I was pretty much hammered poo at the end of it.

Friday was another doozy.  The plan called for 7-8 miles in 60 minutes.  Nice and easy.  Well, let’s just say that my brain didn’t let that happen.  No, I had some work anger to deal with, so I let loose the demons.  Ok, I didn’t go all out, but I did finish up with nine miles in just over an hour, including a first mile at 8:30/mile pace.  So, I definitely put in some work.  I’m glad I did that, though, because I definitely did not have any desire to start the next day’s ride with legs that resembled anything close to fresh.  No, I thought it much better to be a bit wrecked before starting a 120K ride… in the heat… and the humidity… on a 6-mile out-and-back course.  Yeah, you read that right.  Saturday morning consisted of 75.8 miles with most of it on a course that went one way for 3 miles, a 180-degree turn, and 3 miles back.  I felt like I was swimming.  Holy crap was I bored.  I should have brought an audio book or music.  Instead, I just had my Wahoo Element Bolt chirping at me at the end of every interval.  The ride went well, though.  I wasn’t hammering it particularly hard, just trying to find race pace and practice nutrition.  The worst part was the wind.  It was quite literally a crosswind the entire time.  At least I only had three miles with it on a side.

I closed out the week with a nice little run of ten miles and change.  It was insanely hot and humid out, so I did a little over seven outside and finished up on the treadmill.  Had I known I was so close on the TSS, I would have run the extra two-tenths of a mile to end it at 11 miles.  Oh well, it was still a good week.

Planned TSS – 911; Completed TSS – 909

Yay! It’s Recovery Week

Normally, I can’t stand a recovery week.  I usually dread them.  I need this one.  Work has been anything but helpful with stress management, and I am tired.  I only wish I could schedule in more naps.  Outside of Monday’s Endurance Lab ride and Thursday’s swim, it’s a pretty relaxing week.  I will ride the ODZ Cat & Mouse race on Saturday to inject a little fun, but I don’t plan on lighting up the race by any stretch.  Planned TSS – 640

We’re plowing through the weeks, and ITU World Championships continue to close in on us.  Plane tickets are bought, uniforms will be purchased soon, and lodging has been reserved.  The only thing I don’t know at this point is when I will leave Santo Domingo, as I will be in the middle of moving when we go to the race.  That should be fun.  Ok, off to enjoy a relaxed week!