Week 21 – Bring Out Your Dead!

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.

At the end of Week 20, I felt like the body had come out its funk.  My mood had brightened, and I no longer feared that the Monty Python dead ringer was going to come looking for me.  Despite the positive feelings, I wasn’t sure how things were going to go when I woke up on Monday morning.

The Uncertain Beginning

To open up the week, I planned on getting at the Endurance Lab’s Race Accelerations workout.  It’s a tough one that simulates breaking off the front of the bunch.  Sure, why not.  That’s a great way to see if the legs have been reattached to the body or not.  Well, it went great.  I crushed the workout, even overshooting my top-end targets.  Ok.  Test 1 complete.  That afternoon, I went to the pool and met up with my swimming partner for the pace-to-fatigue workout.  Basically, I swim at 5-10 seconds per 100m faster than race pace for 200 meters on 25 seconds of race until I cannot hit the mark.  Then, I drop to 100 meters until I hit 2500 meters and end on a 200 cool-down.  It was awesome.  I hit under 3:10 for all of the 200s and under 1:30 for the couple 100s that I did (my partner gassed out on the 200s).  Tuesday followed with another great swim.  At this point, I was pretty sure that the rest of the week would be disastrous.  Two great swims, back-to-back, has historically been a sign of the apocalypse, so I was a little apprehensive about what the week would hold in store for me.

On Wednesday, I woke up and prepared to hammer out some 800 meter repeats.  Eight of them, in fact, on 2:30 rest.  Unfortunately, I would be doing them on the treadmill because of the weather.  Since I had to get used to the treadmill for this effort, I decided to start out at 11 MPH for the intervals at 1% incline.  That came out to be at about 2:45 per 800.  I did the first two like that and decided that it was way too easy.  For the next two, I bumped it to 12 MPH for the last 200 meters, resulting in a 2:37.  From there, I started kicking up the speed, knocking out the last two in 2:27 each.  It’s not the fastest I have done, but it was definitely a little different doing it on the treadmill.  After that, I commuted to and from work and had some fun at the ODZ SkillZ and DrillZ Ride, where we went over counterattacking.

Thursday did not go as well as planned, but that had more to do with getting to the pool late rather than being tired.  The TRX workout later in the day, though, crushed me.  My workout partner and I both finished the workout completely thrashed.  The next morning, I was still feeling the strength workout and was moving a bit slow in the morning, so I only had enough time to knock out an 8-mile run before heading to work.  Saturday was also an odd day, as the swim course for next week’s tri was going to be open.  So, I packed up my swim partner, who is doing his first tri next weekend, and we headed off to the open water swim course.  We got a little practice in before heading back to the house to start our brick workout in the park near my house.  By this time, it was getting really hot.  We knocked out the first hour bike and then hit a 5K run at a nice steady pace.  My partner had to bail at that point, and I had some things I needed to get done.  So, I had to cut the workout in half.  Booo!  I felt really good during the workout, though, and I had a lot of gas left in the tank.  Because of that, I decided to do Sunday’s workout in the park and throw on an additional run (the one I missed on Saturday) for fun.

Shortly after arriving at the park, I saw that a bike race would soon be starting.  Fortunately, that didn’t mean that the park would be closed to non-racers.  No, we just had to keep out of the way.  This proved to be interesting, as the workout I was doing, the Endurance Lab Threshold Mix, had me pushing fairly hard at times.  I ended up catching and dropping one group and catching another category just as I was finishing my workout.  I still cannot understand how I was able to gain time on all but the fastest group.  It made me wish that I was racing.  After I got home, I grabbed the wife, and she hopped on her bicycle.  She rode alongside me as I ran along the trail through the park (as opposed to the road where I was riding).  A quick 34 minutes later, and we were back at the house.  It had been a hot one, but it left me with a lot of confidence for next week, as I finished off the run with a pretty solid last kilometer.  Upon returning home, I got cleaned up, ate a quick meal, and jumped in my AirRelax recovery boots for about 45 minutes.  It was awesome!  My legs feel like new again.  That’s good, as the first part of next week isn’t going to be easy.

Planned TSS – 945; Completed TSS – 889

It’s Pop Quiz Time

I haven’t raced a tri since November.  I need a little practice to knock the rust off.  I also was, more or less, forced into doing this sprint tri.  It should be a fun race, so I’m not upset.  I had not been able to do it the previous two years because it always conflicted with the 70.3 in St. Croix.  That is not the case this year, so I am going to hammer away at this sprint tri to see what I can do.  The goal is to push a little on the swim, hold just below FTP on the bike, and then hammer the 5K.  We’ll see how it goes.  Before I get to the race, though, I have to get through the first part of the week.  Monday is a holiday here, so at least I get to sleep in before I hit my third consecutive brick workout.  While I am not in a full-on taper, I am taking this week a little easier.  I really want to hammer the crap out of the race.  It’s more of a personal thing, so I won’t go into details.  Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Planned TSS – 645

If all goes well, I will have a good time on the race on Sunday, and it will basically be a really long speed workout.  After this week, I will be on Zwift for almost every workout through the end of May.  After that, no more Zwift until late July or early August, as I will be moving and racing in Denmark.  This ought to get interesting real quick.  That’s it for now.  I hope to see you out on the island (or London or Richmond).  Until then, Ride On!

Ian Murray
Ian Murrayhttps://www.endurancelab.fit
As a cyclist and triathlete for the last 16 years and a coach for the past 6, Ian has competed at national and world championship endurance sports events and served as a loyal domestique on cycling teams in both the US and Latin America. Ian is the owner of Evil Elf Racing Endurance Sports Coaching and of The Endurance Lab, and is a member of Team ODZ on Zwift. Follow on Strava
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