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.

Although I had done some research on Quebec City, I was not sure what I would have available for training purposes.  So, I packed a whole bunch of running gear just to be on the safe side.  Turned out to be a good call.

Getting my Forrest Gump on

Due to the cold (for me!) weather, swimming in the outdoor pools has been out of the question.  Well, the pools remained closed this week, so I decided to put a lot of emphasis on running.  After the long run on Sunday, I kept Monday fairly easy, clocking a little under eight miles in an hour that afternoon.  Yes, I ran in the afternoon after class.  I thought about waking up to run before class, but I saw the temperature that started with the number 5.  No way was I going to brave the Canadian arctic weather.  That’s just crazy talk.  So, I waited until after class when the temperature reached a brisk 70 in the sun.  I ran some of it with my wife to help keep me from pushing too hard.  The next day, I linked up with Stephane from TeamODZ at his place, and he showed me one of his favorite rides in the area.  It was a lot of fun!  We knocked out about 40 miles in just over 2 hours, battling a pretty tough wind and getting in some climbing on the short, but sometimes steep, local hills.  I did feel a little bad for Stephane, though.  When he rode in the wind, it got pretty easy for me.  I had virtually no wind to contend with, but it didn’t work that well for him.  When I rode on the front, he simply got a little less wind.  To make up for it, I made sure that I did more of the work up the hills to give him a bit of a break.

The weather took a turn on Wednesday night.  However, it wasn’t before I got the chance to get in a 6 x 10-minute tempo run using my Stryd pod for running power rather than basing it off of pace or heart rate.  This is where nutrition comes into play.  You see, we are staying in a hotel vice an AirBnB like I had intended.  Don’t ask, it was dictated by work.  Silly rules.  So, we have had to eat out a lot more than we normally do.  Wednesday’s run was preceded by a turkey and cheese sandwich on a baguette…with butter.  It was sooooooo good.  So good, in fact, that I got to taste it again throughout the second half of the run.  I kept burping up butter flavor, and the sandwich seemed to be sitting in my throat.  It didn’t make for a pleasant experience.  We’ll revisit this, by the way.  Anyway, Thursday was a wash.  The temperature dropped dramatically, and it rained all day.  Yes, I am being a bit of a wuss, but I don’t care.  I’m not used to cold rain anymore.  Plus, I have the argument of not wanting to get my shoes too wet, as I don’t have a means to dry them rapidly.  Yeah, that’s it.

By Friday, the weather had improved, so I met the wife for lunch after class.  We had the plan to grab a quick bite before watching the last World Cup game of the afternoon.  After the game, we would run.  Great plan… in theory.  I had some amazing fish ‘n chips.  They tasted so good.  I’m not sure of the type of fish, but it was a nice beer batter with some of the best fries I have eaten.  Yummy.  If you read the earlier paragraph, you probably know where this is going.  Yeah, my run that afternoon did not go that well.  In fact, it was probably the worst feeling run I have had in years.  My body was in full-on rejection of all of the fried food that I had been eating in the last week.  The planned ten-miler turned into a slow five and change.  I felt like I was running on cement-filled legs while wearing a cement jacket.  As I headed back from the first turn-around, I found the wife and was happy to run/walk with her the rest of the time.  Redemption would have to wait.

After getting a good night’s sleep, I felt that things were different on Saturday morning.  I drank some water and sucked down a gel before heading out the door for a long run.  The wife and I stayed together for the first two miles until we arrived at the trail that runs along the St. Lawrence River.  From there, I took off for the five-mile jaunt to the end of the path under the Pont du Quebec.  Along the way, I made a brief stop for water and the bathroom, but I pretty much held a steady pace the whole way out.  Coming back, I negative split, running past the rendezvous point and heading down the path a little further.  When I returned, I linked up with the wife, and headed back to the hotel.  I finished the run with about 15.4 miles, so I was pretty happy with that.  Despite the tired legs and empty stomach, I showered and dressed quickly to head back up the hill to catch Stage 4 of the Tour de Beauce taking place in Quebec that afternoon.  It was great to see TeamODZ teammate Justin Purificati racing with some of the big dawgs on the pro stage.  I ended up hanging out most of the stage with the owner of the Applewood-Garneau squad, whose team director is also a TeamODZ teammate, before the wife and I went on the hunt for ice cream.

On Sunday, I planned on getting in a run, but frankly I needed the rest.  Starting on Friday night, we began hearing a rattling noise directly over our hotel room.  On Friday, it wasn’t that bad.  On Saturday, though, it had gotten loud and happened intermittently all night.  Needless to say, sleep on Saturday night wasn’t all that great.  Thus, my body just didn’t feel like it had recovered.  That was ok, as the wife and I took the opportunity to check out some of the local touristic sites, taking in the Chutes du Montmorency, a giant waterfall.  We still walked quite a bit that day, so it wasn’t a complete rest.  We also used the time off to go to the grocery store that afternoon before heading out for sushi with Stephane and his family to celebrate Father’s Day.  You see, we found that our hotel room had a refrigerator.  So, we decided to get the necessary items to make salads for lunch.  As you can tell from the week, my body just can’t take any more fried food lunches!

Planned TSS – Nothing really planned; Completed TSS – 648 

Le prochaine semaine

I’m still somewhat playing it by ear, as I go into the last week here in Quebec.  As you can see, my Fitness and Fatigue levels are not quite where it has been in previous months.  I’m not really concerned about it, as I probably needed to give my body a little rest before heading into final race prep.  Besides, I’d rather be a little undercooked than burned out.  Anyway, I plan on getting in some good running mileage during the upcoming week.  If I can get in any swims or rides, that will be a bonus.  Every day will have at least two workouts, though.  Now that I am more familiar with my surroundings, expect to see some more power-based running intervals next week.  Other than that, we’ll see what we can do.  Until next time, Ride On!