The 10/10 Week

I have started thinking about how a week just past would rate out of 10, specifically the fitness side of my week. It occurred to me that before I could rate how a week has gone, I needed to think about and define what a perfect 10/10 week would be. That gives me something to target and goes some way towards allowing for fair comparison between weeks, even if they are months apart.

So what would I need to do to score a perfect 10/10 week? My goals would be the following;

  • Meet my daily step count goal
  • Sleep at least 8 hours every night
  • Training for the week would be planned the weekend beforehand
  • Training would be planned from an overall yearly plan
  • Complete all of the training in the week’s plan
  • Review the week and plan the next week
  • Write a blog post (at the very least a weekly review and plan article)
  • Follow a nutrition plan and log my eating and drinking

To complete all of that in a week would be little short of a miracle but that is kinda the point, to benchmark against the highest goal. The biggest stretch will be the nutrition piece but again, I wanted to define a ‘proper’ 10 out of 10 week.

So I’ll start reviewing my week soon, hopefully I can get somewhere close to 10/10 on a consistent basis. We’ll see!

Cheers

Chris

The 10/10 Week

The Pain Cave Mk1

Setting up a turbo trainer has been on my mind for awhile, but I’ve not been able to justify the purchase. It wasn’t just the cost, in a large part it was concern around a largeish bit of kit knocking about that might end up not being used. 

But I’m not always able to commute and weekend rides can be difficult to fit in, so I managed to compromise by borrowing a trainer from a friend. 

I had a spare wheel and my friend lent me a spare tyre. I brought a cheap Shimano cassette and a tacx trainer skewer. The skewer was needed as the regular ones I have don’t have any space on the end for the trainer clamp. That all allows me to swap wheels over quickly, avoiding turbo trainer wear on my regular road tyre.

I setup the trainer in my garage amongst the normal garage miscellany. A spare table acts as the laptop stand. It actually all sat together quiet nicely. The title states this is ‘Mk1’ as we are hopefully converting our garage to a proper room sometime this year, so I should have a ‘Mk2’ setup once that is done later in the year.

  
I wanted to use the trainer with Zwift, so I needed an ANT+ USB stick for my laptop. I avoided the Garmin official one and picked up a third party stick off of Amazon for about £5. That worked fine and picked up my Garmin Speed, Cadence and HR sensors, so I was all set. And that’s where the ‘fun’ began…

I picked a half hour workout to test things and struggled straightaway, even with the warmup. I persevered for about 20 minutes, repeated having to get off as the bike and trainer kept gradually sliding forwards into the table where my laptop sat. At one point I had used some fire wood as wedges but still it kept moving forward. I was struggling to hit above 200 watts in Zwift, way off the 600 the workout called for in some of the shorter intervals. It seemed like not purchasing my own trainer has been a wise decision.

As I had been doing this first ‘torture test’ I was getting more familiar with the Zwift user interface. I was now watching my pathetically low cadence whilst struggle to get any power, even with changing the gearing. Before giving it all up, I tried adjusting the tightness of the turbo to my rear wheel.

That made a huge difference  and suddenly it started to click. The 10 minute 190w final stint was actually achievable rather than seeming the turbo trainer equivalent of scaling Everest. 

So I can see now the advantage of having a smart trainer that can measure your power and feed that back to Zwift. With an unsupported trainer and just a speed sensor, I could have a to high resistance (as I did have for the first 2/3 of my workout). That completely ruins the experience and makes it very hard to follow any workout. Equally thought I could set the resistance too low and easily hit the required power numbers, thereby not getting an effective workout and potentially cheating other riders.

I’ll definitely be doing more sessions, and if, as hoped, it turns in to something regular then I’ll invest in a good value smart trainer. See you out on the roads in Zwift!

Cheers 

Chris

The Pain Cave Mk1

2016 ‘Triathlon’ Events Plan

Here is my plan for 2016. Without a clear goal or specific target event for this year, I decided to concentrate mainly on London League events. Its not a difficult decision, they are all relatively local, well run, inexpensive and in taking part I help out my club, Crystal Palace Triathletes, in the mob match category. I settled on one a month, fitting them around other commitments.

So my plan for the year is as follows;

  • 13/03/2016; VO2 Sportive (Long)
  • 17/04/2016; Kingfisher Aquathlon
  • 29/04/2016 – 02/05/2016; Cycle Chartres
  • 12/06/2016; Mid Sussex Aquabike
  • 26/06/2016; Windrush Aquathlon
  • 02/07/2016; Chichester Triathlon
  • 31/07/2016; Ride100
  • 04/09/2016; Capital Tri Aquathlon
  • 02/10/2016; London Fields Aquathon
  • 30/10/2016; Jekyll & Hyde Duathlon

Alongside the London League events there are a few other events. I’m kicking off the year with a sportive in March. That’s becoming something of an annual ritual with a cycling friend of mine. And over the first May bank holiday I’m cycling to Chartres in France from Chichester in Sussex. Cycle Chartres is an incredibly well supported charity event which I had a lot of fun doing a couple of years ago and so have taken the opportunity to do again this year.

With other commitments, I’m not actually able to do Crystal Palace associated triathlon (either London league or club championships)! So I’m aiming to do the Chichester triathlon in July. That I think will be my ‘A’ race for the year. Then I’m aiming to do Ride100. I have applied 3 out of the 4 years and failed to get a place each time, including this year. So I am going to sort a charity place as I really want to do this event.

There may be others, and if my training goes really, really, really well I might aim for a half ironman late in the year, but that is not something I’m aiming for currently.

I’ll aim to provide updates on each of these events as the year progresses.

Cheers

Chris

2016 ‘Triathlon’ Events Plan

My Triathlon Goals for 2016

So one of main aims for this blog is to help me set out goals and stick to them. By stating these goals in public, I’m more inclined to honor them, or so the theory goes. Here are my 2016 Triathlon/Training Goals for 2016;

  • Create a plan and stick to it
  • 25 Parkruns
  • Sub 20 minute 5k
  • Sprint Distance in under 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Olympic Distance in under 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Improve Swimming

Whilst that’s probably more goals than I should set in one go, looking at them together, I think none of them really sit out on their own. All of the goals contribute to other ones. The last goal is basically focusing on my weakest discipline, but needs something more concrete in terms of a goal. Its there as a placeholder for the moment.

My Triathlon Goals for 2016

A Tale of Two Parkruns

One of my 2016 goals is to gain my 25 Parkruns t-shirt. On the face of it, 25 Parkruns may sound relatively easy, but with family and other commitments, being able to get to a Parkrun for 9am on Saturday can end up being difficult to achieve. As of 31st December 2015, I had 17 Parkruns under my belt.

Via my brother, I heard that some Parkruns were doing a special run for New Year’s Day. Whilst my local Parkrun in Crystal Palace was not doing a special, Dulwich were, and luckily it was a little later than normally, with a 10am start time. So on New Year’s Day I cycled to Dulwich and did the Parkrun there for the first time. It was a large turnout with over 200 runners, and the volunteer organisers were up to the excellent Parkrun standard. I had a hard run, whilst it’s a very different course to Crystal Palace, being pretty much flat, I haven’t done a training run for several months. Still, I was happy with a time of 23.10.

Pre Run Briefing at Dulwich

After that, the next day I did the regular Parkrun at Crystal Palace. With tired legs from the day before and the hills in the park, I ended up with a slower time of 23.53. It was good to get running though and the technical challenge of Crystal Palace makes it always a fun run.

Runners Gathering Before Crystal Palace Parkrun

So two days into the first year and I’ve already managed two Parkruns, not bad work!

A Tale of Two Parkruns

Beginnings

This is a quick first post to get things started. I had originally planned to write this on 1st January 2016, but a busy start to the New Year means I’m a day late. I don’t think that is too much of an issue, as long as I’ve started writing fairly early in January.

My intention with this blog is to write about two areas of my live, and to help motivate and drive future achievements in those areas. The two are;

  • Triathlon: I have a number of reasons to stay fit and active, but mainly it’s to stay healthy, to be more focused and to be a good example to my son. I find having targets such as triathlon events helps me stay motivated to train. By writing down my targets here, this will serve as another way to keep me motivated.
  • Technology: I’m lucky enough to work in something I also enjoy outside of work, so my life heavily revolves around IT. Part of staying up to date is to set qualification goals, so like with training for triathlon, this blog will help me to stay motivated on studying for certain qualifications. I also speak about tech in public occasionally, so I’ll also aim to write about anything like that here. I’ll perhaps also write about other technology areas, but let’s see how things go.

I think that’s enough to get things started!

Cheers

Chris

Beginnings