Mud races, Mad Max, and forced rest

I’m sitting on the couch huddled up under a blanket, listening to my own heavy breath as my nose is congested and my head pounding. I’m gutted to have to admit to having caught a bug disappointed that I’m sitting here at a quiet and completely deserted Tri-topia while everyone is out for a lovely 100k bike ride. Oh well, there’s no time for self pity, and instead I’ll use this time for some quiet ‘me’ time which often gets lost in the craziness of life at Tri-topia.


As I sit here in all laziness I repeat Lee’s words in my head, “You won’t lose any fitness from a few days of recovery right now, don’t stress”. I just opened up Trainingpeaks and did get some confidence from looking at my logged training sessions. Not only have I logged another few 20+ hours, but a there are a lot of quality sessions in there with a couple of breakthroughs as well.
 
One of these seems to be the last session I did on the turbo trainer. The session was a 3×20 min effort at ironman, half ironman, and near-FTP target power. As I started I was really surprised at the power I was managing to put in without having to push for it, and my heart rate stayed low and stable. Was I working hard enough? Was the power meter calibrated properly? Well Leanne, what about the possibility of actually seeing improvements? Could I dare to believe the data that was telling me I’m getting stronger? Effort 1 and 2 went well, and Lee just came to pop in hoping to be able to watch me suffer during the last hard effort. I told him how it had been going so far, and he gave me some words of encouragement for the suffer fest that was yet to come. I was excited in a way, looking forward to seeing what I’d be able to do today and how my mind would deal with this challenge. It started off well, I decided not to go out hard at the start and to minimize the drop off at the end, which is something I think I have previously done during time trials and FTP tests where similar efforts are needed. My heart rate was still pretty low for this effort and I watched as it slowly began to rise above threshold. Alright, now hold it. My head was strong and I was determined to finish. I managed to complete the effort just 1 watt below my FTP. Although I should have been really pleased with that, my mind once again started wondering in different directions and making excuses for why the data could be wrong or inaccurate. But coach was very pleased and a rewarding dinner concluded my training for the day (which also included a 6k run and 50×100 swim).

Turbo Time!

Turbo Time!

 

This whole week was bike-specific for me, which worked out well with the presence of our loyal guest Mad Max from the Netherlands, who has been given this nickname for a good reason! An easy 5h ride turned into 152km at around 33km/h with a little brick run to polish it off. We also kept each other company during a turbo session which consisted of 6x3min all out efforts. Wether it was his presence or my improvements, I saw a huge jump in power from the previous time I did this session, less than two weeks ago. Hey, maybe I am actually getting stronger! And to put the cherry on top we ran 4k hard off the bike, both really pleased with the pace that we managed to keep!
Besides these fun bike sessions there were of course also some swims and runs ☺ There was another trail run (the second one this month!) where Tri-topia once again dominated the podium. With Kathryn and Lucy both on the podium for their categories and Mad Max and I taking the overall wins for the 14km, we came home with more trophies to add to our collection. No time for a post-race recovery day, as we had a full week of training ahead of us. This included one of our awesome track sessions in which everyone saw improvement from the previous week. Go team!

Trail race finish

Trail race finish

 

Besides all this training fun, I also had some quality sis time. My sister came over and joined us for two weeks. It was really great to see her again and to welcome her here at Tri-topia. She joined in with almost all of the training sessions and made the most out of her time here. It was also really nice to spend some time away from swim-bike-run and it was sad to see her go. Unfortunately she passed on her virus to me before leaving…! Thanks Joc! 😉

Time to log off and try to take a nap and do my best to recover and prepare myself for more training. These few easy days will continue to fuel me and my hunger to get stronger, fitter, faster.