by Simon Wegerif
April has been a transition month between steady volumes of MAF training, averaging 300 km per week at sub threshold aerobic intensity, to higher volumes of nearly 400 km per week, culminating with a hilly sportive event on the 17th April.
What’s really interesting is to see the theory of aerobic base building working in practice. The chart below shows how my heart rate variability (HRV) trended steadily upwards (showing an absence of cumulative stress) and resting HR (which is a good indication of fitness) trended steadily downwards, towards levels which I have not seen before.
After increasing the weekly training volume during the last week of March, and including twice a week intensive interval and fast group rides, you can see that the average HRV line started to decrease again, reflecting accumulated bodily stress. Business travel caused the dip around the 21 April, and reminds me why I quit the executive day job to start HRV Fit in 2009!
The Longleat 100M sportive event on the 17 April was a test to see if I could restrain myself from going too hard too early in a hilly event with lots of competitors around me. It seemed to work, and I felt capable of going for quite a while longer when I finished.
I have now begun my taper, with just a week to go before the 312km event in Mallorca next Saturday. I’m already in the centre zone of the Pro Training Guide, and expect to move rightwards during the week as my recovery continues to improve.
Following a structured plan with extensive base building (as advocated by the Polarised Training method) seems to have had exactly the effect I had hoped, and even better, watching my daily HRV closely has allowed me to avoid winter colds entirely during the process.
Finally, whatever I achieve in the coming event will be dedicated to the memory of my close friend and training partner, Julian Jenkinson, who passed away on 19th March.