In this 4th update, I’d like to run through the preparation for the first real test of the season – the Hampshire Hilly Hundred – a course designed to make the most of the rolling countryside of north Hampshire.

The section of chart below is my heart rate variability (HRV), heart rate (HR) and training load as shown in the new ithlete Team app.

The final hard training was the weekend of the 4th & 5th May.  On both days I basically gave it everything on group rides, resulting in the sharp HRV drop on Monday.  The rest of the week was a taper workout wise, although a long work day away from the office also caused me an amber on Friday 10th May.  Saturday, I refrained from the usual fast group ride to do an easy (Zone 1) 2 hours just to keep the legs from stiffening up.

 Hampshire Hilly Hundred HRV

The Sunday was event day, and was fast from the off.  I was riding with a couple of friends and we took turns to keep the average speed close to 20 mph despite the rolling terrain.   I managed to keep the effort level up for close to 4 hours, although I made a fairly serious error by not eating enough and in the 5th hour I really felt my speed drop as my blood sugar plummeted.  Nonetheless I managed to complete the event well inside the gold standard time, and 25th overall.  I was pretty pleased with this, as it’s my best result for a few years, so maybe there’s life in the old dog yet (when given the right training & recovery!).

Recovery this week has been interesting.  Although my legs were fairly stiff, I felt fine & HRV was also good so I went out Tuesday morning for a group ride that included some short sharp hills at Zone 3 effort level.  However, I think these caused sufficient additional overload to take me over the edge fatigue wise.  I felt quite tired Weds, Thurs and my HRV certainly reflected that.

The chart below is an analysis of the time spent in different heart rate zones during the event. The data was captured using Precision Pulse then uploaded into Golden Cheetah for specific analysis. This histogram feature is quite a handy way of seeing the distribution:

Zone 1 (easy)  175mins (49%)

Zone 2 (steady) 143 mins (40%)

Zone 3 (hard) 40 mins (11%)

 Hampshire Hilly Hundred HR

It will be interesting to see whether a similar distribution occurs in the next event in two weeks (Tour of Wessex), where I will also focus on eating regularly throughout the event.

by Simon Wegerif

Polarised Training challenge, Simon Wegerif Etape '11