I started July happy, fit and looking forward to the month of sweet spot training. After two solid months of Z2 or basically MAF rides I was finally looking forward to putting in some harder efforts with the aid of ithlete Pro to guide when to do them.
Straight out of the blocks on the 2nd of July was round 2 of the summer cyclocross series, now I’m not targeting these races but it would be nice to do well – especially against the road racers who should be going well at this time of year. The test in the morning gave me a green result so all systems go for the race in the evening but by the time I had arrived at the race I was a little stressed (car problems, sat nav failure and rush hour traffic) and I wondered how pre event stress my alter my performance!?
Anyway I hated the course, it was rough and dry and bumpy, more suited to a mountain bike than a cyclocross bike. Nevertheless I got a top 6 result and really enjoyed the hard effort. I was then presently surprised when on the Friday morning ithlete Pro returned a HIIT result – I don’t get many of these! I had actually recovered well even with the added stress of finding my carbon wheel cracked. The rest of July wasn’t so great, the days leading up to the 16th I had developed a head cold, undetectable by HRV as my body wasn’t fighting it as it was just in my nose then on the 16th it hit my results and from the mid 80’s my HRV suddenly dropped to the low 70’s.
By this time I had already stopped training and I was off work feeling very rough indeed. ithlete returned various results some good and some bad but the most of the rest of July was spent resting or recovering with below MAF, low duration rides out to coffee shops. As you can see I didn’t recover from the illness until the start of August all that time I had a head cold with a blocked nose so breathing and sleeping was not the greatest to help improve my HRV reading in the mornings.
Below you can see with the wedding break in June and the illness in July my fitness has taken a bit of a battering!
The good thing with ithlete and ithlete Pro is it allows you to adapt your training to meet your currently state of wellbeing. When I’m not feeling good I will take a easy day, when I’m feeling good but ithlete says rest – I take an easy day but when I’m feeling good and ithlete say go for it the good day are amazingly good! During the time I was ill, unfortunately I lost my pit crew for the winter, not such a big issue but come November when the mud gets thick cold and deep, over the last 3 years it has enabled me to stay competitive.
This has resulted in a change of focus for me. Ive had a good stint at cyclocross and over the last 4 years I have not finished outside the top 2 in the final league standings on only one occasion and this was a 10th due to injury. To then lose your pit crew means come the mud I’d no longer be competitive against the other riders. So I have decided to complete the circle and next year return to time trialling as my main focus where I can still be competitive, still use ithlete to improve myself, my fitness and hopefully return to the TT form I had when I completed in the British Championships 4 years ago.
Next month will be interesting as I have entered my first 25 mile time trial in 3 years coming off the back of 2 months zone 2 training and a month off sick – lets see if ithlete Pro can steer me back into a bit of form!