So this last month or so has been a case of backing off a little, having worked to peak towards the end of July. Also taking a 2-week family holiday in the last 2 weeks of August meant little option to ride or train, but used it as a good chance to re-charge after 7 months of training and events.

Normally I don’t take my readings on holiday, but this year I did, due to doing this blog and also now having ithlete Pro I was interested to see how a longer lay-off affected readings outside of the flight days. Also I do start to get anxiety towards the end of the holidays about coming back to work (as I don’t keep in contact while away), so I was keen to see what affect this would have too. Due to the nature of my trade it can be very stressful (as are a lot of trades). As stress is the Ithlete theme for this month I thought it would tie in well

I flew home on the 1st September into the early hours; this reading is ok strangely considering I only had about 5 hrs sleep, but the following readings suggest the effect of flying and the associated returning to work anxiety I mentioned. Over this period I started back training on the 3rd easing back in with 1-hour turbo work mainly at endurance. On the 5th I did a 1 hour endurance /tempo crossover session on the road. I also did a longer 2 hour road ride on the Sunday (6th) as this was a good reading and did a few hill repeats. Monday 7th was 1 hour turbo lower endurance but at a high cadence. So nothing too stressful training wise due to the work related stress

During my holiday I did one guided group ride on the 20th, 58 miles and included a 10km climb amongst other shorter ones, 6,000ft overall. The reading on the day was good recovery but high activation due to nerves/excitement. Strangely the reading the next day was in the HIIT area.

What I found interesting here is that during my holiday, I only had 2 readings in the HIIT area, this one and another two days later on the 23rd, with 3 more that came close. Out of 12 days (flight days aside) you would expect that recovery would be high during a holiday.

1st to 8th September;


Mindful of easing back into training, plus having a Sportive on the 13th, the 7th I started back on turbo work, mostly endurance based work for a 1 hour session, repeated on the 9th but added in some tempo intervals on both sessions. The week started off in the normal range, but work stress got the better of me as the week progressed, culminating in the red reading on the 12th. To compensate for the stressful week, I had a few very early nights on the Thursday and Friday, and by the 13th on the day of the sportive, I was pleased to see my reading in the HIIT zone. The Sportive went well, but considering it was my first proper ride for a few weeks, I felt sluggish in the last 10 miles or so

Monday 7th to Monday 14th September;




Following the Sportive, I trained the following week on the Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday. I‘m still aiming on breaking back in to some degree after a near 3 week layoff, so just throwing in some intensity efforts for now. Tuesdays 15th session was 1 hour endurance @ 60-65% FTP with 2 x 5min tempo intervals, 10min recovery interval. Thursday 17th was 1 hour 20/15/10min endurance/tempo crossover intervals with 5min recovery between each. Saturday 19th morning was a longer 2 hour session with a mixed bag of 48mins endurance, 30min overgeared hill repeats, 10min threshold, 25min tempo finishing on 10min endurance.

Monday 14th to Monday 21st September;




Looking ahead, I am intending to start a new training routine beginning of October (subject to work commitments), for a 6 month period. This will be based around power zones and aimed at increasing my FTP. I felt this worked well for me towards the end of last year/start of this, but it was a bit unstructured. This time it will have more structure, although the sessions will be tailored to fit what my ithlete readings are on the given day, as usual. So there isn’t any veering away from this. But as I am time crunched, I will be looking to go down the intensity route and rely on the days off as recovery. It will involve over-reaching but it will be a test to see how far into this I can go. Most of the plan will be turbo based as it’s over the winter, with hopefully a longer ride on the weekend

Andy Dolphin Andy DolphinProfile;

I am what’s termed a recreational athlete, who has around 5 to 8 hours a week to train (season dependant). I have a family with 2 young children and run a business; therefore the ethos of my training is to use training principles that elicit the best results in minimal time. By comparison to  my cycling peers, I would class myself as average