This month has been a case of dealing with a cold and dealing with 3 goal events, each spaced 2 weeks apart, and dealing with kind of back-to-back tapering as well for the following events:
- Birmingham Bikeathon on 5th July 100 miles approx 4,800ft
- Tour of the Cotswolds 19th July approx 6,500ft
- Ride London 2nd August approx 4,500ft
Monday 15th June – Result below following Sunday ride (14th June)
Tuesday 16th June – Following a 1 hr MAF session yesterday evening – even a low intensity workout like this, on top of the 3.5 hr Sunday ride has lowered my energy.
Wednesday 17th – I was up early so went for a threshold workout, the reading seemed favourable enough.
Thursday 18th June – Pleasing recovery but low energy as expected so today will be a day off.
Friday 19th June – Need to get some intensity in today to build on Wednesday, so a 2hr ride planned and the reading is fairly favourable.
Saturday 20th – expected reading after yesterdays effort so today will be a day off.
Sunday 21st June – ouch! Well the story behind this is a late night going to bed at 1pm and my little girl waking up at 4.30am. She went back to sleep but I didn’t so can only be expected. Instead of my usual early morning ride, I went out later in the day and did an easy session just incase the reading was due to any illness coming on.
Monday 22nd June – Good news that yesterdays blip was down to the lack of sleep and todays reading bounced back into the normal range. Today was an unplanned day off as Saturday/Sunday night caught up with me.
Tuesday 23rd June – Up early due to an early night, decent reading even though it was taken out of sync with my normal reading time, and went for a 1.5hr ride – mostly a comfortable pace but with a few short efforts
Wednesday 24th – Up early again. A strange reading this one, pre ithlete Pro days I would have taken this as an easy session but Pro suggests otherwise. Only thing I can assume is that the ‘84’ HRV reading is a spike on my average HRV (but the HR is normal) and therefore given an orange but I went with ithlete Pro’s advice and did a ride gradually increasing the intensity over the route and fitting in a few intervals – lets see what happens in the following days
Thursday 25th – The reading didn’t suggest doing a hard workout, but I was in the mood for a TT effort. The reading was in the normal range though and certainly wouldn’t have done it if it hadn’t have been.
Friday 26th – Restless night, it was warm, and the TT effort was yesterday evening, so not really conducive to a good nights sleep. So I’m not surprised by the reading and therefore today will be a rest day.
Saturday 27th – Went for an easy recovery ride this morning, even though the reading was favourable due to a longer ride tomorrow. I am mindful of the events coming up and not over-doing it.
Sunday 28th – A longer endurance based ride but included a bit of over-geared work in the middle to make sure the legs didn’t miss out into the tempo range.
Monday 29th – Still hitting the middle area, which is what my aim is at the moment and it’s good to see that yesterdays ride didn’t dig too much of a hole. However as the day wore on, what I thought was hayfever turned into a cold, not great timing considering the 100 miles coming on Sunday. So no training tonight.
Tuesday 30th – Yes, full blown cold. Well it’s the first one in about 18 months so I can’t complain. Coinciding with a very warm spell of weather, clearly my reading couldn’t be any worse leading up to an imperial century ride! No training today.
Wednesday 1st July – Surprised my HRV reading has bounced back so well, but the virus is clearly affecting my activation which is reflected in a higher than normal resting heart rate. Trying a ride today mainly Zone 2 with a little effort into Zone 3 tempo simply to see how the body reacts tomorrow, with an eye on Sunday.
Thursday 2nd July – Well I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised – a rest it is then! Activation is still higher than normal, clearly a result of the virus affecting my heart rate.
Friday 3rd July – looking a lot better today. My enforced rest obviously has reaped the rewards even though it has been hard to stay off the bike.
Saturday 4th July – looking good for tomorrows 100 mile Birmingham Bikeathon. I am not going to chance it now by doing a ride. Still slightly higher on activation, the virus still lurking no doubt.
Sunday 5th July – well, a successful taper it seems, looks like there is the capacity there for a good days riding. Dropped a bit lower than the middle on the activation, although the resting heart rate reading was actually more like my normal range, but guessing Pro is comparing to the higher readings over the last week. Pleased with the ride effort considering the cold virus.
Monday 6th July – back to square one! Or in this case, the upper left square. After the effort of the ride, I have felt the virus return affecting my chest. Hardly surprising though considering the impact on the body of a 100 mile ride even in a healthy state, so not bemoaning the result. Note the resting heart rate has gone up again, about 10 beats over my normal healthy range. Rest day today
Tuesday 7th July – slowly coming back down, but chest is still not good – another rest day
Wednesday 8th July – Recovery is good but still got the higher activation with the higher resting heart rate. Eager to get back on the bike, but don’t want to over-do it or risk going backwards, with the other two rides planned for this month. So keeping a mental attitude of maintenance only for now. Therefore an active recovery ride today to try and help recovery.
Thursday 9th July – Yesterdays recovery session hasn’t made things any worse or any better but the positive was that I got a workout in. So headed out again today for a mostly endurance based ride. I did felt good and didn’t really have any chest issues which seems to be clearing up now.
Friday 10th July – Still running a bit high on the activation. However the positive thing is that I feel like I want to get out. My motivation is there which wouldn’t be the case if my readings were the result of overtraining or if I still felt too ill. As I said earlier though, the theme is maintenance for this month with 2 more long rides to come. Enforced rest day today
Saturday 11th July – Again the activation is higher than normal. But it occurred to me that the use of my inhaler during my cold could have contributed to the raised heart rate. Looking at the NHS web site, it is a side effect of using the Ventolin inhaler. Before I started cycling, I used the blue inhaler fairly infrequently as I only had mild asthma; the more I have cycled I have used it less and less and now it is only used when I have a cold or from raised pollen, it just so happened I got a cold when the pollen count was high so a double whammy it seems
But now that the cold has passed and the chest is less wheezy, hopefully the activation will start to come down by not using the inhaler. With this in mind, I had an hour to get some intensity in. Let’s see how this affects the following day/s
Sunday 12th July – With the hilly sportive coming up next weekend, I really need to get some hill work in and test the legs (and the chest!). As next week will be a taper week I will take a chance on this reading.
Monday 13th July – Quite pleased with this considering Sundays reading. I noticed the activation is now returning to normal levels, although shown low here which I’m guessing is due to comparison to the higher readingss of the past week
Rest day today to start the taper. My aim this week is to guide the reading over to the right and into the middle, although I would be happy with maintaining todays recovery reading.
Tuesday 14th July – Heading in the right direction for a taper week – rest day again today – Sundays ride will be tough.
Wednesday 15th July – I had a chance of a group ride tonight, maybe not a good idea but it was going to be a relatively comfortable pace. As the recovery reading was good for today I thought it was worth taking the opportunity.
Thursday 16th July – Thankfully not too much of a dent into the recovery week – rest day today
Friday 17th July – Still happy with that reading . I had a recovery based ride this morning just to keep the legs loose.
Saturday 18th July – My recovery is ok but my energy is a bit low, but not too far off being in the perfect spot for tomorrows ride – rest day today.
Sunday 19th July – Well a bad nights sleep of only 3 hrs meant I didn’t take my reading today due to the potential psychological impact. Anyway, it was a 6am depart to get to the Cotswolds for just after 7 for an 8am start. I have done the route before, but forgot how relentless the climbing is still, a satisfactory time of 5hrs 14 mins meant 47 minutes quicker than when I did it 2 years ago!
Monday 20th July – Sometimes your body just doesn’t make any sense. Following yesterday’s intense ride, apparently I am ready for intervals! This is the last thing I feel like doing! Needless to say, it will be a rest day today.
Here is the HRV current graph showing the trend covering the above period;
I now have 2 weeks before Ride London. At the moment I feel tired and feel like reducing my bike time in order for the last few months of training to soak in. But no doubt after a few days I will be itching to get back. At that point I think it will be intervals of varying natures as opposed to longer rides
One thing is clear though, by using ithlete Pro we can tune our efforts into what our body is telling us. Compare this to not using HRV at all, there is a significant risk of affecting longer term goals. We all instinctively know to hold back when we are ill, but as we are eager to get back to training, there is a high risk of going backwards if training too hard for too long if not fully recovered. ithlete Pro gives us an invaluable insight, it’s not always about the now – if used correctly it can ensure long term gains without long term illness and injury. This month I feel it has been worth it’s weight in gold for helping me steer through a cold and continuing to get in the necessary training and recovery for my goal events
At the end of this period, this is my current Fitness level;
I’ve managed to maintian the build-up from the early part of the year, after Sunday 19th July ride it has got back to peak for the year. Going forward it will be a case of trying to maintain this without affecting recovery dictated by Pro