Week in Review (Build 2, Week 4)

This week spanned from January 22nd to January 28th. Three of the days in this week were part of an “unload” block that I spoke of in a previous post. I will say, that five days into this second “load” block, I am feeling very good. There most certainly is merit in planning load and unload blocks. From a physiological standpoint it is great because I am feeling fairly rested. But I think the most important benefit is from a psychological standpoint. I keep saying to myself, “okay five days into a seventeen day block” and that seems to make hitting the intended paces a bit easier. Contrast this with training hard with no end in sight, and the perceived exertion goes way up. This week I will share with you my weekly brick workout. I am starting to tinker around with multiple brick workouts per week, so the one I am going to share I will refer to as a “high end brick.” As opposed to the other brick workout I did which was much longer, but far more aerobic. This week’s high end brick was supposed to be:

  • 80 minute bike with 12 x 2 minutes @430w with 3 minutes recovery to
  • 12k run (with the first 5k being at tempo pace)

This was my first bike ride where the focus was solely Vo2Max. As mentioned in a previous post, I hate Vo2Max. Two minutes at Vo2Max for many, would not be enough to elicit much of a training response, but for me this is a very difficult workout. Instead of trying to fit the mold, I would rather successfully spend a shorter amount of time at Vo2Max and walk away feeling more confident, than spend a longer time but run the risk of getting burned and leaving with my confidence shattered. That being said, I still got burned in this workout, but it was only once (on the 11th interval), and I was able to recuperate for the remainder of the interval, as well as successfully execute the 12th interval. Here is a graph of the data:

Bike Brick Data

Additionally, here is a table with the average attained in each successive interval:


























All in all, the workout was a success. I hate getting burned, but recuperating after the burn was a small victory. My legs were feeling a little shaky so I was unsure how they would respond in the run off the bike. Last week I went 17:09 for the opening five kilometers off the bike, and that was off of an easy ride at 272w. The average wattage of this ride was only 211w, but the normalized power was 315w, so I knew running a similar time was going to be quite a bit more taxing. I went into the run with the intention of going 16:50 through five kilometers, but I wasn't going to get upset if I didn’t hit it.

Once I got onto the treadmill I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not that taxing. In fact, my mom was on her bike on the indoor trainer next to me, and I was able to talk to her for the first mile or so. This time round, I got the speed up to goal pace fairly quickly (within a minute). I spent the first two miles at 11.2mph, and then the final mile I increased the speed until I hit 11.5 for the final quarter mile or so. I went through 5k in 16:47. I then slowed the treadmill down a bit, and finished up the 12k (7.5 miles actually) in 44:54.

Overall, I was happy with the entire workout. It is still very early in the season, so I am being very conscious not to push things too hard. Things are coming together nicely, and I am excited for the coming weeks when I head to Arizona, and get the green light to really open things up.