Weekly Review January 11th – 17th 2021

Each week I try to review and reflect on my previous week on the bike. This allows me to see how my fitness and ability is progressing on a wider timescale than day to day. For previous weekly reviews please click here

This week didn’t really go to plan. It started fine with a bit of a recovery session on Tuesday, but during that ride I felt my right knee was potentially at risk if I pushed harder. I probably should have stopped that ride early. I woke on Wednesday with it feeling sore enough not to ride.

No big deal, I figured, I’d rest Wednesday and ride Thursday / Friday to make up for it.

I’d not been keeping tabs on what rides were coming up in the Tour de Zwift 2021, but managed to find out week 3 / stage 3 was the climbing stages, thanks to Reddit’s r/Zwift. That sufficiently scared me that I figured a hard climb on Thursday might not be the best idea, coming back off a potential injury.

I resolved to do the climb on Friday, but had a terrible nights sleep so had a horrendous headache all day, which ruled out any desire to exercise whatsoever. Bed at 9pm. Fun times.

That meant Saturday was my next riding day. And looking out of the window, having spent since 7.30am doing work, I figured I’d rather go out on the relatively dry roads than spend yet another hour indoors, in front of the computer, doing the hard climbs of Stage 3.

So out I went. No regrets.

Well, maybe my only regret was getting out late, so the sun was setting as I was still early doors in my ride, meaning I ended up having to slice ~10km of the overall route.

I pushed myself hard in that ride, maybe a little too hard what with having the hour’s climb of AdZ the following day. I tried to push myself to ride at 3.2w/kg average for several periods of the ride in prep for the big climb, but found not only did I struggle with this, I also demotivated myself ahead of that ride.

Then Sunday came round and my options were either delay again, or suck it up and do the climb. The choices being either Alpe du Zwift or some variation of the Mont Ventop route. The difference between the two being 200m or so, with the Alpe being slightly shorter / less climbing.

Truthfully I chose the Alpe route because the other route is boring. 200m is a sizeable difference, so not having to do the extra was nice, too.

I found that climb challenging. Not so much the physical effort as much as the mental struggle to get through it. I might have gone slightly too hard, too early. It’s a long while since I’ve done a hard climb and my mindset wasn’t quite right going into it.

However I am pleased with the performance, and it was a new PB for me on AdZ, by about 10 or 20 seconds.

The rides for this week were:

Getting outdoors was nice for sure, and had I not had to do the Stage 3 route, the weather was nice enough to have had another outdoor ride on Sunday. I’m a bit sad to have missed out on that.

I had some weirdness on Sunday (and maybe Saturday looking at the chart below) that the Wahoo Tickr wasn’t properly registering my heart rate.

For all of the climb up AdZ, the Garmin and Zwift thought I was at about 119bpm average. Lol. Not so. Not by a long shot. Not quite sure how that happened, but Garmin ended up thinking I’d just done a recovery ride. Madness.

I’m going to take Monday (today) off as a rest day. I need to wash my bike as it’s filthy from outdoors and sweaty from the Alpe.

Plans for this week are three week day (week night technically) rides, where at least one of them is going to be TdZ 2021 Stage 4. Not sure what the next stages have in store. Not sure how many stages there are. Surely though, we’ve now done the hard work with the climbing.

Aside from that, I’d love to get outdoors again this week. Saturday or Sunday, or maybe both. That would be ace.

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