Weekly Review July 19th – 25th 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

A little different this week, with a comparatively huge number of activities per day. I explained why here.

For once I didn’t blog all of my individual activities, as that would have been a tad nuts, and instead summarised the Monday to Thursday rides in one go.

Then Friday through Sunday was a tad more routine.

Here are the week’s posts:

The big change to the regular from last week was that I managed to get away from home for a weeks holiday with my family. As part of this, we rented bikes giving us the chance to go exploring, not to mention get in a bit of exercise each day.

The bikes we rented didn’t have power metres, and I didn’t take my heart rate strap. Disgraceful, right?

I agree.

No, that explains the comparative lack of data in the screenshots, compared to the number of activities I completed. However, as I was on holiday, and as I was on a mountain bike, I didn’t really do much hard cycling. At least, not like I normally would.

But I did manage to hit my > 100km riding goal all the same, so pretty happy about that.

I should also say that whilst I talk about a mountain bike, it was your seriously oldschool model. No suspension, front or back, heavy as hell, and as I was pulling a kiddy trailer, slow as a sloth. When I got back home and onto my regular road bike, it felt like I’d switched from a Robin Reliant towing a caravan to a brand new Ferrari running on jet fuel. I imagine. I’ve never driven either.

Once back home I still had about 50km or so to go to reach my weekly riding goal. And the heat hadn’t abated, so doing activities during the afternoons was challenging. I’m not a huge fan of riding late in the evening, but when that’s the only time the temperature drops to bearable levels for physical activities, needs must.

By Friday evening I have to say I was really struggling. Over indulging with both food and alcohol during the week was duly cursed as I found myself pushing hard for the first time in almost a week. Happy enough with Friday’s activity, I was still equally happy for the ride to be over.

Both Saturday and Sunday’s rides were to be easier than the effort I’d put in on Friday. And that was the case – though perhaps I forgot about this after Saturday’s ride.

What I’m definitely guilty of is believing that every ride ought to be pushing myself to my limit. Then when I don’t live up to these impossible expectations, I get demoralised.

That’s why these weekly reflective posts are good for me. I can sit / stand back and review not only my activities but where I’m at mentally.

Ultimately I’m doing this for fitness. Not to win a race. It’s something I frequently forget. Whether I’m out doing an hours ride at 95% threshold, or 65%, what difference does it make? Sure, a few more minutes on the ride, but really it’s all about regular exercise and burning off those calories.

I don’t know why I beat myself up about not pushing myself hard enough. An interesting mental dynamic, for sure.

Overall things are trending in the right direction.

It’s a little unclear from the 7 day view where I am with regards to the bigger picture. So if we zoom out…

Training load is the sum of your exercise load scores from the past 7 days. It’s rated low, optimal or high based on your fitness level and training history.

Garmin Connect Training Load

Now the interesting thing is that this graph correlates directly with my work situation. Where it spikes last September was when I was, effectively, unemployed due to the Covid19 situation. That meant I could ride when and where I wanted, and was doing some big rides. And then you can see when I got work again things fell off a cliff.

I am now roughly where I was during my better periods. I’m looking to keep the training load between 300-500, so don’t anticipate this graph spiking up or dipping over the next few months at least.

Anyway, all good. More lessons learned. It was good to have a break away, and it was nice to try out “mountain biking” – I learned I definitely prefer the comparatively smooth tarmac, and the speed.

For the week ahead, it’s all a bit weather dependant. I’ve heard the rain is coming, so maybe I will get to try out the new Zwift Makuri Islands, and the two new routes released last week. I’m still sore in the right knee so will not be doing anything too strenuous, regardless.

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