Weekly Review June 29th – July 5th 2020

Every 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 consisted of 5 days exercise, one of which was a race, two being structured workouts, one an outdoor ride, and one a big Zwift group ride.

This week’s exercises was as follows:

I’d have to say the outdoor ride was likely my favourite of the week, though it was definitely nice to do an SST session at a higher FTP and not die on my arse in the process.

Racing on Saturday was – as the title suggests – entirely unplanned, and as a result, free from any pre-race anxiety. This translated into a really good result for me, finishing 7th in Category B. A real dramatic statement of my progress over the last year and a half. The very thought of sustaining 3.7w/kg for 21 minutes this time last year would have seemed absurd.

I managed to pick up another FTP increase on Saturday’s race, taking me up from 234w to 238w. Not a huge difference, and I’m not sure how that will translate into a revised figure when it comes to future structured workouts. Can’t be huge.

Even with a solid performance on Saturday, by and large my performances elsewhere this week have been middle of the road type affairs.

That’s fine, as I haven’t been going out to set new records. Right now I’m all about building base fitness and seeing where it takes me. Endurance is probably a greater priority for me at the moment, as I struggle significantly after an hours riding. Bit sick of falling off the hour cliff.

With that in mind, you can see some figures from Strava at the end of this post that put me around 3.0w/kg for an hours ride. I think that’s fair. There’s absolutely no way I could sustain 230w+ for an hour at the moment. That’s a loooong way off.

I think I’m comfortable saying I could probably tackle an outdoor 100km ride at this point without failing to complete.

This is a bit frustrating as, without Covid happening, around now would have been the time for the Manchester to Blackpool 100km ride. I was really looking forward to that, having seen it in progress last year. Last year it took place on an absolutely gloriously sunny day. I remember being in Lytham and seeing the bikes go past, and I dearly wished I’d been part of it. At that point I resolved to building towards completing that ride.

However, you never can tell when it comes to British summer time as to whether you will get sun or rain. Lately it’s been a shocker outdoors, so chances are this time around it would have dunked it down.

Covid put this on the back burner. Now it’s back on. But it’s in September.

I’m in two minds as to whether to buy a ticket as right now I’m in self preservation mode – no job, etc etc. And realistically I need some extra kit to take part. A proper cycling jersey, and jacket, and some spares and stuff. So unless I find work soon, I’m guessing it’s not gunna happen this year.

Aside from thinking about cycling during my time on the bike, I’ve also been hard at work on a major new addition to this site.

I don’t want to say too much about this at this point, as it’s still very early days and very likely to launch in a staggered number of phases.

But what I can say is this is something I’ve wanted for my outdoor rides for ages and I’m amazed it’s not already been done. At least, not like this. So I’m super excited for launching this, but I’ve not yet finished collecting all the data to make it ready to go.

I hope it will be in some launchable phase within the next week or so.

The only other thing to report this week is I finally have GTA 5 up and running. Really looking forward to getting in a few bike trips around Los Santos and Blaine County. It’s pretty crazy that it’s an 88gb download. It took like 5 hours, even on my fast(ish) internet.

I think it will be worth it though. And I’m super excited to try it out.

That’s one advantage of the crappy outdoor weather I guess. It forces me to get creative indoors.

So that’s about it for me this week.

Another enjoyable, steady week on the bike.

I have two Zwift events to complete on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both of them are Tour de France related. I have to say I’ve been disappointed with Zwift’s TdF integration. I really expected more.

Maybe I should know better by now.

Still, these new routes / new France map could change my mind. I just expected more from “Watopia France Edition” than a few “allez allez” markings on the road and a few fans on the KOM banner :/

Until next week.

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