Weekly Review September 6th – 12th 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

An up and down week, unfortunately. With a peculiar injury late in the week, I didn’t get to do what I had planned. But the rides I got through early in the week were beneficial.

Here are this week’s rides:

Things generally started well this week. With a tough schedule of catching up to get through with regards to the Zwift Academy 2021, I kicked off with back to back structured workouts.

It’s hard to say which of the two workouts were harder, as doing them on consecutive days meant the test wasn’t really fair. Most people seemed to think Workout #2 was harder than Workout #1. Both felt pretty knackering, and I was certainly glad to have an easier ride in store by Thursday.

One thing I will say as I think the Zwift Academy workouts have been getting easier over time. This isn’t to say they are easy by any means, but the general structure of the training seems more accessible now to beginners, rather than the more hardcore kick you in the ass brutality they used to be in previous years.

Maybe I’m wrong on this, but I strongly suspect Zwift want these workouts to be more inclusive. This is kinda exposed when you look at the fact that pro contenders have to do extra activities that the rest of us puny mortals are not expected to endure. A time trial up the Alpe? Nah, you’re alright. The pro contenders can keep that one for themselves.

So yeah, the midweek rides went well enough. I was a bit miffed to only be around 75km by the end of Thursday, knowing that I am capable of getting to, or very close to 90km on a good week. It’s all a bit of a moot point, as I usually do one or two rides at the weekend that more than make up the difference, but this week it was touch and go.

On Saturday I experienced a really sudden and unusual pain in my chest. I won’t go back into it, but if you wish to read what happened you are free to do so here.

That really ruined my cycling over the weekend. But fortunately I was able to get in a lighter ride on Sunday. Hopefully I’ll figure out what the hell caused that when I’ve visited the GP and Physio. Be interesting to see if the two come up with the same conclusion. I plan to keep quiet and see what both have to say independantly.

Now, according to Garmin, those extra rest days all went towards my training status in a positive way.

The thing is I don’t want to put any extra pressure on my back / spine until I know what’s up, so will be starting off the week with easier rides.

Honestly, it feels like this year has been plagued with illness and injury. My fitness subjectively feels down compared to last year, which is really frustrating. I wouldn’t even say I’ve plateaued, I mean it genuinely feels like I’m on a gradual downward trend these past few months.

Also this weekend I really over did it with the alcohol. Now, that could have been a factor in the weird chest pain. Who knows? Well, hopefully the GP. Hopefully that’s scared me away from boozing again for a while… or at least going crazy.

So the week ahead is, yet again, going to be about recovering, building back up, and hopefully aiming to do Workout #3 of the Zwift Academy 2021 without any issues. I’d also really like to get in at least one SST session and one Zwift race, if at all possible. It seems a little ambitious, given my currently situation, but a man can dream.

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