Monday, 28 April 2014

Good Luck 4G and 5D2 :-)

It's that time of year again where I have to say goodbye to some of my students as they go on exam leave.   :-(

It's a nervous time of year for students and staff alike. I can honestly say though that I've really enjoyed teaching both classes and I'm extremely proud of them all for their hard work throughout the year. This is one of the best parts of the job; seeing pupils mature, grasp concepts and be able to use their knowledge to solve a variety of problems. The fact that they've all been great to teach and we've done it with smiles on our faces has been an incredible bonus.

GOOD LUCK in your exams!!!

90 days and counting!

Well, the new steed has finally arrived and it was well worth the wait:

I'm keeping the Zipp 404s for events / races and have a nice set of Mavis Kysrium Elite S alloy rims on for normal training rides. 

I'd read how the Tarmac was fast / light / comfortable / responsive / great power transfer / etc. and wondered how much was marketing hype (I used to do that for a living after all). I can safely say it ticks all the boxes above and then some more! I've now been out on it the last couple of weekends and it's absolutely brilliant. Really quick, really comfy, the Di2 gears are so good you just keep changing gears all the time and this thing can really fly up and down the hills. The only limit to this bike is the rider - so I'll keep on working at the training.

Gary got me to do another Functional Power Test (FTP) on Thursday last week to test my progress. The FTP is defined as the maximum power a cyclist can sustain for an hour and is a really good indicator of performance. I'd managed to increase my FTP from approx. 220W to 253W in January after completing the Sufferfest's 10-week Intermediate road plan (designed by Dig Deep coaching).

The first 36 mins or so are a warm up for the main event - 20 minutes cycling pretty much as hard as you can go. I kept a reasonable pace for about 15 mins of the 20 then started losing power... I really needed to grit my teeth for the final 5 mins but managed to up the power to around 340-350W for the last section. I was delighted to finish the session but even more chuffed after I'd managed to raise my FTP to 273W.

Given I've been training at low power / low heart rate and in all 3 disciplines since January, this result was somewhat unexpected... it just goes to show - do as your coach tells you!!! Cheers Gary!  :-)

Looking at the timer on the right hand side of the blog, there's just 90 days until The Outlaw. Time is flying by at present - I'm obviously enjoying this training far too much!!!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Lost in Lanza

Well, we're back from a brilliant holiday/week of training (delete as appropriate) at Club La Santa in Lanzarote and we've managed to bring some of the weather with us (we're nice like that).

We made use of the new pools on the evening we arrived, it was hard not to resist jumping into the crystal clear water of the brand new 16 lane 50m pool. I've never been in a pool where you could see so clearly. It's also much easier to get into a rhythm in a 50m lane rather than 25m and of course better training for IM distances where you don't get to stop each length for a mini-breather!

The weather was pretty perfect all week; dry, warm and not as windy as last year... either that or I'm a little stronger on the bike. I suspect the former but would prefer the latter ;-)

All in, I managed about 4 hours of swimming (10km), 2 hours of running (21km) and 16 hours of cycling (354km and almost 5km ascent) - so not too bad! I'm not telling you how many ice creams and beers were consumed to balance out the calories...

The new pools - swimming heaven

 Lorna after conquering Mt. Timanfaya

View from the balcony - I could get used to that colour of sky!

An ATHelite selfie at the top of The Mirador

 Lorna looking chuffed to have climbed Mirador

The Mirador - spectacular views make the climb more than worth it

At the top of the infamous Mt. Tabeyesco - 10km drag up 550m elevation

The coast road to Famara - great surfing territory

On the road to Soo with Club La Santa in the background

 Another perfect sunset brought a brilliant week to a close

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