End of week 21 – a big week

As part of my self assigned 1800k in May challenge, I wanted to cycle 400k this week to get me up to about 1000k for the month so far.  There was a bank holiday on Thursday so I knew I would use that for a longer ride, then the weekend would have to be fully utilised too!  I have had lots of running races recently and last week in Mannheim I felt a bit burned out, so I wanted an easier running week too.

So on Monday I went to the outdoor pool for the first time in 2015 (it only opened 1 day beforehand!).  It was really nice to have something to see when swimming instead of black line, wall, black line, wall!  The pool was pretty empty too, but so were my legs!  I swam 2.2km and called it a day. It wasn't too bad, but when I felt that my stroke was falling apart, I thought it was time to leave.

On Tuesday I got a load of stress at work and couldn't really be bothered then to work out, I also wanted to have an evening out and had to get up very early on Wednesday, so I had a rare full rest day!

Wednesday was the real start of the training week.  I cycled 62.5km quite quickly, with 2 king of the mountains on Strava to boot.  I decided to try out my new Skechers GoRun shoes that had just arrived, so I bricked in a short run afterwards, only 3.3km at marathon pace but I think I should be doing more brick workouts in the next few weeks.

On Thursday I met up with Jochen and went for a long ride.  We cycled to Bingen, along the Rhein, then over the big hill at Bacharach and then back to Bingen and to Mainz.  It was a really good route and we were going over 33km/h without too much effort until we got back to Bingen.  Then Jochen suggested the cycle path back to Mainz.  Cycle paths on bank holidays are not a good place to actually cycle, if you want to go 10km/h and have a bell on your bike, they are ok, but for faster riding they are no good.  So we got constantly stuck in traffic and only averaged about 28km/h back to Mainz.  It was fine though, I had felt good all day.  It was a fairly typical ride, to start with Jochen pushed the pace constantly making me work just to keep up, then in the middle we ride well together, then on the way back he is struggling!  Final stats were 129km at 31.4km/h and 253w NP.
In the evening I ran with Katja, our normal 11.3km loop at a quite slow pace. Just keeping the legs ticking over. 5:27/km HR ave 126.

On Friday I went swimming again.  I had worried that it would be full as the school holidays had started, but there were only 2 other people in a full olympic sized pool, so I needn't have worried!  I felt good and was using my new found 'breathing out through the mouth' tactic well.  I did more 300m and 400m intervals on my way to 2800m, my longest swim of the year.

Saturday was the big day.  Katja was away working, but had to get up early.  I knew that gave me the full day to ride if I wanted, and the weather was set fair.  I had found a route online that was 150km from Stadecken Elsheim, which is 15km away, so I thought it would be 180km total for me.  It was a big loop in the middle of nowhere, but quite hilly.  It also started against the wind and came home with it, which is what I like to do when possible.  So off I went, I found the route easily enough and soon enough had no idea where I was!  The wind wasn't strong but was noticeable.  I decided early on that if I was going to survive and enjoy the ride, I would have to keep power spikes to a minimum, i.e. go gently on the hills and no sprints over little inclines.  After 55km I stopped for a drink and a cereal bar, it was warming up and the views were great.  After 85km or so I went through a town that wasn't tiny, so stopped for a coke and a coffee, and filled my bidon.


For a while in the middle of the ride it was just climb, descent, climb again, which was quite hard work.  I was controlling my effort well though.  I eventually made the turn back home after maybe 100km and the wind started to help instead of hinder. I started to doubt if I would make it home by 180k, so after 150km or so I stopped at a bakery for a bite to eat and a bottle of coke.  That really helped and I managed the route home easily.  When I got back to Hechtsheim I saw that I was very close to 200k ridden.  If I went straight home it would probably be 198km, so I extended it a little to manage a final 200.3km at 29.4km/h 248w NP with 2740 metres of climbing.

That was it for Saturday, even though it was only mid-afternoon, I was a bit tired!  On Sunday I rode to the outdoor pool in Nieder Olm, swam 2.2km then cycled home.  That was another 20km cycled.  I then ran an easy loop with Katja again.

Running 25.9km (985.2km YTD)
Cycling 411km (2986.9km YTD)
Swimming 7.2km (46.55km YTD)

All round a great week, especially after a slow start!  That is a record swimming week for me and I reached the 400km cycling total and even clawed back some of the few I lost last week.