Qwik Kiwi

Coach Ray’s Sufferings: A New Bike & Back To Racing

WOW, what a week this one turned out to be. My new Boardman FS Pro 27.5″ MtB turned up and I threw my leg over it as soon as I could.  I’ve taken it for a few spins since then as well.   I also had a good session in the pool and found my running mojo again, as well as wrapping up the 3 week strength training programme I’ve been working on with a colleague.

Monday morning saw me in the weight room with Kutz. He continued to push my strength. I ended up lifting the weight for six reps of the Lat Pull Down to 99.5kg, using that weight for the Close Grip Lat Pull Down (three sets of five reps) and maintaining the weight lifted for the other exercises in the programme.

Tuesday morning started off with a  swim session 1,000yd warm up, then into some drills and pick ups, prior to swimming a fast 400yd (6:16 – I would have been stoked with anything close to 6:30) and then finishing off with a fast 200yd (2:57 – stoked to be under 3min) to see where my fitness currently sits.

 In the afternoon I had a run up and over K Trig at Pelorus Bridge. I haven’t run this route since before the Buller Marathon. At this time of year it’s wet underfoot and I haven’t been enjoying my running of late. I struggled through it and got it done. A couple of highlights were the three little piglets that I saw on my way up. There was plenty of pig signs.  I heard three more adult pigs (although I didn’t see them) at three different times further along the run route. This was my first big run with the Stryd Power Meter.

Wednesday, in the morning, I had a strength session with Kutz again. These are tough sessions where he has me lifting a lot of weight (far more than I would do if left to my own devices).  I did the Seated Row with 89.5kg for 3 sets of six reps; DB Row using 38kg for 3 sets of five reps.  For the Wide-Grip Seated Row I increased the weight up to 49.5kg from 47kg for the third set of twelve reps.  To finish with I did a 3 sets of 10 reps of 30kg BB Mil Press superset with 21kg Tricep Press Downs. I certainly feel the burn after these sessions.

I finished up a little early to pick up my new MtB from Kiwi Multisport. I then met my partner for a ride up Codger’s MtB Park in Nelson. She was getting ready for the Shred Like Girl Enduro on Sunday, so we rode up and then came down Firball, Hulk’n Hogan and out Crazy Horse. This bike is a little bit more aggressive than what I’m used to riding and the spacing between the gears is a bigger jump than I’m used to. It turns a lot more qwikker than my old bike. I’m not sure if that is due to dropping down to the 27.5″ wheels or if it’s to do with the geometry of the frame, but it’s something I need to get used to and adapt my riding style a little, as in today’s ride I found I kept turning too much especially when going around switchbacks. Regardless of how familiar I was with the bike I still managed to bang out 7 Strava PR’s!!!! This bike wants to fly and I need to learn how to let it.

Thursday was a busy day but I shot off at lunch time to ride in the Wither Hills, taking the Boardman for another blat. I climbed qwikly to the top and then zipped down Pamploma, setting another 5 Strava PRs in the 30mins I was riding!! I must point out that with the PRs I’ve set in the last two days they’ve been a good mix of both climbing PRs and downhill PRs, this bike is firing on all cylinders.

Friday saw me back in the Gym for the last training session with Kutz.  On Monday we will do some testing to see how much his programme has made me stronger. As this was the last session I was prepared to push things a bit harder, but before I did that I also wanted to get a run in.  The only time I could squeeze one in was first thing in the morning (Met Service were advising me the temperature felt like minus one!!). I wanted to push my running along and use my Stryd power meter to measure my performance and had decided to do a 30min Time Trial (TT) to see how far and hard I could push myself. So I started with a 15 minute Warm Up then ran for 30 minutes as hard as I could (15 minutes out then turn around and continue back for another 15 minutes), then cool down. My average power for the last 20 minutes of the TT was 328 Watts.

It was literally straight back and off to the gym. Maybe I was on a runners high as that was the first run that I’ve truly enjoyed since the Buller Marathon, but into the first set with Kutz, my ego got the better of me. I tried to boost the weight to over 100kg for six reps of the Lat Pull Down but my form was crap and Kutz insisted that I drop back to 99.5kg for the next two sets. For the Seated Row I stuck with the 89.5kg for the five reps in each of the three sets. I also kept the weights the same for the remaining exercises. Bent Over Row three sets of 12 reps of 50kg; then super set the Bench Press (three sets of 10x 50kg) with DB Mil Press (three sets of 10x 8.5kg). By the end of these sessions my arms are literally falling off and unable to lift the small 8.5kg dumbbells over head!!!

Saturday morning Rach and I got up and headed off to Codger’s again to join another friend to do some riding. We climbed up towards Turner’s, before descending down it and climbing up Take Me To Your Leader.  We then climbed some more to admire the view from the top of Top Dog. Descending down here I’d forgotten about the big drop, even seeing the Triple X sign didn’t trigger my memory until I followed Rach’s back wheel right off it. I had to hold on for the ride. Once at the bottom we then climbed all the way up to the top of Firball. This gave Rach the chance to practise the tracks for the Shred Like a Girl Enduro on the weekend. Next up was Hulk’n Hogan, and then we came down Lower Firball to finish off the tracks the Enduro would be run over. I’m starting to get the hang of this new Boardman bike and claimed another 8 Strava PRs.

Sunday I headed out to Rabbit Island to take on the Nelson Tri Club organised Shoe Clinic MtB Duathlon (whilst Rach went and did the Shred Like A Girl Enduro). The duathlon was run over a 4km opening run (two laps around a wee off road course), then a 20km MtB which wasn’t very technical as it was mainly on long straight forestry roads with a couple of short technical sections through the forestry, then finishing with another lap of the run to close out the event. Having not done much running lately and my fitness has wained since the Buller Marathon my plan was to cruise through the event. Haha, that is easier said than done when I stand on the start line. Although I didn’t take off I slowly built my pace in the opening run before riding hard on the bike and then hanging on in the closing run. On the bike I managed to pass a couple of people and had one guy catch me. I did everything I could to hold on to him through the last few kilometres of the bike and then managed to over take him on the run.

All this training this week saw my Critical Training Load (CTL) jump from 33.4 to 63.2 which I’m happy with.


Here is a link to last weeks Coach Ray’s Suffering:

Coach Ray’s Sufferings: Time To Get Some Consistency Back

Previous weeks of Coach Ray’s Suffering can be found here.


One Reply to “Coach Ray’s Sufferings: A New Bike & Back To Racing”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.