Mikes Middle Distance Magic: Is It Test Week Already?

It has been a bit up and down this week! After spotting at the weekend that Ray had put a couple of test sessions in I was like, “wow really” as I’ve been doing a lot of base building sessions in Zone 2, so I was a bit apprehensive as to how I’d do on these sessions. Well I had a mixed bag but I’m looking at the positives!

Saturday was my long bike, I did this on Saturday evening on the turbo. If you have been reading my blogs in the past I’ve been struggling with these long bike sessions. There is just something about being stuck in my garage that I just can’t get past! I did 80 minutes on the bike into a 3 hour ride and at that point had just had enough. My back was tight, my bum was killing me and I was pretty fed up! Mentally I just haven’t got around these sessions this winter and I am desperate to get the bike back out on the road. I messaged Ray saying, “I’ve called it a day!”. His response was, “Get back on and do another 15” haha. I needed that as I did get back on and I did manage another 25 minutes, although I was way down on the 3 hours this session should have been. But at least I got on and did slightly longer.

Sunday was my run test. Each test session for running I’ve been doing a 5km time trial. Well this one was no different, so I loaded my previous PB into my Garmin Forerunner and set off. I ran 8:01 per mile average last time 6 weeks ago so I had in my head that I would be happy with that and would at least start the first mile at that pace initially to see how it felt! Well I got a little bit “kiddy” and my first 5 minutes was at 7:15 per mile pace! I actually felt surprisingly good, but thought there was no way I was going to hold that for another 2.5 miles. I backed off a little and tried to hold on as best as I could. It was massively motivating on the watch to see my little stick man creeping into a pretty comfortable lead going into my last half mile. So despite my lungs feeling they were about to explode I kept pushing to a massive PB for me of 1 minute better for my 5km TT and by far my all-time PB of 23:57. I’ve broke the 24minute barrier! So things definitely started well!

Monday was my long run and it went pretty well. I’m pretty happy with how my running is going at the moment. After the PB the previous day I’ll be honest and admit my legs were pretty tired, but I got out and pretty much smashed this one. I was right on target pace and with 4 stride out sections at the end of the run I had a strong finish!

Now Tuesday my legs were gone, so I was glad the flexibility session was next. Then Wednesday was here and FTP time! These are always daunting and my legs were still aching, but I give it my best go! I averaged 241w resulting in a 229w ftp. This is down on my all-time best FTP of 247w back in November and was pretty much exactly the same as my test back in December. At first I was pretty disappointed with this thinking I’d not progressed at all. And what do I expect really! I’ve been either missing or cutting my bread and butter session short all winter! Well my TT bike will be having a service in the next few weeks and I’ll be back on the road, hopefully with massive motivation and unleashing some watts and improvement as the season progresses. One solace I did take from this test compared to my test in December is I’m 2.5kg lighter, therefore my watts per kg have gone up from 2.8 to 2.88! I’ll take it, progress is progress and I’m still way better than I was leading into the 2018 season.

– Mike Catton

Mike is training for some triathlons and half Ironman in 2019. Check in next Monday for his next article about his training journey.

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