The academy is over. Long live the academy.
In the last few weeks I slipped out of the academy with great strides and slid into the winter weeks. After two months of many workouts on the treadmill and even more hours on the trainer, it’s time to go outside again. And outside for longer runs especially.
In the training plan, the academy is followed by a base program for a better 2021. Because this year neither knees, calves, nor anything else in the running muscles should be unprepared. For me that means: Long Run Prep 2021. You can read about what this has to do with the academy and which workouts are now on the agenda in this last blog in regards to the active academy period.
The Academy: A Summary in One Act
5 cycling workouts, 5 running workouts and one race each. That was the composition for this year. I started with the first run outside on the street in October. The reason for this was that I didn’t have a treadmill available. But thanks to perfect support, I was able to go through the whole thing easily. Zwifting on the street is possible. A whole new dimension to collect XP and running kilometers on Zwift.
That was also the only workout outside, as I was able to use an indoor treadmill from the second running workout on. The sensor on the treadmill tends to show too little and at a given pace of >19kmh on Zwift, the treadmill could not keep up. Accordingly, I first “fulfilled” the workouts and after a while switched to the Zwift Run Pod. It is also very imprecise, but shows a little more KMH. So for me a positive inaccuracy. (The Run Pod can only be calibrated up to 17.x km / h. Workouts with> 20kmh pace were on the program).
So the units on the treadmill added up. On the trainer, the topic was “Business as Usual” compared to the treadmill. For me that means: trainer plugged in, computer on and off my wild ride towards the Academy Tri Team 2021 did go. To be a little better in the workouts and to kick higher avg-watts, I have set my FTP to 350 watts. And even with that FTP, all of the workouts went through smooth. (The Zwift workouts are derived as a percentage of the specified FTP value. The higher the FTP, the higher the intervals intensity).
I wrote about the races in an earlier blog. Stop by here (Racing Days) again to see my pain sessions.
Enough time to shoot again
Right from the start, it was clear to us – my coach and me – that we would have enough time to do certain workouts again. The races in the first week of December were planned in such a way that there would be enough recovery for a second attempt, if there would have been any bad racing days. After both races went near to perfect in the first attempt, we didn’t have to worry about that anymore. But the next three weeks shouldn’t be wasted either.
So use the Zwift food pod and do the workouts again. Again and with a faster set 5k PB in my Zwift Settings. Because also when running, the speed ranges are derived from the times entered on Zwift. My aim was to achieve a higher or the same speed with a lower hearthrate.
It was definitely a tough challenge. Four weeks is simply too short a time for such significant improvements. So in the end it was three more runs with a higher speed and mostly a higher pulse. I hope that the best sets will be considered for the selection in the end and I did very well with a 4.00 or faster average.
Out of the academy, into your running shoes
I laid the foundation for an academy place for myself. Now it’s up to Zwift to choose who can present themselves. And so that I can get a Hawaii qualification and earn my place in the team, I am now starting long-run training.
As the followers who have been with me for longer know, I had problems with my knee in May and June. As a preventive measure, my coach and I work out a stable running basis over the 3 weeks of Christmas with the few contacts and obligations due to “the Rona”. And along the way, I will achieve my mini goal of 1500km running in 2020.
We are now increasing the KM from 50 to 60 to 70 per Week. We repeat that a few times until the long-distance-specific preparation for Ironman Estonia on August 7th starts. A few blocks with longer runs in the dark are still ahead of me in the coming weeks. If anyone of you has a recommendation for a headlamp, I would be very grateful for the information. Please feel free to write directly below.
Now for me it means: wait for an email from Zwift, prepare for 2021 and continue to train hard. And to get you in the mood, I linked my application video from last year for you. Because not much has changed for 2021, except for the year. (ps. Alp du Zwift is still the best route).
All the best, and if you have them: A few relaxing days and a happy new year in 2021. Your Tom