Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AIS Track : 5 x 100m, 5 x 200m Strides

My first day back home. Two runs with a morning loosener on Mount Painter with Bella. In the afternoon (after a nap) a strides session at the track.

The set: 4.5km warm up, 5 x 100m with jog back recovery including stretching on steeple (19.2, 18.5, 18.1, 17.3, 15.9) ; 5 x 200m with 200m jog recovery including stretching on steeple (35.1, 35.1, 34.2, 32.9, 32.9) ; 4.5km warm down.

With all the efforts I just let the speed come as I warmed up and stretched more. A 15+ and 32+ effort was what I was looking for, something around 85% effort without getting injured.

This week I get to practice my final training schedule leading up to World Masters Athletics Championships in Lyon 2015 (almost exactly one year away). Travel is a major stress in itself and an airline cold more than possible. I am very interested in strides either the day I arrive or the day after in Paris 2015 and how to keep it together for two weeks without losing race fitness.

My four loose rules for a full 10 day taper are: Begin to reduce training volume and set volume by one-third 10 days from Championships ; last very hard session one week before race ; last hard session three days before race ; don't reduce intensity. There are lots of ways to get this outcome through sessions. It's more important for me to listen to the body and adjust. I like the last hard session to be at the same pace as my first race of the championships or slightly quicker and only around one-fifth of race distance.

I've booked all hotels for World Masters Athletics 2015 now. The basic plan: Arrive in Paris with two nights central Paris (watch final stage Tour de France) ; Move to Annecy for taper camp ; Move to Lyon for championships arriving morning prior to first race (on following day). If Minnie can make it we go to Saint Malo for a one week holiday after (yep booked that too, ocean view en plage).

So back into it for me. Next stop a few hard sessions to get ready for City2Surf. Will keep the volume up around 120-130km for the week and only do a mini-three day taper prior to the race but will still get to two-third volume by day of City2Surf.

Keith did 6,5,4,3,2,1 minute session after an easy week post ACT Masters XC Championships. I caught up with Maria, Roger, Gabe and Tori after track, saw Roger Rabbot on way to track, will catch up with Steve and Jane in coming days.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Roissy CDG : Long Run

Today a long run from the Ibis at Roissypole, through the service town Le Mesnil Amelot and into the wheat and corn fields and (as I newly discovered)an orchard. Half the run was directly under the landing flight path which made interesting viewing. 75 minutes all up.

That's it for us. We miss the parade in Paris catching our plane at noon before the race even starts.

Next year I can't say, but likely to include only the final stage of Tour de France. If things go to plan we will stay in Paris on the final weekend of the 2015 Tour de France. On the Monday we pick up the car and drive to Annecy for my taper camp of one week. We will buy two bicycles and not drive. Following week we drive to World Masters Athletics in Lyon. When I finish my three races drive to Saint Malo and stay for one week. Then back to Paris and home...that's the plan.

Vatan : 4 x 2 minutes

An early morning run in Vatan. Ran for an hour surrounded by sunflowers and wheat. The roads were narrow and almost completely traffic free. Found an undulating straight section and ran as hard as I could four times (which took 2 minutes), only allowed less than 1 minute recovery.

At the airport now so the run will be from here, an easy 30 minutes or so after watching the time trial. The fight for minor placings with the French in contention will be something worth watching.

Yesterday in Bergerac was full of thunderstorms. We decided to make pique nique in the car. The caravan pass made it just in time for the fourth or fifth storm. It was just plain raining when the riders passed. Strangely it cleared up as soon as the race was over.

We lingered in Perigueux cleaning the car and then discovered they would close the freeway entry/exit for the whole of today. We scouted the finish and then decided to abandon the tour for good and go to the airport, staying overnight car style in a rest stop.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bergerac : Perigueux : Paris : Home

The last days for us here. Today we wake up in Saint Emilion and travel to Bergerac for the stage finish. After the race on towards Perigueux for the final time trial. At some point during the morning of the time trial we will jump on the peage and head for Paris and the CDG Ibis where we usually stay, drop off the car. One night there and we head for home.

I will attempt to fit in three more long days of training before the flight home. It will just be runs cobbled together where I can. 18km a day has been normal for here since recovering from a chest infection.

All up for this trip to Tour de France 13 stage visits plus a rest day in Carcassonne. That takes our total to 103. We only started counting when we realised this year we would reach 100 and wanted to mark the moment. We will stop counting again.

Saint Lary : Saint Emilion

Our third night in a car park in Saint Lary. Last evening an operatic style concert was the sound to sleep by or not. In the morning an easy 55 minute run. This evening I will try for another 30 minutes although my eye is weeping from a big squirt of washing liquid in it.



The drive from Saint Lary to Saint Emilion could have been 30 minutes quicker. A motorhome driver got stuck in a tunnel despite all the size precautions the township could take. We did a quick u-turn and followed a local. Next problem was my ongoing argument with the SatNav. I've long since given up on relying on it (instead some google maps research and a photographic memory a former orienteer develops). Still the heart was in the mouth until I spiked the Motel. I did take a quick deviation down a line of grapes off the beaten track to right the situation.

Tmoz on to Bergerac for the stage finish...one more night sleeping in the Citroen C3 Picasso.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Saint Lary Soulan Pla dÁdet : Strength Hills

Tried to check into the new hotel in Carcassonne on Monday noon...they lost my booking!! No panic, I slept in the car for a couple of hours, supermarket car park. When Minnie was done with the walled Cite we moved on to Saint Lary Soulan.

As it turned out we parked our car on the side of the course in town and a quiet little spot (at night anyway, but not last night, a concert). We ate pizza for the fifth straight night, drank nice red wine and marvelled at the fountain and the every changing colours and volume of thrust into the night sky.

At 4am I temporarily misplaced the car key. We spent an hour looking for the little thing. Having found it we went back to sleep in the car and woke up to the sound of people racing to the shops open at 830am.

Up the mountain. I ran along the course and after 2km started the ascent of Pla DÁdet, 10km at 9% average gradient starting at 800m asl, rising to 1680m asl. It was a leisurely run up hill. I was taking photos of parapenting, the camping cars lined on the route (not many, nowhere to park), saying bonjour to the French, bravo to the Spanish. One bravo went to Mr Spanish riding Orbea and dressed in full kit, passing me as I took a photo. That was it, game changer. Next minute I was at just below my maximum threshold some 15-20 metres back. For me it wasn't a race...I had no intention of passing him. I just sat there and relaxed, running at around 4:30/km, faster on the flatter sections, slower on the steep pinches. The image doesn't show a false flat just after Soulan or the downhill in the 8th kilometre where I got to.

We travelled in convoy for the next 6km. He could sense me there and tried to drop me on the flats several times. I just ran my tempo and he came back to me...eventually he cracked. The pace slowed so much I was nowhere near threshold. I stopped, took a photo of my Spanish friend and let him ride off, just 2km shy of the summit. I retraced my steps back down the mountain slowly but faster than I went up. 97 minutes for the morning. Another 17 minutes in the afternoon.

Minnie and I took a sky gondola back to the top a few hours later 5 euro each and a bargain. We walked around, took in the views and back down on gondola again.

In town we found tv outside a bar and watched Michael Rogers grab a win on Bagneres de Luchon. Then a second run, more pizza and wine.

Today is just plain crazy all over town and on the mountain. Two bus full of Gendarme left for up the course at 7am. I ran an easy 60 minutes this morning, another 30 or so will be done after the tour. Big screen tv in town. Still tempted to do Gondola to the top for the vibe or escape the vibe down here.

Maybe Pau for the start tmoz. I am more tempted straight on to St Emilion.

Sitting on 130km+ for this week but wishing for more speed work. Will have to wait until I get home as usual.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tu Seras Mon Fils (You will be my son) ; 4 x Power Hills

The theme of wine and movie film locations continues for this year and our Tour de France. On Thursday we will stay in Saint Emilion where 'Tu Seras Mon Fils' was shot. What I loved about this movie aside from the clever drama and script was the real son checking the vines while running. We don't have to miss any of the tour as it is quite near Bergerac, the finish on Friday.

What we do need is a choice or decision of what to see, logistics, escape plan for the next days. Anything up a mountain is problematic due to evacuation of the riders, teams and spectators cause huge traffic jams into the next morning...decision taken to spend another night here in Carcassonne, watch start, travel to Saint Lary for the mountain top finish, then onto Saint Emilion (probably skipping Pau-Hautacam stage)

Most of the teams are here in Carcassonne for the rest day. Cannondale, BMC and AG2R I spied on morning run including 4 x 75 second power hills.