The better part of the last four weeks was designed to get me ready for our annual Blue Ridge Cycling Camp. This is an annual pilgrimage to the outstanding city of Boone North Carolina. There we ride like maniacs and have a ton of fun every evening.
Last year I was unable to ride at all. In fact, I was relegated to fighting with AnnieB over where to put the van seat so my knees wouldn't get crushed against the dashboard! I had a moment on the Day Two ride back from Mount Mitchell. I recognized the stretch of road we were riding on and how, last year, I was walking up and down that stretch of road just to get some exercise. Kinda humbling for sure.
The plan was to build up overall fitness with an emphasis on the bike. I still enjoy being a triathlete, even though camp requires significant cycling fitness I still wanted a balanced approach. To that end, I used all three disciplines as a resource and tried to keep them as consistent as possible.
I did a fair job of separating the run workouts to allow for recovery and keeping them in the 5 to 6 mile range. Over the course of the last month I've noticed the speed start to improve and discomfort post run to be less. I still need to ice my knee and do some flexibility work but overall things are going well.
As for the swim, I have continued to use my Vasa Ergometer as a great tool for building fitness. There is no substitute for getting in a great some work out in just 15 minutes a day. I know that swim work dryland works because I have definitely noticed an improvement not only in my swimming form but also the times on the clock. I'm excited to continue this experiment across the rest of the season.
The final aspect of training, and the most critical, was the bike. I started off at the beginning of the month doing quite a bit of intensity as a means of building up my strength. With the approach of the Blue Ridge camp I had to dial that is higher intensity efforts back and replace them with more volume. This is something that's very visible inside my performance manager chart from TrainingPeaks.com.
There were two main ways that I did this. First and foremost was our Sunday Zone Three ABP ride at 9 AM on Zwift. This is become an incredible resource for me and a whole lot of fun. For those of you who don't know's with, I really recommend you check it out. It's a great way to get in a trainer workout without ever feeling like you're on the trainer. Bonus if you can join us on Sundays as your teammates are there and we are texting and joking and riding together while the time kicks by. I promise you, once you hit the hour mark, the pain really starts to set in.
In addition to the Sunday workouts I was able to get out several times thanks to good weather for some longer rides. Prior to camp my longest ride is about 70 miles with minimal gain. But overall I had been building up my cycling fitness culminating in that 70 mile ride followed by 30 mile ride the next day as a swift race. For those of you who haven't raced on Zwift, it was just an insane insanely hard hour of riding!
Eighth Annual Blue Ridge Parkway Camp
Overall the Blue Ridge Parkway Camp was a total success. I was able to ride the long ride on the first three days. This gave me a total of just over 240 miles and 24,000 feet of climbing. It included our epic climb to the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest point on the eastern seaboard.
It was a blast being able to ride again with my friends and teammates, many of whom were gracious enough to wait for me only got to the top of every climb. And they ignored my multiple requests for additional SAG stops. :-)
By the end of the second day, which is 100 miles, I knew my legs were in trouble. I got it out on Saturday but was still pretty tired. By the time I went to bed on Saturday night I was starting to feel sick which was just as well… My left knee/hamstring was already pretty tight.
I ended up taking the fourth day off and I'm now gradually in recovery mode working back up to some basic training. T
At the present time it doesn't look like I'll be able to raise Rev3Quassy in June but I will certainly be there to support the Team. I'm going to continue my conscious build across the year with an eye towards Ironman Mont Tremblant as a return to racing event -- being competitive is a very distant goal.
As always, thanks for reading and I wish you the best of luck in your endurance journey!