Morning all, thought it was an appropriate time for a blog as, while today isn't the end of my winter break, it is the beginning of the week that will be. Got it? What I mean is on the 1st of December it is time to train again!
After a bit of light turboing (not training, I was just playing on some VR software, more on this later), I'm told by my Garmin it will be 27 hours before I have recovered based on my HR variability. Clearly it has been a long off season (since the 4th of October actually) and I am more than a bit unfit.
With my ankle looking like a bit of a nasty injury which was going to stop me racing again this year I decided to knock everything on the head and chill for the 8-10 weeks I was told it would take to recover. I had a couple of objectives in this rest period 1) gain some weight 2) improve my sleep hygiene. I've managed both of these to a degree along with being the most relaxed about not training that I can ever recall. It has been great.
I feel fresh, like zinging fresh, I don't ache at all, I actually sleep until my alarm goes off (when I have set one anyway) and the worrying hollows in my legs have filled in. I've gained just under 4kg, about half of which has been muscle mass and improved the deep sleep I am getting from a matter of minutes per night up to 2+ hours.
What have I been doing in this time? Rock climbing quite a bit which has been fun as my long term (like 20 years now!) climbing partner was in the UK, he normally lives in Thialand, and Vicky was also climbing regularly. It was satisfying how quick it came back. From laughably weak to climbing the hardest down the wall (a subjective measure I'll grant you but then I don't have any climbing goals these days) in the space of about 10 visits, not too shabby.
I've been intermittent in my rehab, maybe 2-3 sessions a week working on my hips and back. Lots of work with the physio and sports therapist on my ankle. Things improved quickly at first but have stagnated recently. It no longer interferes with cycling but I'm not running yet and while I can swim it is particularly good for it.
I got back on the bike in the past 2-3 weeks, short rides purely for pleasure with nothing even remotely hard. A coffee run here, a trip out to watch a local CX race there, that sort of thing. I've also been getting up to speed with where interactive training has got to. With me wintering in Spain I am fortunate not to really need it but I wanted to know what was available and what worked so I could talk to my coaching clients about it. For me interactive or VR training has finally reached a point were it is more than just a gimmick and can genuinely add something to indoor training. Good software combined with a power meter makes the prospect of a couple of hours on the turbo a lot more appealing than it was a few years ago and is really going to help a lot of peoples motivation to train.
I had a great day out at the A1 Multisport open day as they became the first DASSI dealer in the North of the UK. As ever it was nice to meet up with the DASSI crew, Stuart and Tom in this case, and especially as I didn't have to make a 10 hour round trip to Hampshire do it!
So there we go. 1 more day of chill time before I'm back on it. I have enjoyed the rest and feel better for it but it is definitely time to train!
Hope everyone is having a good winter so far and take care out there.
Hi, I'm Ali. I like riding bikes and coaching people to achieve their athletic goals. I've been coaching for more than 10 years now and have never failed to make an athlete faster (I can't quite believe this myself either). I used to race bikes, triathlon and in 2014 I broke 9 vertebrae and my skull. Follow my journey here and on Twitter.