Training – tcr#6

Training Plan for tcr#6

ie what’s the plan for the next 20 weeks?

Basic Week

Things have been going well since I got that fateful email from Anna Transcontinental, that informed my bottom its due 2 weeks of severe pain in August.

I now have a basic week that I’ve (sort of) hit for the last 3 weeks.  But what’s a basic week I hear you cry?

It’s a concept I picked up from my ironman training, especially taken from the early blogs of Gordo Byrn, (search gTips, 4 pillars etc), but also how I trained when coached by Steven Lord.  The idea is that you cannot crank it for 20-30 weeks – you will get bored, burnt out or broken.  8-10 weeks of really really hard work is possible but is really difficult.  Instead the best gains in aerobic fitness and endurance come from consistent work over as long a period as possible.  Therefore how do you do as much work as possible over that 20 week period – you build a repeatable week’s training that you can achieve for 18 out of that 20 weeks.

Its surprisingly hard to do.

It needs to be realistic, and achievable in week 1 and also in week 19. Its mandatory to over plan when first doing this – you can’t help to be optimistic.  A plan where you skip 40% of sessions is not a plan, its wishful thinking.
It needs to have room to grow.  Key long rides will move from 4 hrs to 6 hrs as a regular ride, to 8 becoming normal. See above.  Its too easy to overplan so you get to the weekend and am too tired to hit the key sessions of the week.
It needs variety But I just want to ride!

My Basic Week Structure.

Its built around my bike commute.  This is a 28k ride across central London.  Its not ideal – I would prefer a 28k loop on country roads instead of 28k with constant traffic lights every 400m.  However Its harder work constantly getting up to speed again  🙂

  • Riding every day (almost) just seems a good thing to do.
  • Time in the saddle is still time on the saddle.  My bottom needs to htfu
  • Its time efficient training, leaving my marriage intact by the end of the tcr 🙂
  • Its more hours spent at a MAF heart rate, (see later blog post for wtf this is).  The rides are therefore at a steady pace, at a HR of 130.


Its essential otherwise the body does not respond to the training and get stronger – it just gets ground down.  Its hard to have the confidence to do no training for a whole day every week – its 15% of the time I have available!!! And I’ve got so much fitness to regain.

However, I read the maxim of ‘an day off a week’, a week off a month, a month off a year’ (maybe Joe Friel?) and I am sticking to that.

I take Friday off.

  • It means I am fresher and more enthusiastic for my weekend rides. They are the most important rides of the week.
  • It means I have permission to myself to go out on a Friday evening, (marriage happiness again 🙂  )
  • It gives me a target on the dark Wednesday morning. Only 2 days to a day off 🙂


2 a week.  These are my intensity sessions where I get stronger or faster, or build more power.  I have the program of turbos, (that I did not do) from when I was coached for tcr in 2015.  I’ve dusted those off and will hit them every week.

Weekend rides

I will start with an easy 3 hr ride on a Saturday, and a longer 4-5 hr ride on a Sunday

I aim to build to 2 * 200k rides, (8 hrs each) each weekend.  6 hr rides should become nothing special.  A 200k ride should become my normal training ride.

It’s a big ask, but that’s where I was last time, and where I need to get back to

These rides will be at a HR of 130.  Ideally this is max, but I need everything to get up some hills.  Its easy to crank it at a HR of 150 in the first hour.  Its hard to hit 130 after 6 hrs.  Therefore I have to go easy on the way out, when 130 bpm feels very easy.  130bpm will be hard after 6 hours.

Yoga.  (Ashtanga or power yoga)

I enjoy it.  It’s a total, utter bastard of a session.  I find it helps me maintain a level of flexibility and overall body strength.  My hamstrings love me for it.

Strength work.

I want to do 2 sessions but don’t know where to fit these in.  I have a nice functional, body weight session I enjoy.  It leaves me broken the first time I do it till I build up strength.
I want to add squats / kettle bells / dead lifts in.  Everyone tells me I should be doing some as I am over 50 and I am doing non impact endurance training.
I don’t know where to fit this in


I would love to get 2 runs a week in, (ideally lunch time runs) just to keep my hand in, give some variety / cross training.  However, I am also looking after my knee, and if its niggly, then I won’t run.
However, I feel I am behind on my route planning, and I am enjoying my lunchtime route planning sessions.

I don’t know where to fit any runs in, so they are not in my basic week at the moment


I feel good when I actually swim, but struggled to hit more than 1-2 sessions a week when I was actually ironman training.  I’ve not scheduled any sessions.

Big Sessions

  • A training camp in Lanza – 6 days of as much base training as possible. Ideally 6*150 k a day but lets see how it goes
  • Easter – 4 * 150k days – I’ve not planned this yet so lets see how this goes
  • Tour of wessex – May – 3-4 days 200k a day
  • Alps trip June – 6 days of 150k a day, alpine climbing. This is combined with 6 days kayaking on the mornings


  • I have no holiday left at work.
  • I need to be on support with work every 4-6 weeks.  This makes it hard to ride at the weekends as I need to be in 4g area and carry a laptop. Rural Essex in the rain is not a good idea. Zwift is an answer.
  • I am committed to going on kayaking trips every 4-6 weeks,as part of a buildup to a summer alps trip
  • I traditionally get shattered/ run out of mojo in June.  I need to keep going through June/July this time. However, starting later may well help.
  • I am 83kg.  I was 76kg on the last race.  I am removing sugar, bread, processed food etc from my diet.  I will be eating a lot of veg. If I can get back down to 73kg I would be very happy.  Getting up hills with the extra lard is a bit of an issue.

My Basic Week

Achievable, repeatable, sustainable, progressive

Day Description
Saturday Key Session – medium ride
Sunday Key Session – long ride
Mon bike commute into work, (28k)
yoga at lunch
bike commute home, (28k)
Tue bike commute into work, (28k)
bike commute home, (28k)
Key Session – evening turbo – big gear work or Zwift ride
Wed Optional 60 min zwift ride, or extend commute
bike commute into work, (28k)
bike commute home, (28k)
Thu Optional 90 min zwift ride, or extend commute
bike commute into work, (28k)
bike commute home, (28k)
Key Session – evening turbo, intervals 
Friday recovery day so no riding

Training Overview

Build to be able to knock off 6 hr rides without thinking about it
Then build to 200k ride
Then build to 2 * 200k rides per weekend

Repeatable weeks beat a 600k weekend then nothing all week as I am broken.

Month Details
February ommfg – I’m in!
start riding!

Base training, complete a weeks commuting
start riding at the weekends
March Everyday Training Camp – 6 days riding in Lanzarote
Aiming for 150k on the bike each day with as much climbing as possible
 April Easter Long weekend – 4 days on the bike.
Essex spring lambs – 210k day
May Great Escape Audax – 240k day
Tour of Wessex, then ride home.  4*200k
 June Kayak trip to the alps, 7 days riding each afternoon / evening in the alps – 🙂
 July final prep
 August  race time!

Actual Training

Week Details Hrs / Max ride
 T – 22 w/c 24 Feb Oh fuck I’m in
Kayak trip to Dartmoor, so did a 100k loop in the wind
13 hrs
 T – 21 w/c 03 Mar 5.5 hrs of Zwift at the weekend
Beast from the East, so snow all week, so lots of turbos
13 hrs
 T – 20 w/c 10 Mar 7 hrs zwift riding at the weekend.
Basic week of riding
18 hrs
5.5 hr zwift ride
 T – 19 w/c 17 Mar  Everyday Training Lanza Camp – a big week 34 hrs, 175k ride
 T – 18
 T – 17
 T – 16
 T – 15
 T – 14
 T – 13
 T – 12
 T – 11
 T – 10
 T – 9
 T – 8
 T – 7
 T – 6
 T – 5
 T – 4
 T – 3
 T – 2
 T – 1
 race day

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