May was a very productive month full of sports for me. In numbers I spent 40 hours doing some kind of exercise. Looking at my Strava stats I did 58 activities and covered over 720 km of distance. For the sake of self reflection and future improvement I want to recap on all the exercise I did in the past month and why I did it. This is my sports recap of May 2020.
Stable cycling effort
I spent most of the time on my bicycle. About 22 hours to be precise. Starting the month I clocked in most of the time on Zwift. The majority of it to complete the Crit Crusher workout plan I started end of March, including many sessions focused on building strength on the bike, sprinkling in short high sprint like efforts every now and then, something I do not do very often. It feels like the workouts were a success and my FTP has improved a bit. I have to do another FTP test soon for verification though.
While completing the workouts, I also participated in Zwifts 2020 Tour For All, an initiative to raise funds for Médecins Sans Frontières to fight the COVID-19 epidemic. Every participant counted to help this initiative raise more money. Due to a lack of time I could just complete three out of the five events, but it always feels good and motivating to participate in such big group rides. Some of them so motivating that I could put out some very good efforts I did not expect.
In the end of the month I also returned outside to do some longer and more relaxed rides to work on my basic endurance. I could have gone outside for a long time but I first wanted to get back a solid baseline of fitness on the bike again. Now I am pretty confident riding my bicycle over distances from 60 km up to 80 km, with a reasonable effort. It also comes hand in hand with winning back routines in times of this pandemic.
Running build up
For Running I spent almost 12 hours in May. I am slowly building up my running form from end of March. I want to take my time doing so. Reflecting on my latest longer distance triathlon events I may have spotted a common issue. When I start the run my body always seems to hit the brakes. It is much much harder for me to run in a long distance triathlon than in a single run event. Of course, it makes sense, because it is much more stress on the body in total.
My concern though is that my heart rate is quite high when I start the run in a triathlon and I could not bring it down in recent events even after many kilometers. This is far from ideal in long distance races like an Ironman or a marathon. It imposes even more stress on your body since it has to work harder to keep you moving. You also burn through a lot more energy which makes reasonable refueling during the race more harder. I can sustain a higher heart rate during a single run event but not in a triathlon event.
To improve on that I especially focused on training at a reduced heart rate in the past month and slowly ramping up the distance, doing a maximum of 10% running kilometers per week. In addition to that I am also paying more and more attention towards my running technique. How is my posture? Where do my foot lands? What are my arms doing? A lot of improvements on the long term agenda.
Need more strength
In addition to cycling and running I do exercises like stretching, Yoga and strength training. All these kinds of exercises are necessary for further developing the ability to run or ride longer distances faster and more efficiently. In total I just spent about 6 hours doing these supportive yet important forms of fitness building. To improve my performances and overall fitness my goal for next month is to further incorporate them into my training routine.
More stretching after or before running/cycling and doing strength workouts regularly could really benefit me a lot. You read and hear about it everywhere but until now I was mostly too lazy to do them. Just lying on the couch for the rest of the evening after doing cycling or running feels so much easier.
How do you include base fitness training into your routine? Do you have some workout suggestions? Comment below!