The Debt Bank and Data

A few weeks ago I hit fatigue, and now I'm turning that corner.   So I thought I'd write a little about "the corner."   There are two metrics I usually work off - the data in Golden Cheetah/VV and my RPE (aka "the feels").  Although my stupidity often appears to be just stupidity, passion and "just doing it" I usually work off both the numbers and my feelings.   I'm a scientist, I test, see the results, learn, work out the next step.

Fluctuations in performance.

Earlier in the year, I felt good and was building on the way to Eds-Lon.   I could afford to slash and burn, spend and reap the investments, recover, come back stronger and then repeat and repeat and repeat.   When I overtrained and fatigued, it hit me but I recovered.  Post Ed-Lon, I eased off and my form dropped.   I did London, Rise Above, explored the Peak etc but I didn't need to be at the same level.  I got a little frustrated in the autumn, so re-upped the training through October and November and felt good but my slash and burn was lower, my recovery not as fast and the weather became harder.   the bank account was healthy/improving but not at the astronomical rate of Jan-July.

When I started to fatigue, it was like the bank account was getting low and payout for investments were small for small gains.  Add weather, the flue, lung infections and other factors and once the bank account gets to little more than enough to pay the bank fees, fatigue kills you.  If I'd gone into hard training, or done some of the rides I'd like to have done, I would have gone overdrawn and get hit by the overdraft fees.  That sucks and would kick back my 2017 plans.

Last week I did 90 minutes on Zwift/Sufferfest to sound out how much was in the account with the health I was in.   90 minutes was about my limit before the legs said no.   A week ago I couldn't have done what I did last week.

This last week, my immune system has fought back, the weather improved and last night I worked out off data and RPE that I could risk going deeper into my reserves without hitting the overdraft.   If the payout brought back investment for future use, then it would be worth it.  And last night paid off - I went deeper, but the payback tomorrow will be felt and will contribute to the next week, month and year.   I'm still way below what I was, but I'm now ahead of where I was last week.

The reality TV effect.

If you watch a reality TV show, you see highlights of hours of footage.   If you watch the tour de France, you see 3 weeks of 52 weeks of training and racing.

When I was discussing this last night with Mrs Stav, something which I often forget is the longevity of what my body has been through.   I use the data so see what form I'm in, where I'm going or the next step based on previous weeks and months.   My current 10,000 mile target isn't the October - 31st December challenge I think it is but something I started (unwittingly) January 1st.   Ed-Lon was a crazy idea in October 2015 and executed over 8 months, but realistically, it was two and a half years of training when you look back at my progression.  A 110 km Wednesday night training ride isn't just "another ride," it fits into a much larger overall data set, training and maintenance plan that I manage with data tools as well as the passion of cycling.

Just that not everyone sees that when the smelly cycling commutor turns up at the office each day.


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