Oops, I did it again…

This time though, it was actually an experiment. My wonderfully kind cuppie team mate wrote me a bike training program to lead me up to Challenge Wanaka in Feb. I thought it looked a bit ambitious to be honest, but you never know until you try it. I can indeed confirm it was a bit too ambitious!

I wrote a blog last week referring to the fact that I was now ready to attempt structured training, and that I would hold myself accountable by regularly posting about it. Well, here is how this week went.

The Plan

Monday run intervals

Tuesday Rest

Wednesday Zwift 40km

Thursday rest

Friday swim

Saturday Parkrun

Sunday outside ride 45km

That is more exercise in a week than I have done for a long long time. But, you don’t know till you try do you?

What I actually did

Monday 45 x 5 x2 treadmill intervals

Tuesday 20 min Zwift ride – abandoned

Wednesday 40km Zwift

Thursday rest

Friday swim 2000m

Saturday Parkrun / 45km outside ride

Sunday rest

I did in fact manage to complete it all, however it was just a bit too much in the end and it almost completely wiped me out for all of Sunday.

The Tuesday ride started out as a super easy ride. But, it turned into something completely opposite to this which I knew was a bad idea so I stopped the ride.

Wednesday’s indoor Zwift ride was the longest ride I have done indoors on the TT bike (unassisted). It was suuuuper hard on me and I had to get off and rest my left leg a number of times. At the time, I accepted this ok, as I know my left leg’s capacity is significantly impaired. However, what I do know on reflection is that I just do not have the capacity to do that type of ride unassisted and this was therefore way too hard and unsustainable.

NOTE TO SELF: indoor rides therefore need to be around 1/2 the distance of outdoor rides.

Friday I was in Dunedin so I swam my 2000m at St Clair pool. No problems here. The exciting thing is I am waiting for some FORM googles to arrive, which will enhance my swimming sessions immensely. They have a digital display inside the lens and the ability to give you data moment by moment. I am hoping this will enhance my swimming by giving me some structure and pacing to the swims instead of just swimming up and down, which is what I do at the moment.

St Clair Saltwater pool, Dunedin

Saturday is parkrun day. I took the day chair this time, with mountain bike wheels. The track is still not suitable for the racing chair, I discovered having tried it last week. The pace was a really easy roll, what I would consider to be walking pace type effort. This was deliberate.

Photo courtesy of Invercargill parkrun

It was a beautiful day on Saturday, no wind, sunny and warm. The forecast did not say the same for Sunday though (which was forecast for strong winds). So I decided to do my long ride on Saturday after I got home, which would give me Sunday as a rest day.

I rode a local loop which is relatively flat (300m of elevation in total). It was not till I was actually out on the road riding this that I remembered that this was my longest ride on the run up to the Oxman last year. But, it didn’t exactly end as planned though. 5km or so from the end of the ride my bike threw up a fault warning and the battery assist stopped working. Now, I did in fact have a spare battery with me but I knew I wasn’t far from home so I wanted to see if I could make it under my own steam. I passed the last junction and was almost back…

Then it suddenly dawned on me.

I had it in my mind that the Oxman had been a middle distance race. It in fact wasn’t at all. It was 1900m swim and 46km ride. The gravity of what I am attempting with Challenge Wanaka then really hit me.

Out on my long ride on Saturday

This was week 1 of a 12 week training plan leading me up to the race. Week 1 has started with a ride that was the equivalent of the longest ride I did on the lead up to the Oxman.


Yep, this goal is a massive massive one. So I need to be sensible and realistic (and smart) about what I am able to achieve in training.

Alterations to the plan for next week

Next weeks plan was supposed to be the same again. But, I now know that doing it all the same way simply would be stupid of me.

Learnings and adaptations

  • Run intervals are less important so I am taking them back out for now
  • Indoor riding is massively harder for me so that really should be at least half the distance or duration of the outdoor rides.
  • If my battery craps out again, I should seriously consider calling in help in the way of a lift from OH. That last 5km took so much more out of me than I ever imagined.
  • parkruns need to all be easy paced from now on.
  • I NEED two rest days a week and need to be careful not to do legs based exercises two days running.

Here’s to week 2! So please please consider sponsoring me no matter how small… this is a gigantic goal and those disabled children need our help.



Author: Melanie

I am a massage therapist and part time athlete, blogging life thru a disability lens. On wheels, with flipper and occasionally on feet.

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