Sixty Hour Week

60HrWkI record my “weeks” from Monday to Sunday and though on the odd occasion I’ve exceeded 60 hours in a 7 day period I’ve never managed it for a “week”. Never till now ! Some may think it bonkers to do this sort of volume but boy oh boy was it great fun. How often do you get so much time to just indulge yourself doing what you enjoy. I feel very lucky and am making sure I enjoy it. I think it’s the first time I’ve had my biggest volume immediately before my taper. This is bigger than Epic camp. Look at the graph above the peak early in the year is Epic Camp and the one at the end is this week. So not only is the volume higher but the load is more (a measure of volume and intensity) and the strain is way more which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Whether this is / was the right thing to do is a topic for another post for now I just want to enjoy the moment. The fantastic feeling of tiredness which comes from this sort of volume. Laying down on my bed each night is such a pleasure. Getting back to the roots of this blog I’m going to detail how the week panned out.


Monday (9h14)

Start with a swim. 6.2k set in 2h06.

Main set of 20 x 100m off 2:00 hard efforts (hit all 1:15 to 1:18. NB 50m pool.) Warm up and cool down included bands and paddle work.

2h47 full body gym. In general my gym sessions are about 1:15 of upper body, about an hour core and the rest legs. I intersperse the core work throughout with the biggest chunk between upper and lower body. Do upper body first legs last. It’s just habit.

3.25 hour 44 mile easy ride. Just spun. Should have been shorter but wanted to get to PdC.

1.1 hr aqua jog

Tuesday (8h15)

Started with a swim again. 1.2k warm up then main set of:

  • 600m off 9:00; 6 x 100m off 1:45
  • 500m off 7:30; 5 x 100m off 1:45
  • 400m off 6:00; 4 x 100m off 1:45
  • 300m off 4:30; 3 x 100m off 1:45
  • 200m off 3:00; 2 x 100m off 1:45
  • 800m swim down. Total 6k, 1h43

After leisurely breakfast it was nice to be able to head out for an interval session with Jo. 4.8 hr 76 mile bike including 4 x (15 minute Oly effort, 5 min easy). Hilly ride to and from intervals.

1.7 hr aqua jog (kind of a brick)


Started with 1.25 hr aqua jog

2h56 gym

Nice sun tan swim (ie middle of the day). 7k 2h03 made up of:

  • 1k swim
  • 1k pull buoy
  • 1k pull buoy + paddles
  • 1k pull buoy, paddles + band
  • 1k paddles + band – this tends to be tough.
  • 1k paddles – this one is a hard effort. By now I tend to have a real feel for the water and with the release of no band this rep can feel great.
  • 1k swim

3.7 hr 56 mile hilly ride. Out over Fire Mountain, 2 reps of Fermes (to roundabout) ~20 mins, back over fire mountain

Thursday (10h11)

Started with 6k 1h47 swim session. Main set:

  • 20 x 50m on 50s
  • 12 x 150m on 2:30 as (4 as first 50 individual medley (IM) order, 4 as second 50 IM order, 4 as last 50 IM order)
  • 20 x 50m, first 10 on 50s second 10 on 45s

Monster ride – out to Tabayesco, 5 reps of the climb and back ….”SIMPLES”.

The final rep had my legs screaming for mercy. I treated myself to a cappuccino at the top after the final one. [right is a piccie down towards Famara on my way home] Then as I came through Soo within 5 mins freewheel of home I decided I should have another go at the freewheel challenge. So I TT”d round to Tinajo. Thought it was good to see how the legs responded to a balls out effort after 7.5 hours hard riding. Seemed OK. Didn’t manage the freewheel though as there was a  strong headwind. Ended up 8h12 and 114 miles. It was a pretty efficient ride as the elapsed time was just under 8h30.

Ran straight off the bike for a whopping 12 minutes. Wanted to test the foot (as Gabriel advised) – doing it after such a big ride seemed a good idea on 2 counts:

  1. test whether I could run off the bike, And;
  2. being tired would stifle any over enthusiasm

It worked. Steady 12 minutes with no discomfort. If I could run the whole marathon at that pace I’d be a happy sausage.

Friday (9h28)

Ended up spending the best part of six and a half hours in the pool today !

Started with a easy swim first thing. 3k 64 mins – some butterfly drill (inspired by yesterdays IM set), crawl drill and some IM (a 200 and a 400).

Just over 3 hours in the gym. Upper body felt tired but lower body on fire ! Slightly longer session due to some exercises scott suggested to augment my aqua jogging. Alway add extra exercises but can never bring myself to remove any.

After lunch I did my 7k tanning set in 2h10. Little slower than last time partly due to some backstroke in warm up and swim down.

Followed this with a 3h08 aqua jog “long run”. It was hard. Mixed it up with some intervals of very fast leg turnover and some of very long exaggerated turnover. Walking was interesting immediately after.

Saturday (8h55)

As ever start with a swim. This time did a 500m warm up then main set of:

  • 6 x 50m on 50s; 5 x 100m on 1:40; 4 x 150m on 2:30; 3 x 200m on 3:20; 2 x 250m on 4:10
  • 1 x 300m on 5:00
  • 2 x 250m on 4:10; 3 x 200m on 3:20; 4 x 150m on 2:30; 5 x 100m on 1:40; 6 x 50m on 50s
  • 800m swim down. 6.6k in 1h56

Swimming much quicker on the way up (2nd half). First half just doing under 1:30 pace, in second under 1:25 pace.

Nice relaxed breakfast shooting the breeze with Jo and Rachel – weather not great and none of us felt it right to rush out on the bike in bad weather when we’re in Lanzarote.

Whilst waiting for the good weather to arrive I did a bonus 69 mins of core work in the gym.

5h31 79 mile hilly ride. Mirador Del Haria, del Rio, down to Orzola then up Tabayesco then through Masdache and back over lava fields to Tinajo. Felt tired to start but ok once on the hills. After some snap I was really able to work up Tabayesco and then did a full on effort along the IM route from just after Teguise through to the turn off to Conil. It rained gently on me for most of the ride.

19 min transition run. Felt pretty good … well foot did. Legs very tired. Looking forward to getting through the last 3 days before my taper starts.

Sunday (7h41)

Swim first thing. It was cold. Couldn’t take having rests so did a more or less continuous steady / easy 4k swim in 1h13. Did 1.5k swim, 1.5k pull, 800m paddles, 200m swim down. Glad when it was done and could dash back for breakie, coffee and warmth. Whats with this Lanzarote weather at the moment?

2h53 full body gym. Felt strong today pushing more weight on the majority of exercises. Even managed more chins and dips though that could be down to body weight. I did a 800m easy swim immediately after. Don’t know why I’ve not thought of this before as it felt great to ease off the muscles.

Ride today was to try out a couple of sessions Rachel and Jo have been set. I headed out to the El Golfo loop to do them. First time round I did Rachels set – 15 minutes as 15s FLAT OUT (ie MAX effort) 15s freewheel. The idea being to stay in the same gear as you freewheel and start it up again from there. As much as possible I did this in the TT position. I then had 15 minutes easy (I needed it) before doing Jo’s set – 16 minutes (she did 24 minutes worth!) of 30s FLAT OUT, 90 seconds recovery. By half way through my legs were literally failing in the final 5 seconds. When they’d each been set these sessions (on the same day) we’d had a discussion about the effects of them and this trial confirmed what we thought. 15s flat out isn’t long enough to get the muscles burning but the 15s freewheel isn’t long enough recovery so the burn and fatigue build up across the set. The 30s ones have you fatigue by the end of 30s but 90s is enough to recover pretty much fully … though by the end 90s went rather too quickly. Rachel and Jo are two tough cookies. This blew me apart. I really didn’t want to have to ride back across Fire Mountain. In Yaiza I needed fuel but everywhere was shut so I had to hunt and gather from the the garage vending machines. Paleo man at this point would have killed for pizza but I had to chose between – coke (I don’t like the full fat stuff), cigarettes (I don’t believe they have calories) or ice cream. I plumped for a rather nice ice cream. The head wind back was strong enough that I had to pedal the  freewheel challenge. Ended with 48 miles in 3h18

Had planned a aqua jog brick but so tired I just sat with my feet up till dinner. Finally, right at the end of the week I’ve managed to get so tired that I couldn’t face a session. As they say “job done”.

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