Long Course Weekend Training Diary: Nutrition and Hill Reps

in Harrogate

Yorkshire.com is following Emma Oakes, one of the athletes training for Long Course Weekend (LCW) an epic three-day multi-discipline event, taking place from 6-8 September 2024.   LCW is one of only a handful of sports festivals that encompasses swimmers, cyclists, runners, and triathletes over one weekend. 

Athletes can participate in one of the individual disciplines or take part in all three – mixing and matching the distances that suits them best and bringing the event to the widest audience possible.

The event kicks off on the Friday with the 1.2 or 2.4 mile Yorkshire Dales Swim, offering the unique opportunity to swim in the stunning Grimwith Reservoir, deep in the Yorkshire Dales. Saturday will see cyclists participate in the Yorkshire Dales Sportive, starting from Masham Market Square, the 56 & 112 mile bike courses will incorporate some of the sections in Tour de Yorkshire, Tour De France, and UCI courses in The Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The weekend finishes on the Sunday, with the choice of a Marathon, Half Marathon,10k or 5k taking in some spectacular countryside and ending in Masham with a red-carpet finish line. There is also a children’s running event (LCKinder) to encourage all members of the family to get involved. Find out more and enter here.

Any Yorkshire businesses wanting to get involved can get in touch with Oliver Duckett on 01437 765 777 or contact him via info@lcwyorkshire.com. Volunteers keen to help with marshalling, manning aid stations, pre and post event set up and lots more can sign up here

Emma’s diary

This week I’ve been keeping a bit more of an eye on my nutrition. My good food intake has taken a nosedive since having kids and I eat more processed food. There is lots of talk about this in my family right now with my sister-in-law reading ‘Ultra Processed People’ and my brother saying that by eating clean 98% of the time has cured his dairy intolerance.

To be honest, currently, I just don’t have the inclination to eat healthy all the time. Monday night was turbo night and after putting the kids to bed at 7pm, both Mark and I were training, so we didn’t finish till 8pm. Then after a shower and some tidying, I didn’t want to start making a meal and eating so close to bed. So, I had a snack for tea, a protein shake and oat cakes and cashew cheese. That’s not every night, but on those days, I tend to try and eat a healthy nutritious lunch. During the week is the hardest with work, kids and training, there is not a lot of time for anything else. I know there are some super organised people out there that meal prep for the week, but I’m just not one of them. Maybe when the kids are older, and they can play by themselves a bit more, but for now I’m just eating the best I can with what time and energy I have. Life is a work in progress.

In triathlon they say that nutrition is the 4th discipline and I’ve got to agree that when I’ve been spot on with my food/drink in the past I’ve really felt the benefits, in my energy and race outcome. I am trying to be a bit more organised with this, especially now my training is ramping up a bit in intensity. I need to make sure I’m adequately fuelled (before and during) to make sure I get the most out of each workout. I have a training camp coming up, so I need to figure out what I’m going to take with me for those long rides. Every week is another week to test what works and what doesn’t, it’s all about trial and error.

Some of my harder sessions this week…..hill reps! A must in my training for LCW Yorkshire. On paper these sessions look ok, even Montpellier Hill in Harrogate where we do hill reps with Harrogate Tri Club doesn’t look too bad but believe me, looks can be deceiving. Start modestly and stay consistent is key when starting off, you can always up the speed next time. I always have to psych myself up for these sessions and this week I’ve had 2 of them. I made sure to eat some toast, jam, and peanut butter when I got in from work, so I was fuelled up.

I’ve had some good, varied turbo sessions, from torque (low cadence to build strength), lactate clearance (30sec hard/4:30mins tempo x3, 3 sets, 5 mins rest between), VO2 Intervals (build on holding above FTP for longer periods) and endurance.

The turbo sessions have been great on these dark, cold, often windy nights allowing me to think about my riding and push myself more than I maybe would do outside. My best bike was a L2 3hr ride on Saturday. I changed some sessions round this week due to the weather and Saturday was perfect conditions. Bit foggy but light winds and no rain. I planned an A-B ride into the Yorkshire Dales with my family picking me up in Grassington. I used to ride a lot over this way when I had the luxury of time, but these days I do a lot of riding from my house to save time, so this was a real treat.

My route went through Otley, the backway to Ilkley, Bolton Abbey, Burnsall, Kettlewell and then into Grassington. I had forgotten how much I love riding out this way, the hills, scenery (not that I could see much on this day) and the waves/ nods from other cyclists (someone even blew me a kiss which was nice). This is my route on Garmin if you want to do the ride https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/248148664. Plus, there are so many amazing café stops in the Yorkshire dales, perfect for cyclists. Although I don’t get a mid-stop these days (I just had a roadside stop at Bolton Abbey for a Clif bar), I did get to go to The Retreat in Grassington which has consistently fantastic food and a great cuppa. They sponsored my husband with their amazing flapjacks for his Cape Wrath Ultra last year.

My usual club swim consisted of hand entry drills, followed by 8 x 30m easy/max and 8 x 60m tempo/hard. I really try and vary my speed so I’m not going too hard on the tempo sets and I can keep the consistency. My efforts paid off with an unusual Sunday early morning swim in which I was set a benchmark swim to see where I’m at. It was a 5 x 100m build set followed by the main swim of 5 x 300m building from first 300m endurance to last 300m hard. On the advice from my coach, I was conscious of not going off too hard on the first 300m and using that as a starting point to get faster. It was one of those sessions where I was a bit anxious to start, but after each 300m, my watch showed I was a bit faster, so I gained in confidence.

Next week I will carry on with the benchmark testing so my coach and I can see where I’m at early in the season and he can tailor my sessions accordingly, so I am training at the right level.

Good luck with all the training, spring is just around the corner. 

Training Diary

Week 6

  • Mon – 1hr Zwift bike torque
  • Tue – 1hr Club run – 200m Intervals
  • Wed – 1hr30 Club Zwift turbo, hard/tempo
  • Thurs – 1hr Club Swim, varied speed
  • Fri – 1hr run, Zone 4 efforts
  • Sat – 1hr buggy run
  • Sun – 1hr30 easy turbo

Week 7

  • Mon – 1hr20 Zwift bike, torque, progressive Watts 
  • Tue – 1hr Club run – Hill reps
  • Wed – 50 min easy run – HR 140bpm
  • Thurs – 1hr Turbo, VO2 Intervals
  • Fri – 1hr22 – Hill reps/easy x3
  • Sat – 3hr bike ride outside
  • Sun – 1hr benchmark swim test (5 x 300m)

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