Wednesday, 31 July 2013

My first race and more

Another 2 weeks worth of blogging.

Monday 15th July

Today was just a nice recovery ride on the rollers, as my legs were feeling quite tight and my recovery tights seemed to have disappeared. Half hour nice and easy nothing to report.

Tuesday 16th July

Rest Day

Wednesday 17th July

Solo tempo ride, only a short one as I went out late in the evening, nothing done during the day as I was too tired. No point training when really tired as that's when injuries and accidents happen. I had a few mechanical issues which resolved themselves as I went along. It wast meant to be a tempo ride but ended up being mainly lactate threshold training with some tempo work. I felt fairly good after the quick blast 12.7 miles at 19.5 mph.

Thursday 18th July

Today I planned to go up to Hog Hill and race, but I chickened out in the end, for two reasons I am bad at hills and there is a steep hill on every lap. Secondly my gearing the day before was playing up and I thought that if my gears slip up a hill and end up causing problems for other riders. So I went and played a few holes of golf.

Friday 19th July

Rest day, back was pretty stiff after golf.

Saturday 20th July

Today I decided that I needed to do a long solo ride, long for me anyway. My back was still tight from golf. I Planned my route a put it into my Garmin 500. 35 miles in total with a few climbs. It was painful, I seemed to find a lot of head winds and a few of them were downhill. My legs couldn't cope but I carried on anyway and just got through it. My bike seemed to resolve all the issues it had on Wednesday. I am definitely finding it takes my legs probably about 45 minutes to warm up before I feel I can push them a little more. For the 35 miles I averaged 16.9mph which I was quite impressed with considering how my legs felt from the headwinds. It made me feel a lot better about the 100 miler I have a coming up on August 4th.

Sunday 21st July

I am learning to do recovery rides as they seem to make my legs feel a lot better. 30 minutes on the rollers nice and easy.

Monday 22nd July

Rest Day

Tuesday 23rd July

Rest Day

Wednesday 24th July

Rest Day, as you can see I have rested a lot this week. This was enforced due to my back being in agony from golf and the long bike ride.

Thursday 25th July

So I decided with the closed circuit racing coming to an end, well the ones I can make anyway. So I decided to go up to Dunton test track as I thought it was fairly flat up there. As usual my preparation was shocking for my first race. Why change the habit of a lifetime? In all fairness it couldn't be helped. Got to the track and registered, then I got my bike together and heard the whistle and headed for the start line.

I am not sure how many of us there were maybe 30-40. The race started the pace was fast, warm up was definitely required but that couldn't be helped. Instantly I found myself feeling my legs burning from a climb so much for my thought that it was flat. My aim before the race was to finish the race with the group, I knew that wasn't going to happen instantly so my new goal was to stay with the group for 5 laps. Two laps in and I was still in the group and thought if I managed to get to 5 laps was achievable.

Lap 3 it went wrong and the bend at the start of the lap I decided to keep to the inside. This was a bad idea as I got a bit twitchy being so close to the other riders and ended up on the gravel, my reaction was to come straight back on the track bad idea, I heard a few shouts realising people were still behind me I headed back for the gravel and let them all go before trying to join the group. I had lost all momentum and had to put an big effort in on the downhill section, it was into a headwind and my legs wouldn't propel me any faster and group were getting further away.

At that point I realised I wasn't going to catch them so just decided to make this into a solo threshold session. I could of easily pulled my bike up and watch the race but I have never been one to quit. The group started to catch me so I moved to the outside. Stupid as I was thinking of my old athletics days, faster people on the track yelled track so you would move to the outside. It isn't like that in cycling as people were all around me. I should of nestled in to the group but didn't and ended up losing them again bad times.

More solo riding, the group came round again but this time I was prepared, I upped the pace as they came along and nestled in the group and kept well away from the gravel this time. I stayed in for a lap and a half and then one of two break away riders crashed, we all slowed down to avoid him but I stopped, paramedic mode kicked in. He told me he was fine and to carry on, I lost the group again. It seems being out of sport I have lost my competitive edge, that will soon bee back. I finished the race in last place. 18.9 miles in an hour my HR peaked at 189 and averaged 170 for an hour. My heart must hate me.

I am not ashamed of finishing last I put in everything I could, in two weeks they race there again and I will aim to race again and stay with the group for at least 5 laps.

Post race I had a slow recovery ride home and actually didn't feel too bad, immediately after the race I rung my wife to meet me and pick me up but as soon as I started cycling again my legs felt ok I rung her back to say I wouldn't need the lift.

Friday 26th July

Rest Day

Saturday 27th July

I must learn to prepare myself better for club rides. Basically I was running late, I got to the meeting point and realised the group had gone and I had no water and no money to buy any. Someone else was late so he said lets try and catch the group. We got going and he told me to get in his wheel. He hammered it and even in his wheel I was thinking I might have to leave him to catch them and me just do my own ride. I stuck with him and we must of caught them after about 6/7 miles. He continued straight to the front of the group I nestled into the middle to let my legs and heart have a bit of a rest. A few minutes later we had stopped as someone had a puncture. A welcome break considering I had no water.

We started off towards the Blue Egg again. It was a nice steady ride until one of the category 1 riders went off the front of the group then tempo of the group went. I was comfortable sitting in the group of 8 riders who were taking it relatively easy. I arrived safely at the Blue Egg and my guardian for the day gave me some money, beans on wholemeal toast and a sprite. That was finished and it was back on the bike. I had a energy gel before setting off for a little boost.

I was at the front of the group with the club captain and we started a nice gentle pace. The pace started ramping up again and I drifted towards the back. They key I am finding is when that injection of pace comes in put a little bit more effort to hold on. I did that this time round it hurt a lot though. I got dropped on a hill but caught them back up at the top as they waited for traffic. I got dropped again along with one other and I sat in his wheel for a couple of minutes and realised he was struggling more than I was. I got out his wheel and in front of him and he sat on my wheel and I actually managed to relay him back to the group. I was chuffed with myself considering where I was physically when I started cycling. At 18 miles another injection of pace came this time I was running on empty and delved into my pockets and found an energy bar. I scoffed that down and got my boost about 10 minutes later. The last 7 miles I done on my own and as my energy levels upped so did my pace. Considering how badly equipped I was for the ride I was happy with what I had done.

Sunday 28th July

Rest Day

After racing Thursday it has shown me how far I am off the pace, the fact that I missed all of the winter training means I have had to play catch up in terms of my fitness base that's not an excuse. I am looking forward to winter training just need to work my socks off so next year I can be more competitive. I have been told that it takes up to 5 years to get your cycling legs. I'm not 100% sure what that means but when I do get my cycling legs you'll be the first to know.

Next week is the Prudential RideLondon100 so I will take it pretty easy next week, as it gets closer I am getting more nervous as I realise that I will be in the saddle for up to 6 and a half hours possibly more, I can't even remember the last time I drove for a hundred miles!! My main issue is nutrition as I seem to mess it up so I have to remember to keep drinking and eating on the bike and make sure that that I don't 'bonk'. If you want to sponsor me for a great children's charity The Maypole project the address is

Target for the ride finish with 6 hours minutes.

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