Thursday, 4 July 2013

Week 1 of structured (kind of) training

As I stated before my training has to fit around being a Husband and Dad and around my work, to maximise my training I have investigated this quite in depth and found that heart rate (HR) zone training is the best possible training for a cyclist. As you can imagine on the internet there is a huge amount of information to do with it but found that they are all similar. One of the articles I read which breaks it down quite simply is here

I missed the whole winter training so am effectively playing catch up which is not ideal but I have to start somewhere. I can go real in depth and geek out about the training but I may save that for a separate post at some point. I have the Garmin Edge 500 which is perfect for tracking my rides and making sure I am staying in the correct HR zone. My training will be a mix of tempo, endurance and interval rides as I am hoping to lengthen my training sessions.

I planned to join the club run on Saturday but on my way to the meeting point I realised I forgot my cycling shoes. I came home and decided to go out on my own within a mile I had a puncture and my tyre had split. A new tyre was required and meant no riding for the day. Sunday I didn't go out as I was shattered for some reason, so rather than train tired and risk injury I had a day relaxing.

Monday 24th June

After having the weekend off I felt fresh and my legs felt good so I went out on a tempo ride with some lactate threshold training mixed in as well. I went out for 18 miles on a route I know well. I had a technical issue the first few miles as I was unable to change into the big chain ring but that rectified itself. I felt good throughout the ride the small climbs that are on my route were tough as usual but I am learning to like them. I averaged 18mph which I was happy with, the wind was not a factor, I had a good stretch after then got myself ready for work.

Tuesday 25th June

Rest day.

Wednesday 26th June

I decided that now was a good time to pop my time trial cherry. Glendene run a time trial every other Wednesday. It is two laps of a 5 mile course, I set myself a target of 30 minutes to finish the course.  I decided to do a recce of course in the car. I started to get nervous driving down to the course, sad I know. I got to the course and it had more bumps in it that I had hoped for but it didn't look too bad.

My preparation wasn't great I had 4 and a half hours sleep. My fluid intake during the day had been pretty shocking as had my food intake. I ate half a carb bar as I arrived at Navestock, paid my fee to enter and cycled down with a few others to the start line that was my warm up again not ideal. My number was 11, chatting away with the rest of the riders it took my mind off  what I was about to do. The rider ahead of me went off 1 minute and it would be me.

I had changed my cycle computer around so I knew what my average speed was, what a stupid idea that was. My plan was set off steady on the first lap and then try and pick up on the second. I heard 10 seconds it snapped me out of it, the countdown reached the end and I was off. I set off like a greyhound and killed myself my legs they were already begging me to stop. Obviously I didn't and continued on my way. The bumps were more intense than I had expected, my position on the bike was far from aerodynamic, I just wanted to get through it, I attacked the climbs and tried to recover on the downhill sections. It was tough and knowing that I was just under 20mph was frustrating, I saved a little bit for the final run in and finished with a time of 30:07. I was happy to be so close to my target. I was shattered though, it was one of the hardest things I have put myself through. After downloading the data from my computer my HR peaked at 208 and averaged 178 for the time trial, so my next time trial I will build up my pace and attack the downhill sections as well as the up hill ones.

My target for the next 10 mile time trial is 29:15.

Thursday 27th June

My legs didn't feel too bad but I didn't want to over do it, so I got the rollers out for an hour recover/endurance ride. I am not going to lie riding on a indoor trainer is dull compared to riding out on the road, maybe I will play some of the cycling I have recorded on Sky to keep me going. My hour on the rollers made me realise that I need a turbo, my previous roller sessions I had been in a medium gear. This time I was in my biggest gear and keeping a cadence of 90 and just about managing to maintain my HR at 150, it seems my fitness has improved quicker than I expected and the lack of resistance means I can't do any meaningful intervals. So the rollers are out and a turbo is on the way in. I felt good on this ride, I think I also need a fan as within a minute I start to sweat like i'm in a sauna.

Friday 28th June

Rest Day.

Saturday 29th June

Today I made sure that all my kit was in the car so I didn't miss the group on the club run. The night before I had quite a carb heavy dinner.

We set off from Blackmore at 09:15 and headed up to The Blue Egg in Great Bardfield. I was feeling a lot more confident with my fitness and my bike handling so I went a bit further up in the group and found it easier as catching up with those in front after a corner required less of an effort than being near the back. We hand a couple of punctures in the group which probably helped me stay with the group and even take part in the group sprint at the end which I managed to keep pace with.

Unfortunately because of the two punctures we had in the group I had to leave earlier than the group as I had things to sort out at home. One of my clubmates offered to leave early and show me back. The difference of riding on your own/in a pair to riding in a group still astounds me. We headed off and had a good ride windy at times and that's where we were missing the group as you can 'hide' from the wind. The trouble with leaving early to come back was we were like the carrot. The faster riders of the main group would be racing to catch us up. They did, with about 3 miles to go. I tried to hang on the back but they were just going way too fast for me to pick up the pace and maintain. A few stragglers passed me but I managed to finish on my own with a bit left in the tank.

It seems silly but I can feel myself progressing and when I look back on my ride history on Strava I can compare my performance then to now. At times I even think that I am cycling within myself and that I could kick on sometimes in the group rides, but then the others would be able to kick on a lot more than I can. The aim is still to compete in some races towards the end of the season, I could race now but know that I would not be able to keep up but that said they to a Go-Ride race event at Dunton Test track which would be nice a flat so the pace will be high but it will be a good test, my weight is just under 75kg so still some work in that department.

Next week I have nothing planned in terms of time trials or races just training but you never know I may find something that I can compete in. If you want to follow me on Strava search Gary Cohen and if you are on twitter my add is G_D_Cohen.

Also a special thank you to my wife for one putting up with me and my training and for proof reading most of what I type as my grammar can be pretty shocking at times.

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