Getting back on it

I’ve been really busy with work and other activities, but I finally found the time to go out on my bike for a proper ride. Twice in four days! I went out last Friday for an hour, and did the same route today. I’m clearly not as fit as I was on the bike this time last year, but it still felt great.

Today I went a bit slower and attempted to keep my heart rate below 150. It was harder than anticipated. I was trying to keep some energy in my legs for capoeira tonight. There were no near misses today like I did on Friday when a van came close. I wonder if wearing my BHF charity jersey made any difference?

I’m going to try and get out on the bike a bit more, especially whilst it is nice. Perhaps the dream of doing a triathlon before I’m 40 is not quite done with yet.

I managed a quick run last week after circuit training. I’ll try pushing it a bit more after I’m back from holiday. I don’t want to injure myself before then as it’ll spoil the holiday (especially as I’ve got a long drive ahead of me). If things get bad after that then I’ll go to a physio as my right calf has been bothering me for two years now.

Tour de France 2019

We’re three stages in and things are finely balanced. I’m still gutted that Cav wasn’t selected but I had a feeling he wasn’t going to be picked. Alaphilippe looks very strong so I guess he’ll stay in yellow until stage 6 when the GC guys will make an appearance.

A slow start to 2019

The year started well from a cycling perspective – I was able to go for a quick ride on New Year’s Day, my speed was nothing to write home about! My cycling kit was a bit tighter than usual, too many mince pies!

Since then I haven’t had the time for a proper ride. I keep meaning to but I either wake up with sore legs or it’s freezing outside. I’m planning to sign up to Zwift again so I can do some turbo efforts. The theory is that I can get fitter by doing intervals and take up less time.

I hurt my toe doing capoeira a couple of weeks ago and it still hasn’t healed properly. I can just about walk without pain now but running has been out of the question. It’s so frustrating! I also hurt my quads playing football with my son over Christmas, playing in walking shoes is definitely not recommended! I tried to compensate for the shoes by changing my kicking style, which meant I was using different muscle groups. The muscles didn’t like it! So I might need to buy a cheap pair of trainers for playing football.

Capoeira has been going reasonably well, I can do the basics (although I can’t get my legs anywhere near as high as I’d like to). There’s one move, armada com martelo, which I am absolutely rubbish at. I need to work on my landing as if I don’t twist enough I end up hurting something. Frustratingly, someone new started yesterday and mastered the move without any effort! I’ll have to watch some videos and try to figure out what I am doing wrong.

Slowing down

The summer has been pretty busy, since RideLondon I’ve not had much time for long bike rides unfortunately. The longest I managed was on the Isle of Wight whilst on holiday. The roads are quiet and rolling so it was a lot of fun, although I paid the price for going for one long climbing segment. It ended with sections of more than 20%! I had to abandon halfway up as I had nothing left after sprinting up the Ventnor switchbacks.

Other than that I’ve only managed a few short 24km rides. As I no longer have to train and time has been squeezed by the kids being off school, I’ve not been quite so disciplined. The weather has also been quite varied, although it’s quite warm this week. I spent the weekend reassembling the Carrera TdF ahead of the winter, it needs cleaning and adjusting quite a bit!

My overall aim for next year is to do a triathlon, so obviously I’m going to need to improve my swimming and running. Running is my major concern as historically I’ve always injured myself if I run too far. I’ve managed a few 5k runs but unfortunately I injured myself halfway through a 7k run – my calf went at the furthest possible point from home! So I might invest in a new pair of shoes and gait analysis to see if it helps.

I’m hoping to get a bit more base training done over the winter months. I’ve never really managed to properly train throughout winter and then push on in the spring, maybe this will be the time it actually happens?!

Vuelta a Espana 2018

I was so happy to see Simon Yates win La Vuelta after what happened in the Giro. I wonder what the odds were of three different British winners of the three Grand Tours this year? I’m looking forward to the World Championships, hopefully one of the Yates twins will be able to contest it.

Forwards and backwards

Up until last week my training was going well, I had done a couple of 100km rides as well as some interval sessions and was right on track for RideLondon. My last long ride was 107km but it was a struggle to get to the end.

I think it may have been due to the heat but after 2 hours my legs just went and no amount of energy gels would help. Perhaps I was also not drinking enough – it’s tough to carry enough drinks to last 4-5 hours so I tend not to drink quickly at the start. There’s also the question of where to go to the toilet!

Today was supposed to be a four and a half hour ride but there’s no way I’d have managed it. I went to a friend’s wedding last weekend and may have drunk slightly more alcohol than usual, and my body is making me pay for it! I did manage to get out for an hour for a zone 3 ride and I felt alright. I’ve also got a sore hamstring and calf at the moment so I don’t want to push it too much. Hopefully by Monday I’ll be ready for another long ride.

Speaking of long rides, I finally managed to increase my Eddington number to 38! It’s been a long time coming. I’ll need a few more 39+ mile rides to get to 39. Using VeloViewer I can compare how much I’ve ridden this year to previous years. So far I’ve done more than any year since 2014, and if I can get back on track I should get close to my 2013/2014 figures.

I could do with losing a bit more weight. I’m about a stone heavier than when I did RideLondon 2013, although at least most of it is muscle rather than fat now. I just have a bit around my belly that I wish I could shift.

Training plan and a bike fit

As I mentioned in my last entry, I received a free training plan from Full Potential Coaching courtesy of the BHF. So far I’ve been able to follow all the red ‘must do’ sessions. I think it’s starting to make a difference! The plan includes one long ride a week which is getting longer each week. There are also technique and interval sessions as well as easy rides.

My long ride this week was four hours riding in heart rate zones 2-3, including some zone 3 intervals. I ride the intervals around a quiet local loop which doesn’t have much traffic.

I managed over 100km which is good for morale, and my legs didn’t run out of energy near the end. However, I was having some knee aches as a result of my bike fit.

Bike fit

I had a bike fit and physio session on Saturday which was very helpful. I have had sore calf muscles for a long time now, and I was under the impression that the muscles were tight (as well as my IT band). However, it turns out my muscles aren’t tight but just overworked! The bike fit showed that I pedal with my toes pointing downwards and that my knee doesn’t extend as much as it should. This results in my calf muscles having to do a lot more work than would be expected.

My saddle and cleats have been moved back a little so now my pedal stroke is more effective and I’m not using my calves so much. I’ve also been diagnosed with a condition in my quadriceps tendon which requires rehab. I have some exercises to do each day which should eventually help. As I wrote earlier, the long ride was causing my knees to ache at the tendon. Hopefully I can make progress with the rehab and get things working again.