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.

2018 review

It’s not quite the end of 2018 but it seems unlikely that I’ll get out for any long rides before then, so I might as well look back at the year now. All things considered, I think the year has been reasonably successful. I’ve been doing HIIT training for over a year now and am feeling overall much fitter and stronger. Whilst continuing that I somehow found the time to train for the RideLondon-Surrey 100 – I didn’t beat my target time but some of that can definitely be put down to the terrible weather conditions. I also finally got to take my bike to the Isle of Wight and enjoy the quiet country roads there.

I’ve done over 3,500km on the bike this year. It’s not near my best years for distance but it’s considerably more than I’ve managed in any year post 2014. I’ve lost a bit of weight, I’m still over 13 stone but I’m at the bottom end of 13 stone rather than the top end now. I’ve bought running shoes and am determined to get good at running, although I’ve been suffering IT band issues in recent weeks. I’ve also starting learning capoeira and am thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve got a long way to go before I’m any good at it though!

I was sent a video from BHF to thank me for my fund-raising efforts – I raised £245 for them by taking part in RideLondon.

I’ve got to get back out on the bike soon, if only to debut my Mr Grumpy long-sleeved jersey that I bought at the RideLondon sign-on! I just wish I had more free time. It’s getting impossible to fit in everything that I want to do – capoeira, running, cycling, HIIT training. I need to stay active though for the sake of my physical and mental health! 

Not going anywhere fast

I updated my VeloViewer profile today and my cycling distance for the year has sadly plateaud since RideLondon! I was on course to break all previous records at one point, but my ambitions have changed since the big ride.

VeloViewer year stats

I’m still cycling a few times a week but that’s mainly for transport, I’m using my road bikes but only to go a few kilometres here and there. Recently I’ve been concentrating on trying to run. I finally went to get gait analysis done and it turns out that I overpronate slightly, so have got some Saucony Omni 16s to help support me. I’ve been out running a couple of times and haven’t suffered any calf injuries (yay!) but the first time left me with a sore IT band near my knee and the second time left me with a sore ankle. I will get there eventually I’m sure!

What with having started learning capoeira as well, my free time has been reduced recently. The weather certainly doesn’t help motivate me to go for a ride either. I know it makes me feel better mentally and physically though, so I’m going to try and find the time for a quick 24km spin soon.

Site change?

I’m considering turning this into a general fitness blog rather than specifically cycling, given that cycling no longer takes up the majority of my time spent training. I’m really enjoying learning capoeira and would like to find the time to attend an extra lesson each week. I think that would help me progress much faster, but it means less time doing something else. I’m determined to become a decent runner and complete a triathlon before my 40th birthday. Something’s got to give somewhere I guess! For now I will just keep going and try to strengthen my calf muscles and become a better runner.

No time for cycling and Six Day London

I haven’t been for a proper bike ride since 14th September. I’ve been very busy with work and other things, and my legs haven’t been feeling good. I’m determined to start running but I seem to always push myself too far. I had managed a few 5k runs without any difficulty but halfway through a 7k run I pulled a calf muscle. I think I had started out too quickly so my calf tired more quickly. It didn’t help that I was in the middle of nowhere (at my Mum’s house) so had to limp all the way back home! I’m going to get a gait analysis and some decent running shoes soon so hopefully that will do the trick, I may also buy some calf guards.

I’ve got the Carrera TdF all ready for the winter, but the rear wheel is slightly buckled and needs truing. The last time I attempted this, a spoke snapped when I was miles from home, so I think I’ll get a shop to do it for me this time! I’ve not been well over the last week but I’m hoping next week will see some action on the bike.

Six Day London

Last night Nicky and I went to the first night of the Six Day London event at Lee Valley Velodrome. Unfortunately, Mark Cavendish had to pull out through injury, and I must admit to only knowing a few of the riders, but we had a great time. We’ve been three times and I think this was the best yet – the music has been toned down a bit and there were fewer gaps waiting for something to happen on track. We also had front row seats this time so Nicky got a few high-fives from the sprinters!

The view from our seat in the velodrome

Nicky also had a go on the roller bike races, they had to race over 250m to see who would get the fastest time. He was behind the entire race but managed to overtake just in the last few seconds!

There was some great racing on the track too, the first Madison saw far more attacks than usual and I think only one or two teams didn’t get a lap! Adam Blythe won the first derny race with a superb late effort, and the sprinter races were all lots of fun. We’ll definitely be back next year!

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.