Thursday, 23 April 2009

Training To Date - I will add to this as and when.

It had been a number of years since I rode a bike, and then it was only for short rides. I committed myself to this adventure in August 2008 and I began putting some miles in during a family holiday in Norfolk towards the end of August. I attached our child’s trail rider to the back of my 20-year-old mountain bike (which still had its original tires and brakes and thus confirms my lack of cycling to date).

On our first family ride I had travelled an impressive distance of only 1 metre, when I felt a sharp sting in my leg, which rapidly got worse. I looked down and a wasp had lodged itself between my new trendy baggy padded cycle shorts and my leg. Over the next few days the swelling got worse and my leg became very hot to the touch, my knee also started to ache painfully. A trip to the chemist was in order, and a large dose of antihistamines settled it down over the following couple of days. In that first week I cycled a total of about 90 miles, impressive I hear you say. However not as impressive as my little boy who did a similar distance on his bike, and he was only 7 at the time.

Since August, I have tried to get out every weekend to cycle between 35 and 45 miles. I met up with a local cycle group who have been brilliant (the Farcycles), and have made the rides incredibly enjoyable. Even when the weather was so cold that a brass monkey would dare not venture out. This training regime continued through January. I really needed to step up the training during the week days, but mornings were dark as were the evenings, and with a full time job, it was impossible, or so I thought.

In February I acquired a cycle trainer and set it up in my garage. I have to say that my first impression was that it was a complete load of rubbish. However, my view changed within 15 minutes and having twiddled with the tension leaver, and changed gears, I began to understand the true value of the thing. The only downside was that it was boring as hell.

I have however tackled boredom in two ways. Firstly, by setting up a portable DVD player and secondly by creating interesting training routines.

I started getting up at 6 oclock to do half an hour in the garage a couple of times a week, and then the same in the evening. The frequency increased as did the interval times. By March I was rising at just gone 5am for a 20 mile cycle, and then I would do the same again in the evening.

Last week I did this for four weekdays followed by a 92 mile ride on Saturday (45 on the trainer to get an early start and then 47 with the Farcycles with my bike fully loaded on the Road). This was followed by 80 miles on the Sunday.

Since August 2008 I have cycled the equivalent of 2943.5 miles. The majority of this has been since the beginning of Jan 2009 (2365 miles).

With 3 weeks to go, I’m pretty happy with the shape that I am in and my ability to undertake the ride.

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