Sunday, 20 September 2009

Training, paying off?


Swimming is becoming a bit of a bore for me lately and I haven't been for over a month, training properly I mean. So Thursdays is now just circuit training and spinning.
The former is so enjoyable and I am seeing improvements every time I go, I put alot of effort into it. Coach can tell too and is giving lots of encouragement and adapting each set so that it gets more difficult. For example a simple dumb bell press and squat would turn into a squat with arms extended infront keeping elbows straight stand up and lift above head then arms dropped to the side slowly, elbows straight puttin lots of pressure on triceps for little weight. Get that?15 min rest then Spin.
Intervals, hills and sprints all in the comfort of a gym, sounds good doesn't it? Very sweaty, very likeable and very exhausting. Chatted briefly to a lycra clad spinner and turns out he's a member of tri club whos also fed up of swimming. Asked me to come to club ride on Sunday. I haven't been to a tri club cycle before as I've always had another, more important distraction but I should get to go this time. Saw Steve F (MCC) and said we'd meet up for a quick ride Fri.


Steve F (MCC) was taking his car in garage so I kindly picked him up from garage so that we could start cycling asap. Bob from Roch Tri was joining us too. Cycled to Todmorden at such a relaxed pace about 12mph that when we finished at the cafe stop I was due in work in 1.5hrs. Time flys when you are having fun and going slow. I left them and had to sprint the 18miles home. I was shattered. I really went for it not just to get to work on time but to also remove all the excess energy as this was another BONK day. Average on the computer was 16mph so I must have done well over 20mph average on the way back home. I did 18 miles in about 50 mins.
I had planned on Sat to go to Cowm res and possibly have a swim and cycle but had to take missus to A and E so didn't get to bed til 5am! Im sure she planned it :P


Wasn't sure what to expect, how many turning up, pace, distance or direction this ride was going to take so went at an extremely leisurely pace to meet up at Littleborough. A good 15 riders turned up, 4 of whom were female :) A nice trip to a cafe in a picturesque park near Burnley (just like Haigh Hall in Wigan) saw the average around 14mph and all I had was a tea, a nana and apple. I was gagging to sprint past and overtake and use up my energy but I managed to hold back and not look too much of an ungrateful twit. One of the ladies had a puncture, I was trailing the group. We shouted to the others to stop but they carried on so I stayed and helped supervise the tyre change. Eventually the others heard of our predicament via mobile so stopped and waited. Previously decided was a hilly route back, very hilly indeed!
Joined back up and went up some causeway place (any ideas, its near Burnley?) Nice steep gradients. I asked one of the members if it was sprintable and the distance til it levelled off. Up to the bungalow,hmmm only a few hundred yards. So off I went and heard someone shout 'go get him son' Some young whipper snapper went past me and beat me but not by too much, he was disguising his breathing whilst I nearly collapsed on the floor. The bungalow was about half way in the end and I had used a lot of energy in a fairly short hilly sprint. That was not the end. The yound un' carried on fast so I felt obliged to follow, with his pa just infront. The climb was horrendous as was the speed this kid was going. His dad had pulled away but I caught up and we ended up drafting each other to catch his son up. Daddy wasn't happy he was sprinting away as he had a race 2 moz. Races quite a lot. I have since made it my goal to enter more races so I can be as good as kiddo as a quick chat with the tri lot revealed race fitness is like match fitness in footie. The others were miles behind and a very windy (as in sharp turns not blowy stuff) descent to Hedben followed. Father and son carried on home I waited ages for the others to catch up. Some had decided to go an easy way to the MCC hill climb start pub but the hardcore went up Cragg Vale (Mytholmroyd end).
The 3 ladies joined us and 4 blokes went ahead. Started off easyish but the leading 2 didn't like us 2 at the rear not doing anything so tried to drop us and upped the pace. It is a very long climb with a unforgiving slope. The guy next to me was dropping slowly behind as I was tempted to overtake the 2 ahead but bided my time as there was still a long way to go. One of the leaders kicked and his m8 dropped to join my m8y. It was me and Jack. (Jack and I to the Grammar Nazis)
Now there is a little history here because Jack was a semi-pro? rider and I have ridden with him before along with Chris Newton ( Rapha Condor) and a few others. I was a cycling newbie at the time and got dropped after 100mteres of any hill ( they went up Holme Moss) but managed to claw some time back on the flats. They were taking it easy! It was the most painful experience but most informative and rewarding in my cycling life which left me slightly demoralised, suffering bad cramp as I had to walk 1/2mile home but with a desire to train so hard I could ride with them again without feeling like a trailing gooseberry. They did offer so much advice and encouragement though and it was since that day I ride up and down Holme etc to get better and better.
Anyway, back to Cragg and Blackstone edge. I drew along side Jack and kept his pace for a while. Anytime I let my foot off the gas he would let me know about it and inch ahead. One of the guys we dropped was out of his saddle and trying to get back to us, what an effort he must have put in to get within 15m! But I looked around and saw this and applied the pressure. Jack snuck inbehind me as I powered away, still on this difficult climb. He was still with me, jus,t and as we got to Halifax rd chatted bout the race. He admitted he was as his limit and struggled even drafting me but tried not to show in his face he was about to go. Another effort and I would have been away but I was saving some just incase he attacked. He said thats what racing is all about, its a mental game, getting into the opponents head, making him think you are 'fresh' when you could just drop and die any second. We ended up crossing the 'line' together but he had me as I could have been away. I fell into his trap. I learn loads from this guy, he doesn't race now as he says its full of stuck up &^&*^*& but in the end he said that I would have no problem at all keeping up with his Saturday 'chaingang' Fantastic compliment but I'm not getting complacent as I have some kid to beat now from earlier on!
We all met at the pub but I had to go as we had been out along time and wifey wasn't happy so went home past the jam packed Hollingowrth lake doing the odd sprint here and there to BONK my body.

Thats another 60 miles completed, 4 hrs, 15mph ish, slow start and very hilly return leg.

Car is in garage 2moz so Im taking Vanquish to work. Her tyre was still flat. Considering the unusual circumstances of it going flat I pumped it back up to 120 psi and banged it about a bit and so far the tyre is good. Very strange.

Bonk training is going as planned, not eating too much after rides and looking forward to some more gear arriving in the next few days ready for winter/night riding :(


  1. I'm starting to prefer the nice relaxed group rides to the ones where you're fixated on hanging onto the wheel infront.

  2. Bonk training seems to be popular :)