Sunday, 22 November 2009

Keeping up appearances


I knew the fast guys were turning up to running with the Tri club but decided to join in to improve my fitness. I really think that it helps my cycling immensely as it constantly 'puts pressure' on the lungs which I don't feel my cycling or swimming is doing. I am hoping that cycling becomes my 'main' sport. Five or six of us turned out today which is a good show and found out I didn't have to pay as my gym membership at Middleton covers me. Warmup consisted of drills for 15 mins then 4 x laps (400m) of the track fairly easy. The hard bit was 10 x 400m with 200m active recovery walk and 200m active recovery jog in between each hard lap. Warm down was 2 laps very easy and stretches. Thats 10.4km and my knee was fine!! If this carries on I might have to rethink not doing any triathlons. First one is in April, the countdown begins.

I then went swimming to loosen up and remove lactic, managed 50 lengths and a 200m I.M before I got bored and achey.


I haven't been circuit training for 2 weeks and really needed to go to give all my muscles a work out otherwise they seize up when I eventually do use them. Nothing different today. Since I have been enjoying swimming lately I joined the tri club for their session. I must have pulled my shoulder or got a nerve trapped whilst doing tricep dips as I found it painful to pull using my left arm. I started off easy and the shoulder got better as the swim went on. 20 lengths warmup with drills then 24 lengths constant pace, 20 lengths ( 3 constant 1 fast), 16 lengths ( 2 constant 2 fast) 8 lengths (1 easy 3 fast) 4 lengths fast then 2 fast then 1 fast. Spent most of the night drafting the swimmer infront which I hate doing. Finished doing a few lengths butterfly. The running from the night before was starting to have an effect as my muscles felt tight, tense and sore so have been stretching, exercising and eating lots to aid recovery.


The only day I didn't cycle to work as I had footie straight from work and had to carry some passengers. It went unbelievably well considering 2 weeks ago I could barely run past the half way line and be expected to defend too! Felt sooo much fitter and recovery was quicker but afterwards the pain set in due to lactic and is still hurting Sunday night. I was fouled badly soo many times too, surprised I haven't picked up any injuries at all. I had a scare though as my knee gave way at one point but found out I had my strap on wrong and it had caught under my kneecap and tendon. It was like getting hit on your funny bone but worse! Lucky escape methinks.


Don't usually work Sunday but I need to pay for all the gear I keep buying so both days I cycled in but couldn't go too fast as my legs haven't yet recovered from all the running. People at work have been saying how thin I was getting but haven't lost any weight for ages. Seem to be losing the fat which is my aim. Still weigh just under 70kgs.

Not been able to record my speeds on Vanquish as my cycle computer has been stuck on 75.9mph so need a new computer, shoes that fit, saddle bag and tri club gear. Im sure theres more. CO2 pump has arrived with 30 cartridges, seemed cheap enough and got the saddle too which looks, feels and smells quality. Don't you just love the smell of proper leather? and it is soooo light. Hoping to get some big rides in at the end of next week which will suit me as I wont be able to do much during the week due to work.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Monday, Tuesday, yesterday I don't know what card to play.


Had to get up early for work which usually means me draggin myself out at the last minute and driving in . I got up very early and had a filter coffee ( can't stop drinking the stuff) and grapefruit for breakfast, which goes against my bonk training but is on hold for a while. I changed into my cycling gear and couldnt believe I had actually made it outside on my bike soooo early. Ride to work was dark and damp, just the way I like it but would have been perfec
t with traffic on the road. I've started to use some normal fluffy winter gloves instead of my specialized ones as when I arrive at my destination they are not soaking wet. I wish I timed my self this morning as even though I had a head wind I felt like I was powering my way through it. I dont set my computer sometimes because I have to reset the whole
thing and go through all the settings and I cant be arsed. New computer time! bollocks another expense. Finished work about 2pm and roads were generally quiet and didn't have any problems. I think I broke my record again for the journey home. I set the computer this time as I was felling good. My average this time was 17.7mph. Im hoping this sprinting home will do me good for the club track championships in December.

Triathlon club had just started a spinning class at Rochdale leisure cen
tre which lasts 1hr. Wasn't expecting many to turn up but there was about 10 of us. Same bikes as the Middleton one. I always give my all in a spin class as I know I can make it back home :) The class wasn't particularly well structured as the teacher wanted feedback so that she knew what our aims and goals were and to see what level of fitness we were up to. Hill climbs I used the hardest setting and wanted to give up but didn't and the high cadence stuff which I usually hate I liked this time as my legs weren't dying after a few minutes. At the end, as norma,l I was surrounded by a moat protecting myself and the bike from invaders. I asked for interval training as thats the only real stuff in my opinion that will give an all round improvement in the time but someone wanted aerobic endurance which I think is a waste of time as the session isn't long enough. Might as well go on a long bike ride. I guess he wanted to
maintain fitness over winter, might as well try to improve it.


The night before I had one of my fabulous filter coffees so got to sleep quite late but still managed to get up to ride to work. Head wind into work and head wind outta work. Started at 8am and finished 5pm which is more like it, also had lots of traffic to contend with so time passed really quickly. I would definately be getting to work and home quicker on the bike especially at these times. I seem to get a lot of comments from pedestrians that the light is very bright, I just tell them not to look at it :) I angle it away from the right hand side traffic so I dont dazzle cars so peds on my side get a faceful even though it is pointing groundward too. I have to say the spread is a bit much and a more concentrated beam would have been more useful. It does mean I can be seen from near 180 degrees. It looked like the day was going to be nice and clear and sunny all day, until I finished work and had toget home when the heavens opened. Lucky I always take my waterproofs. Was going to swim tonight but was sooo knackered I went to bed at 6.30. ish.

Before bed though I had a bit of time to trawl ebay for more gear and purchased
a Selle Italia SLR which looks like it might suit my seating style. I dont seem to sit on my 'sit bones' or on the back of the saddle but more in between the legs towards the crotch and on the thin bit of the saddle at the front.
I think its because my legs are sooo huge I need something small between the them.
The black saddle (viper) on the vanquish is very comfy and I dont even need to wear a pad to ride it but its my commuter one and heavy and I need something similar
but lighter and longer for Jamis. The black/grey specialized one is the right size but sooo painful due to the cut out which puts huge pressure on where I sit. Its like sitting on two metal pins. I have to sit really far forward to ride this one it weighs 270g. The white Specialized one is average but you might be able to see that there is a slight cut out/ indentation down the middle so the outside bits put pressure on my sit area but it isn't as bad as the other one this weighs 350
g. The Slr seems to have a long nose and is rounded/convex like the viper and weighs next to nothing, 135g.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Very Quick weekly round up

Used this week to cycle to work every time bar one day as I was working lates so wouldn't have much time for anything else. Its only 7-8 miles each way so used the time for interval sprinting and ended up at work/home dripping wet. Friday night about 9pm was an amazing time for cycling. I tried my new front light and had 30 mph winds up my backside all the way home. The big problem was that I didn't turn my bleedin' cycle computer on and would have broken my record by miles. Cars struggled to keep up and had to rev their engines very hard to overtake. Most enjoyable.

Tuesday and Thursday I went swimming with the triathlon club. I went through a period where I found swimming very boring and couldn't motivate myself to go but recently I have been putting the effort in to get back up to fitness. It helps when the sessions are varied but very challenging which they have been. Also went swimming on Sunday which was an adult only lane swim at Middleton Arena. All lanes were out which was unusual but was for Aquabears swimming club later on, the session was 1.5hrs long and it was nice and quiet. Used the ooportunity to swim as long and as far as possible. Managed 200 lengths in about 1hr 20mins which is 5km and have never swam that far before in my life in one go.

Before the swim on Sunday I went on a bike ride, was going to do a quick one but didn't realise how quick it would be. I went 2.7 miles when I felt my rear tyre go. On inspection a very large shard of glass went all the way through the tyre and because it was so big once I changed the tube I didn't want to carry on so turned back and limped home. My pump is tiny and thought it would be really handy but it is a bit pathetic. After 200+ pumps I would estimate the tyre pressure at about 70psi. So need/want CO2 pump, more innertubes, new winter tyre,new saddle, another set of bib longs erm sure theres a few more bits.

Was messing with Jamis too and was cleaning out the tension and guide pulleys when I accidentally opened up the sealed bearing on the guide and little ball bearings scattered everywhere. I ordered 5600 ones instead of dura-ace, price difference being £40, and cant tell the difference in shifting.

More goodies have been arriving, I have 2 new front lights which seem to take a while to arrive from China but not as long as my look keo 2 max pedals from Shiney Bikes which I ordered in September and only received this week.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Lactic Buildup


I figured an easy day would help my aching legs recover so I went to circuit training and trained at a moderate pace. I would usually go spinning afterwards but I tend to go a bit too hard so went swimming instead with the tri club. 20 lengths warmup and we were told we were doing a 400m time trial followed by a 50m time trial. Effing hell. A bit of warning would have been nice. One lane was used for swimming up and down what ever we wanted. I was first up, a little nervous. I did some warmup sprints before hand to loosen my legs up a bit. 30 secs before the off I was really up for it. I set off on the first length taking a good lead over the others. Turned at the wall and pushed off.........DISASTER. I had to pull up and pull out due to bad cramp in both legs. I must have looked a right prat as I was expected to be the one to beat. I just went in the swim lane and did a few lengths but got cramp again so rested until the 50m.
I was pretty pissed off now but thought I'd give the 50m a go. I lined up and got in an 'explosive' position to pounce off the wall and get a good start. 30 secs to go I got cramp again just holding onto the wall and yelped. The others were in fits of laughter and I got the 5 secs to go signal and set off. The guy next to me set off 3 secs early which fucked me off but caught him on the turn. I felt cramp just after the turn and nearly stopped but took it easy and got my legs back. Managed to win my heat but I didn't want to know the time as I knew I could go another 5 secs quicker. Bit of a waste of time that.


Football at Wright Robinson college, was throwing it down but settled just before we kicked off. 4.5 a side on a massive pitch for 1hr 15mins absolutely killed me. At least my knee holds up well playing footie. Not played for months and loved it. Just need to keep it up which I doubt will happen as they aint great at organising stuff.


My legs were feeling very bad so did a lot of stretching but this was a rest day.


Once again, using my feeble thinking powers, the best way to loosen up my legs for MCC hillclimb would be to have a swim with the Tri club. Never attended a session on Sunday before, this was at Rochdale baths. 20 lengths warm up, lots of drills then a hard session of 4x100 with first set very fast, 2nd 50m then 10 secs rest then 50m very fast, 3rd 25m the 5 secs rest very fast and the last active recovery this was done 4 times. It was a very good as interval training and every one said how much it made them work.

Went to the Moorcock Inn in the car, watched the remembrance day march and got the bike out and had a ride up and down the hills to get the blood pumping for 30 mins where I met and joined Pete. I was going to struggle big time and to cut a long story short, I did. I set off last which I was happy with as I had someone to chase but my legs just wanted to give up and had to coax them to carry on by using a lower gear than I would have liked. There was a head wind but it wasn't bothering me for a change. The lower gear and higher cadence was making me use my lungs more so having a negative effect rather than a positive one I was expecting. I upped the gearing too late and felt much more comfortable. I was catching Pete but very slowly. I gave an all out effort near the top to try and catch Pete but failed and I ended up collapsing in a puddle looking up at the sky. Paul missed a right good photo there. 9mins 27 secs, but had done 9 mins in training and was aiming for 8mins 30secs. Also had to use Vanquish as I screwed up Jamis's guide jockey pully. Same time as the new guy, the other Paul. Have I given enough excuses?
The 16oz rib eye steak and my first pint for ages at the White House made up for a terrible week. The support for the hill climb was tremedous and if I forgot to thank anyone here is a big thankyou for cheering us on. Track day in December is the next event.

On a seperate note and continuing the trend of buying new stuff every week, one of my new torches for my helmet or handle bars arrived and within minutes of receiving it I got a phone call from Steve Foley asking to borrow a front and rear set so lent him my brand new Raleigh Astrium and p7 led one from China. He was doing an 162km Audax around Cheshire. The p7 led looks very nice and powerful and should make a good backup for my main light which is due to arrive late next week. Keep tuned in for more goodies arriving!!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Light training


Cycled to and from work. Nice and uneventful just the way I like it. Could do with a bit more traffic on the road though. Averaged 19 mph there and 17.2mph back which I think is a record for me, the hilly return leg. 14.5 miles total.

Went swimming with the tri club. Normally there are just a handful that turn up but as winter draws nears and the days are very dark around 12-14 swam in 2 lanes. A little hectic but workable. 20 lengths warmup followed by 10x25m sprints and 10 x50m sprints. Then some drills and breathing work. 5x100 where length 1 was dont breathe, 2nd swim, 3rd breathe every 3, set 2 breathe every 4,5,6,7 etc then swim last. Lastly were some drills and counting strokes so first length was long hard strokes and the return leg was trying to do less strokes. Just as was leaving I was coaxed into running at the track on wednesday, I said I'd turn up and see what I could do.


It was lashing it down most of the day with some spells of light drizzle. I was determined to do a little running so set off to see if the rain would subside but needed to get petrol anyway from Morrisons which is just 2 mins from the running track at Spring hill school. Got there very early as I thought it started at 7pm but it was at 7.30 and waiting for people to turn up. There was little rain and only Lee turned up with myself. The weather turned out to be perfect running weather, so comfortable. What a poor show :( He had come a long way from Ramsbottom so decided to have a run anyway. Warmup 2x400m light jog then 4 x 400m where we took turns to lead after 200m and 200m fast walk after each set. He was quite quick for me and wondered if he was holding himself back. We then did 4 laps (1600m) at my pace, concentrating on my breathing and trying not to get a stitch which always happens. Knee was holding up fine until the next set which was going to be 2 x 400, 1st100m at 50% then 60% then 80% then finally full out sprint. I lasted the first 100 until my knee started to go so just did 2 laps warm down. I could definately tell I hadn't run for a while and my muscles were starting to cramp. I will go again but if the club actually turn up I would probably have to do my own stuff as there is no way I 'd keep up and do 35 mins max. I loved every minute of it though.

My rear lights came today Raleigh Astrium or somet as recommended by redbikes and true to his review they are excellent for £8.50 from ebay. They left a sticker on, the price being £25.99!!! Very bright and great build quality. I managed to wrap a jubilee clip round it and my seat post so I shouldn't be losing this one. Still waiting
for my Keo 2 max pedals, still not in stock. Found a website that do deep section carbon wheels in clincher form for very cheap and are very light too so might have to get some. About £500 60mm clincher weight is about 1650g. Planning on either rest or light swim thursday, might miss circuit, and then Footie on friday at Abbey Hey which could be a mistake.