Monday, 19 July 2010

Not enough rest.

As per title, story of my week. I think I am facing burnout and need a long rest but there's always something there saying ' you will put lots of weight on the amount of shit you eat' or/and 'it'll take at least 2weeks to get to the same level as you were at if you have even one rest day!' The last 3 Sundays I have taken as rest days as well as wed/sun of the week just gone.

Monday and Tuesday I cycled to work, can't remember averages but I do remember Tuesday being ultra difficult and not hitting 20mph average for my 20 mile commutes in either direction. Swam Tuesday too. Swam on Thursday, footie on friday and went to Cowm res to swim on Sat. Footie really hurts my muscles, all of them not just my leg ones. I figured as I was having a rest it wouldn't matter playing again and I enjoyed it sooo much this time. Sunday came and went, desperately wanted to get out and ride, that's all I could think about ALL day. Sad fecker I know. Could I go a whole week without cycling....NO! So it was Monday's turn.

Alarm set for 8am but didn't get up til 10.30am. Forcast was for showers at midday but outside there were sunny spells and it looked like it could be like that for a while so I chanced it. Just in case it did rain I took Jamis out for a training ride which is unusual for me. There was a nagging feeling that I won't be able to go as fast as I'd like or as far, it was coming from my thighs that were still aching from Friday. Once out I was pacing my self, getting warmed up and faster as the day went on and it still didn't look like it would rain.

I took a long way round to Edenfield rd, not direct, and caught up to a MTB'er. This was no ordinary MTB'er but a fast one! Forget pacing the climb this git was late for work and in a rush and I don't like being re overtaken! Thats how quick he was going,we had time to chat a little. hehe. After exchanging the customary pleasantries I pulled away gradually and saw him shoot straight to the back of my wheel. I was at 13mph up Edenfield rd which I don't think I have ever done before. It was a bit much for him in the end, good job too because I was starting to get into the red.

I did have a route planned in my head before I set off but changed it at the last second as I headed into Bacup. Normally I'd go up Bacup/Tod road but changed my mind to go up Burnley road, I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more. Still got me to the same place in the end and headed towards Cragg. After 41miles at the bottom of Cragg I had averaged 20.5mph. I prayed for the wind to be kind but it wasn't answered. Most of my energy was being used to get up this monster with a double figured headwind. Slog slog slog, Using my old technique of standing for 8-10 pedal stokes and sitting for as long as possible until the speed dropped. It was working until the exposed bits at the top where in the past I had done 17-20mph but struggled to do 11mph today. The descent was pretty bad too, getting blown left and right.

At Littleborough I was at 19.3mph average thats about 50miles in but that wasn't good enough for me. I wanted to climb Bacup road as once at the top there was a 20mile 'downhill' section home which was sure to put me over 20mph average. I had got myself to 19.5mph average at the start of the climb but once on it my legs had gone. No power to push and the thighs were sore/burning not recovered from the footie which I knew would affect me in the end. All I could do was put Jamis in the lowest gear and sit back and actually try to enjoy the ride home. It was painful but I eventually found my way home, not losing as much time as I thought.

When I got off the bike I wanted to get back on it and pedal as the weight on my legs was unbearable. It felt like they were being torn to pieces just like my average speed. I hadn't done a long ride for a while so I wondered if that contributed to my poor effort or if I really do need a long rest, which I think is more likely. Thirdly it could be the fact that I had nothing to eat and half a bottle of drink ( to minimise weight due to not being on Scottie, LOL) for the 4 hrs+ I was out. D'oh. Due to the weather holding out I doubled my expected distance.

Distance ~80miles
Average SP 18.6mph
Ascent 6000ft

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Who needs cars?

Didn't think I'd say this but I've barely used the car the last few weeks. My shifts have been relatively kind but I'm on super earlies next week which could signal the start of a much needed rest. I'd love to keep my time trialling to work up well into next week but I will burn out anytime soon.

Friday's commute saw the first glimmer of my imminent collapse. The night before I had little sleep which is nothing new but no breakfast so was low on energy. I just felt I had bonked for the 20miles but amazingly I still managed 20mph average. Recently I have changed saddle position again! so that I can pull up more on the pedals using my large hamstring and gluteal muscles which is unusual for a cyclist as its normally the quads that is the main muscle. So when my quads die like today I have a reserve supply.

Commute home was easier, lots more power in the legs and managed 20.5mph.

Saturday's commute, not much to say really just a crappy windy,hot, humid day. 20.5mph.

The uphill battle home has been a good tester for my sitting down power, no standing allowed! and Im gettting stronger day by day but I think its more to do with technique. Bontrager xxx race lite wheels which im not happy with the rear one as I feel a lot of drag, not sure if its a hub problem or if they are really bad aerodynamically, or the wind direction but I can usually feel the wind pushing the body, this was in the legs and behind me. Still did a great 21.3mph for 20 miles. Wanted to save something for my Sunday ride but I went hard.

Just realised my Sat ride home was a record average for me. I have just gone to double check the readings as I don't believe it at is correct. Hmmmm some secret weapon I had last week. 210miles weekly total.

Friday, 9 July 2010



50+ hilly miles with an average of 20mph has been my aim the past couple of months but my extended, fast commutes have always tired me out for my target ride on my days off work. I thought Id give it another go even if I am no where near my best and have resorted to eating all sorts to keep the energy up. Carbs, sweets, good stuff ( salmon, tuna veggies), bad stuff ( pies burgers chips) and lots of it all.

Same ol' wind present which has been blighting this country recently and changes direction every few hours. I noticed on the weather maps on tv that the pattern it follows is usually a circular one as in swirly so you're constantly fighting it.

Going quite strong up the climbs even though I've barred myself from standing up. Sometimes I just can't resist and need to give myself a big slap. Edenfield road is a deceptive climb as I always think I should be going faster than I actually am, struggle maintain 10mph all the way up. Bacup/Tod road which climbs to 1300ft seems alot easier in comparison but it doesn't look like it on the maps. Can usually maintain 12mph and deffo try not to go under 10. Performance was fine, 20.5mph average at the half way point but traffic was bad in Todmoreden and Hebden bridge which slowed me down considerably. Difficult to overtake as the village roads are tiny especially with heavy traffic on the other side too.

Next climb was Cragg Vale and I did it all sitting down. Im doing a lot of sitting down pedalling as Im concentrating on my time trialling technique which at the moment isn't yielding as much power as I would like but it is getting better. Wind was blasting in my face all the way back home but my averages up Cragg were quite good. Just the exposed couple of km's near the top let me down. My average was dropping all the way home even though its generally downhill and I was pushing very hard. I wasn't going to reach my target today but I gave it a good shot, the state of my legs can tell you that.

Average 19.5mph
Ascent 4000ft
Distance 52miles

Thursday, 8 July 2010


I seem to be lacking in something anyway. Its been nearly 3 weeks since I posted last, not because I haven't done anything but due to not being arsed and time is being hard to come by recently. THe worst aspect I have been lacking in is SLEEP. I haven't had a good nights worth of the stuff for over a month and I suppose my anxiety arising from that isn't helping.

After the triathlon I had a bit of a break and only managed about 3hrs worth of exercise, not on the bike, that week which was leading up to the rail sport games on Sat 26th/27th June at Blackpool. I played in all 3 qualifying games winning 2-0, 8-0 and losing 2-1. We progresssed to the finals on Sun only to get knocked out 1st game by last years winners 4-1, a game I didn't play as I gave the others a chance as I was the only one who hadn't been substituted. Usually I don't find it hard to get fired up for footie but my head was down and I wasn't interested in the games at all. Getting to bed at 4am after a nights drinking ( something I haven't done in ages) was a welcome distraction and enjoyed to the max.

The following days were spent recovering from about 5 mins of running I did at the footie matches, the legs sore and heavy. I ran 10km at the tri and legs were fine but kick a ball about and they fall to pieces. The commutes hampered recovery as I tend to hammer it all the time. So last week I probably did about 180miles of cycling, 140 being extended commutes. This week is seeing more of the same, 20miles each way to work and back. Rain on wednesday pissed me off as I stuffed my face Tuesday so I could do a big ride. hopefully Thursday is fine.

I have a secret weapon I have been using on my commutes that seem be be helping the last couple of times but I wont use it/them again commuting. I have broken my fastest averages record because of it/them getting 22mph on a 22mile commute to work and 21.2 mph on a 21 mile commute home. The latter being exceptional as the swirly wind was terrible and its uphill. Also haven't gone under the 20mph mark average the last 2 weeks commuting which is a sign of improvement considering my state of mind.

Pantani and I have decided to enter our first time trials of the year. Beginning of August when the season is bloody ending! Anyhow it's up at Levens, which on a good windless day is very fast. We will both have our secret weapons out for this one!!! One word..... 'Dedacciai'

P.S. Well done to all those who did great times in the Manchester to Blackpool, I've read most of the blogs just can't be bothered to type a reply.