Friday, 29 October 2010

Loadsa Miles - Quick Weekly Roundup

Thursday 21st, Friday 22nd Sat 23rd.

After concentrating so hard this week, I can't remember what on earth I was up to last week. Did I cycle to work? No idea. There's no way I'd miss 3 days. Ahhhh Thursday wasn't a work day.

SQT 'B' session at the velodrome. What a super,exhilarating 2hr session for £9.80. There were 40- of us on the track and it was my first go. Sooo nervous as I didn't want to screw up or cause some massive pile up. Turns out the ability was mixed from regular super fast racers to sunday clubber's but I did notice they were all experienced and knew exactly what to do. Some of the tasks/skills/training looked quite advanced and I was shoved at the back to observe then copy and when it was my turn I generally knew what to do and when apart from one time ( always happens) and I got a little word down my ear. Would definitely do again as much as possible. 30-35 miles.

Went swimming with Tri club 30 mins after the SQT finish, just to get the arms used to pulling. Got cramp near the end but did go quite hard up til that time.

I must have cycled Fri and/or Sat. Ill have to ask the missus when she wakes up.

Sunday 24th

SQT 'A/B'. Not as many, maybe 25 but there were a lot more inexperienced riders and the coach just did some simple exercises. Didn't feel as fast as Thursday and was more of a chore, by the last exercise I just wanted to go home as my bum was killing me. I think the mileage was quite high with this one as the breaks were very short. In between sets, sprinters would come on and do their thing then we'd go back on. I'm sure one of them was Jason Queally, He had a superman sticker on his bike. 35miles.

This week's commutes

Monday 25th

(work)           Distance 30miles     Speed 19.3mph
(Intermidiate)  Distance 20miles     Speed 18.1mph
(home)           Distance 20miles     Speed 15.6mph

Sunday's SQT finished quite late and I was shattered from the interval work we did. Bike fit felt terrible as I have been fiddling with it recently. Post way too high and all the leg muscles were being overstretched. Couldn't get comfy on the drops or tops. The commute home wasn't fun. The first 5 uphill miles were done at 19mph then I bonked. As the rides went on I was fading fast into nothing. My position on the bike was quite far forward and I'm sure that combined with the height my muscles deteriorate super fast.

Tuesday 26th

(work)          Distance 20miles     Speed 19.2mph
(home)          Distance 20miles     Speed 20.0mph

Used mainly as a recovery day but felt quite snappy. Tempted to over do it and I might have done so. I put the saddle back and lowered it loads. Oh my! What a change. I felt I could keep going forever and that the wind didn't exist at all! Got a feeling that I'm going to be exhausted for the rest of the week? Quite windy today 10-15mph and its going to get worse through the week.

Wednesday 27th

(work)          Distance 20miles     Speed 20.0mph
(home)          Distance 20miles     Speed 19.8mph

Just to prove Tuesday wasn't a fluke I go and do some more fast commutes. This time though I was really feeling every pedal stroke and really feeling the wind too.It didn't feel like I had attained 20mph. I am not going to change my bike setup at all now. It is a dream to ride. Shame I have to give Pantani his Pro-Lite wheels back. Talking of wheels I might have ordered bargain of the century, thats if I dont get my money refunded and told that a mistake was made. No info until I get the wheels or a refund :) Wind speed was 15-18mph and was more blustery and continous than Tuesday where there were breaks of no wind. Can I carry on the speed into Thursday?

Thursday 28th

(work)     Distance 30miles     Speed 19.3mph
(inter)      Distance 20miles     Speed 19.8mph
(home)     Distance 20miles     Speeds 20.2mph

Looks like there's no stopping me. I'd have thought that I'd be a bit fatigued at the end of the week but seem to be getting stronger and stronger. Dehydration has been a major problem of mine and could be the reason behind some poor performances so from Tuesday I have been drinking loads. I have done so many changes Im not sure which has had the amazing effect on my cycling. Wind speed 21mph + ugh not nice at all. The intermediate cycle was kinda like a circular circuit so balanced out the wind and gives a better idea of true performance.  On the commute home I started off by thinking Ill only do a short cycle as the muscles were burning, tight and achey but they loosened up very very quickly so I carried on. With a couple of miles to go I couldn't stand up because I had totally worn my legs out but was able to put the power down whist in the saddle which I have never seemed to be able to do until this week. Nearly puked up at the end as I pushed my self hard due to having a couple of days off, or not? Might run fri/sat and possibly do the Rochdale Tri club Championships Triathlon on sun depending on weather and knees after running. Going to try and get bike fit on tri bike, similar to Jamis.

Total miles this week Thurs - Thurs = 280ish (not including fri/sat as Im not sure if I did cycle or not.)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Track Accreditation

As posted previously, on Sunday I was booked in the Velodrome to hopefully pass the full track accreditation exercises. There was about 15 of us, many of whom I had seen before or knew due to  having to do all the tasters, taster improvers, skills and induction lessons. Thought I'd look a bit smarter than I had done by wearing the full Rochdale tri club kit instead of the cheapo Aldi stuff I like to wear. Emily from Rochdale Tri club was there and also 'Kingcutter' from cycle chat forums. Made me feel alot more comfortable and less nervous with a few friends about.

The 'test' was split into 3 parts which I can't remember but it was something like warmup, skills and speed/racing. Not sure if the warmup counted and if the speed/racing were seperate. Anyway, we had to get in a long line and hold on to the wheel infront without drifting too far behind or above/below and hold an even pace without 'kicking back' to slow down and do some changes every lap then every half lap.

The skills was also a fitness test as it lasted quite a long time. So we got up into our line again being paced by Chester, one of the velodrome staff. We'd do a lap on the bottom, blackline, red line, blue line and top of the backing followed by more changing after full laps then half laps and then 5 or so laps of lumps and bumps ( moving up and down the banking), 2-3 bike lengths apart making sure we moved at the same point Chester moved at and not at the same time. Pairs was next and changing in pairs, moving to the back. Lastly in this section was the 'box move' 2 lines one on the blue and one just above, side by side. The lower line sprinted through and joined the front of the higher line, the back of the higher line dropped down to the back of the  lower line, one by one and repeated.  It was great to do all the skills without any hiccups and it proceeded sooo smoothly.

The speed work was quite simple, 2 lines on the blue, half a lap apart and the front guy would drop to the black line and sprint to the back of the line infront. 3 sprints each.

Finally was the mock race. 12 laps 'warm up' and changing then 12 laps racing. I led and screwed up straight away by leading on the blue line and not the lower black one. A loud shout from coach corrected that and the first twelve laps were up. I was leading as we crossed the line and the 'elite' Surosa rider had just dropped back so I started the race straight away and upped the pace. After the first lap and half the line was strung out considerably by myself but Surosa guy was with us so I dropped back to let someone else lead and recover a little. We all took our turns at the front and with 8 laps to go we were whittled down to 4. A guy from Wakefield tri club took some very hard and long turns at the front, probably because he couldn't sprint but he did cause a little panic as we chased. I shouted to leave him but the others sprinted to follow his wheel so I had to go hard to get back.  Four laps to go and still 4 of us. Surosa guy was taking very short stints at the front, with 3 to go I led and went slowish for a lap hoping for someone to overtake. Tri guy sprinted off again and again we gave chase. He was caught and dropped and with one and half to go  the other rider led. One lap to go Surosa guy over took the leader and I was still behind but slowed myself on the corners so that I was still behind Surosa guy which might have been a mistake and should have just carried the speed on til the end. On the last straight I pulled out and was slowly inching forward but Surosa guy got it by a wheel. Loved every second of the 'race' but the main concern was that we were all safe whilst doing it, otherwise a big FAIL would be written by our names.

Play time ended the exam and the Derny was brought out. I had increased a tooth on my sprocket from last time so was glad when Coach said max would only be about 45-50km/h. I think I did 64km/h previously. Was also quite tired by this point but managed to hold on well.

We were all invited to the rider's D for our results and we had all passed. Deffo the correct result as the group assembled was to a very high standard compared to some of the taster's and skills sessions. The new way of accreditation works a treat I think instead of the one all day session where you could do it even though you've barely ridden before.  So what does that mean now?.... I can now participate in SQT's( structured quality training and some races, even though most racing doesn't require accreditation). First SQT is booked for tommorrow! its only £10 for the 2 hrs. Wish me  luck :)

About 30 miles ridden

MONDAY commute ( 4hrs after the above!)  

Work       Distance 20 miles         Speed     19.3mph
Home      Distance  15miles         Speed     17.2mph

WED running

                Distance   10km        Time    44mins 45 secs

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Flat batteries...or is it running on fumes?


Wed 13th October        (work)    20miles        19.9mph   Legs dead due to running but good speed.
                                     (home)    30miles        19.7mph   Feeling better, gettting cold at 9pm.

Thurs 14th October        (work)   20miles        18.3mph Drained, wind quite still.
                            (intermediate)   20miles        19.5mph Hammered it, going to pay later
                                      (home)   30miles        18.0mph Still, but feel like getting blasted backwards.

Fri 15th October             (work)   30miles        17.2mph If it wasn't for N wind I'd be much slower.
                                       (home)   30miles       18.5mph Started off easy but getting strong near end.

Quite cold at 2am-3am in morning and my body is struggling to get a reasonable heart rate up to keep myself warm. Also noticing I'm not getting out of breath, not that I don't want to but just incapable of pushing myself probably due to exhaustion/no glycogen so my body shuts down to fat burning mode? I'm only guessing.
Getting home on Friday night I was so tempted to stop off and get 2 pizzas but somehow managed to resist. I did intend to commute on Sat but just couldnt do it.

On Sunday I have my final accreditation assessment at the velodrome, woohoo, fingers crossed I do well. If I pass it I will be able to ride the SQT sessions, just in time for Winter.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

More running than cycling, HAH!

Hehehe, Didn't think I'd see the day where I have done more miles in a week running than on the bike but don't worry that will soon change when I'm back at work.

Another 10km over and done with and I am actually enjoying the runs. Problem this time is that I had a stitch ALL the way around the course and muscle a bit achey. Time was respectable 46minutes 30 seconds. No major hiccups with the knees either ( fingers crossed and wood touched etc.)

Went swimming at Middleton Arena, not too strenuous tonight. Used a pull bouy and paddles most of the set. 500m warmup, 4 x 100 easy 30s rest, 4 x 100 easy 20s rest, 4x 100 pull only 15s rest, 4 x100 IM 10s rest and 100m warmdown. 2.2km swam.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Running, jogging....crawling.

After the run on Friday I was going to do the Heaton Park run on Saturday as it was going to be another fab day. However I was aching like mad and reallly tired. Still haven't recovered from my week of very early starts. Same for Sunday. I didn't swim due to the above reasons. Monday arrives and the superb weather continues so I'm determined to go out for the full 10km run.

Instantly I could feel that my leg muscles were getting used to running again and I made it effortlessly down the street. I quickened the pace to try and beat Friday's time. After 10 mins I could feel a twinge in my right knee and after 16 mins I was in agony and had to stop. 'Turn around and walk home' someone kept telling me. I didn't listen and jogged very slowly. The 'Crawling' in my Blog title is very apt, have never been a good runner, even though I did cross country for the school team. After 5 mins of slow jogging the pain was disappearing so I carried on at the same rate until eventually the pain subsided. If I was to go a bit faster I would get' the twinge' so had to limit myself initially. The pain went totally after few more minutes and I was merrily trundling along at a decent speed. By the time I was able to run again I knew that I was no where near  a good time for the 10km. I think I could have done a lot further than 10km today, even after the dodgy knee episode, but I was nearly home so virtually sprinted the last 500m. There was no ache at all in the muscles and its just a matter of time before my confidence returns.

6.22miles in 51mins 30s but I arrived home in one piece, no niggles to report and feeling very fresh.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Super sleepy commutes

Sunday 3rd October             Dreadful weather followed by worse weather. There were quite a few hard core cyclists out today, me not being one of them. Swam at Rochdale baths with Tri club. 1km ( 40 lengths) warmup up then 6>5>4>3>2>1 lengths, one set normal, one set pull, one normal, one pull. 6 lengths warm down. 130 lengths in under an hour. Not bad since I'm a bit rusty. It's going to be difficult to get out of bed for the week's commutes as I start about 4am everyday bar one 3.25am!!! I will do it!!!

Monday 4th October              Not had much rest from all the action last week and I can see myself not getting much this week either so I can see myself skipping a day or two. Going was at a relaxed pace but the body was tense and tight. When that happens I just concentrate on nice smooth pedalling and getting as aero as possible. As normal I liven up in the afternoon.

(to work)      Distance        20miles                   Av Speed          17.6mph   (head/cross wind galore)
(to home)     Distance         20miles                   Av Speed          19.3mph

Tuesday 5th October              Going well so far. 2nd day 2nd commute. Have to get up at 2am to allow myself time to get in, in case of puncture ( x1 last week) or if I have to travel really slow. Today was really slow day, well the morning run was. Seemed to take forever to get anywhere but there was a huge bonus. Going so slow you don't feel the wind as much hah! Might have to try it more often. Afternoon cycle was greatly extended due to the superb weather and I did a deal with the missus. I had inside info it was going to be nice all week so If I was allowed ( fitness permitting) to extended cycles home I would not cycle any day on my long weekend off, coming up. She agreed but little did she know I was taking  a rest week anyway heheheeee. The first 15miles of the commute home were a cross/tail wind all uphill gently and I got lulled into a false sense of security as I thought I could keep the frantic pace I had initially set. As soon as I turned East it was a cross/head wind all the way home virtually for 35 miles! Average dropped like a bomb but still pleased with my effort as I must have stopped at 20 traffic lights plus.

(to work)       Distance          20miles                      AV speed          16.4mph   (head/cross wind galore)
(to home)      Distance           50miles                      Av Speed          18.6mph    ROUTE

Wednesday 6th October           This one would be the test of my commitment as I had to get up at 1am ish and unbelievably I awoke full o' beans. When the legs feel good the wind is less noticeable even though its unwanted prescence was definitely blowing against me, 'Lance calls it a chain free day' Didn't quite feel like that. I have been reading a book by Paul Kimmage 'Rough Ride', the first book I have read in ages since Robbie Fowlers Autobiography. Its about life as a pro cyclist in the late 80's and doping etc but he mentions multi vitamins and caffeine to aid recovery. I seem to be eating enough calories and sometimes it can take a weeks rest to get back to best so on Tuesday I took 2 vitamin tabs swilled with diet redbull. This week I might as well had no sleep, ok not as bad as that but it has been difficult which should mean very slow recovery if at day yet this week.

(to work)      Distance           20miles                         Av Speed        19.4mph (head/cross wind galore)
(to home)      Distance           30miles                         Av Speed        19.9mph (millions of stops grrrr)

Thursday 7th October               Two more vitamin tablets last night and a relatively good nights sleep meant good legs in the morning, but not ideal. I'm nowhere near my best fitness wise and all week for the past 3-4 weeks I am feeling muscle tightness. Have been doing lots of stretching recently but hard to tell if its doing any good. Nice fast ride to work, against the wind again, generally, and another big ride home to boost the weekly mileage. Had a Starbucks Blueberry cheesecake which was a mixture bewteen the Tesco new york and the  softer chocolately base of Harvester's. Tangy aftertaste but the melt in the mouth crumbly texture and just a hint of blueberry so it doesn't spoil the taste of the cheesey bit.

(to work)      Distance           20miles                          Av Speed        19.7mph ( blah blah windy)
(to home)     Distance            40miles                         Av Speed         17.7mph (ROUTE)

Much more difficult long commute home as the wind has changed to a Easterly from a Southerly so all the route is a cross/head wind with virtually no tail, loads of stops as coming home school time just like Tues. Wooohoo, did all 4 days and topped it off with a swim at Middleton Arena with Tri club where I went full out. Lungs are up to it but arm muscles still need some conditioning as they went very quickly. 32 lengths warmup with drills then 400m, 2x200m, 4x400m, 8x50m and finally 20 lengths warm down. 118 lengths :(

Friday 8th October                 FIVE DAYS REST, well off the bike anyway. I went for a run instead to see how quickly I had lost form. Very rarely do running out side but the nice weather prompted my change in attitude. Just over 6miles in 43 mins 30 seconds, thats nearly 10km. Left knee held up immensely but right knee gave up 20m from lucky. It felt I had a trapped nerve and the pain shot down the leg from my knee.

Obtained a chocolate cheese cake from the 'Slattery' which I knew would be a mistake and was. Sickly rich Chocolate moussey thing on top of the strangest crunchy biscuit base ever like it had very cheapo malteasers in it.. Also got a Strawberry tart. The pastry casing is utter tosh, dry, almost stale, tasteless even with a thin chocolate layer. Not a one off but to their recipe. Filled with plain whipped cream with strawberries on top. Boring, plain and boring. Chocolate and Orange Torte was last, looked amazing and actually did taste quite good, very 'jaffery' Sponge was too light and dry though.

Miles for the week             220miles

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Mmmmm Cheesecake

Tuesday Commute (to work)         Distance  25miles         Av Spd         18.2mph
                              (to home)        Distance  25miles         Av Spd          19.3mph

Took a bit of a beating Tuesday night, got drenched. Doesn't usually bother me but I set off unprepared ie. no waterproof, no overshoes etc so was very miserable.

Wednesday and Thursday were work rest days and cycling rest days. I was allowed out Thursday but declined the offer, went swimming instead with the Tri club. Starting to be a cheesecake connoisseur. Nutters restaurant had done the best white chocolate one but recently, absolutely love Harvester's. A chocolatey softish base lacking crunch but compliments the melt in the mouth, crumbliness perfect cheesy bit, not bitter and not too sweet, with just the right amount of raspberry coulis baked in the top. At £3.99 for a small slice it aint cheap! I hit the supermarkets to try and find a cheaper alternative. This week was Tesco's turn in the form of Extra special Newyork Vanilla Cheesecake for £4. I expected great things but was let down. Didn't feel cheesy but had a cheesy bitter aftertaste and the bicuit, a little digestivey. I still ate 1500calories worth to make sure my taste buds weren't lying. Next was the ES Millionaires Cheesecake on offer at £3.60. Comes with a gooey chocolate topping, small amounts of  liquid caramel, with a mild caramel cheesey taste but was disappointed at the lack of a 'short bread' base just the super sugary and buttery digestive tasting one. Again 1500 calories worth eaten! A lot nicer than the ES Newyork but still looking for the 'ONE' Might have to pop down to some independants. The Slattery has a good reputation in Whitefield,  the big cakes are nice and fancy but the  little desserts are supermarket standard so not sure I'll bother with theirs.

So in 2 days I must have consumed 6000 calories in sugar alone. Lots of energy for cycling?

Friday Commute (to work)     Distance    25miles        Av Sp           16.4mph
                           (to home)    Distance    30miles        Av Sp            19.9mph

Felt terrible Friday going to work which was worsened by the  Southerly wind as my commute zig zags to the south so a permanent head wind which died down come to the evening cycle which I extended so that I could get in over 200miles for the week.

Saturday Commute (to work) Distance   25miles         Av Sp             20.0mph
                              (to home) Distance   30miles         Av Sp             20.1mph

Impressed with the work cycle as there were lots of traffic light stops, actually all this week there have been loads of traffic light stops going to and from work as I have started late morning and finished early evening. Also had that nasty Southerly/SW wind again. On the way home I did what I try to do on my commutes and do a few intervals. Some sprinting from traffic lights, some long straight less intense but very hard and the sitting hill climb where I am totally zapped at the top. Recovery inbetween was quick so rest periods were as short as possible. Enjoyed my mini hill climb today as I concentrated on a super smooth and fast-ish pedal motion which worked and speeds were very good in the wind. Nice mild temperatures this week resulting in copious amounts of sweat as Im in my winter gear.

I have been tweeking my saddle positioing again. I have the nose pointing slightly upward ( not too uncomfy) to sit on the edge when doing hard efforts, raised the post which does hurt the  bum more and set the saddle back a bit more which helps when climbing. I seem to get most power to the peddles when Im on my tippy toes. Just realised that as when I did leg presses in the gym my toes would always be pointed as that's where I get the most power from but ideally Im sure the feet are supposed to be flat. Problems are my bum is really hurting due to it smashing down on the saddle and my calves dont like it too much.

Plan for next week is to have a relaxing Sunday ride followed by 4 very early commutes and then Ill take a big long rest for a week where I might do some running. Last winter I did a lot of core work and has benefitted me loads with the unusual bike positioning I have but recently, after neglecting my core I can feel the odd ache and twinge so will need to do more this winter.

Total mileage for the week just over 200miles.