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More ill considered base training…

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Friday saw a small break in the clouds so after a busy morning I jumped on my bike and gave myself a quick thrashing for just over 40km and 500+m of climbing. By ill considered I mean that especially when I ride alone I just press on every ride. I’m not doing any slow/low intensity riding, I’m just riding relatively speaking as hard as I can each time I get on the bike. This is not smart I appreciate, so I’m now looking into doing something about it. I had a good phone conversation with Adrian Timmis (http://www.cadencesport.co.uk/) last evening about some potential coaching for some cycling plans I’m hatching for this year – but also to help me learn to train smarter and see if I can take my riding up to the next level.

I’m now riding better bikes than I ever have, so I don’t really need to spend money on “bling” for my cycling (although that is a lot of fun .. and I do really fancy some fab new wheels). The thing is, I know all the bling in the world isn’t going to make me significantly faster. I have bikes that are at or under the UCI weight limit – but I’m still not exactly blasting through the countryside on them.

In a rare moment of common sense, I’m going to look into other ways to learn to ride better and faster. I definitely felt that towards the end of 2010 I had improved but plateaued and I’m not sure my current training “method” is going to help me move forwards appropriately. 

Oddly yesterday I felt better on the bike, I rode better up one of my usual climbs than I had since last year and took a loop though Motts Mill and past Eridge Station on some roads I’d not covered for months. The ride had some short sharp climbs in it and I thought I got up them ok if not spectacularly even though I knew my approach to the ride was not necessarily brilliant. It was however brilliant to get some sunshine and actually have to squint to see in places. Less good were a couple of near misses with cars on narrow country lanes – one driver decided the best way to approach me was to drive at me in a game of chicken (fortunately she swerved away again about 10 feet from me), plus a couple of others who just treated the country road as if I wasn’t there and drove straight down the middle at me (leaving me about 18 inches to ride in). Fortunately these kind of idiots are very rare where I ride and no harm was done. 

Unusually though today I’ve been hobbling about with a sore knee – something that almost never happens to me. I felt fine all evening after the ride but after a bad nights sleep (thanks kids!), I’ve been hobbling much of the day. I could have just slept awkwardly or it could be a physical sign that it’s time to re-think training.

Thanks for reading.