Thursday, 20 June 2013

The last couple of weeks

In my quest I decided that I needed to utilise my time at home when my son in sleeping. So instead of sitting on my backside watching tv, I can sit on my bike watching tv while training. The world of indoor bike training is a lot bigger than I thought. I had a pretty small budget so that made the market some what smaller.

The two categories of trainers I was looking at were turbo trainers and rollers. In the end I went with rollers and found a set on eBay with a stand. The reason I went with rollers is because I can just put my bike on it and ride, as well as improving my pedaling action, core strength and the bonus of getting comfortable with my bike. The turbo trainer you have to attach your back wheel and when time is valuable the quicker option made sense, the only downside being the set I had bought had no option to increase the resistance but I am sure I can work around it.

I had watched some youtube videos and some disasters on them. From the research I had done if you didn't use the stand it is best to put the rollers in between a doorway so you can quickly gain your balance again. Unfortunately I haven't got a doorway suitable for this so I improvised with the high chair on one side. This worked, but transferring my hand from the high chair to the handlebar was proving challenging without losing balance. In the end I managed it and kept my balance for 15 minutes before getting over confident and coming off the side. Fortunately I didn't injure myself.

Slowly but surely things are coming together. Sunday 26th I joined a couple of club mates on a ride up to High Beech, Epping. This time I had an isotonic drink and two energy gels. I had two weetabix and two slices of wholemeal toast for breakfast lessons 1-3 learnt. The ride was good and full of hills and they dropped me on each one and waited for me on the top. Although I hate hills I know I need to do more for my legs to get use to them.

I was given some advice on the ride in regards climbing hills. Anyone that has done a fair amount of cycling probably knows this but me being pretty much new to this had no clue. If the hill is a long one you want to sit back in the saddle, hands on top of the handlebars and relax your arms and shoulders. Why? you may ask, standing up a while climbing a hill incorporates your arms more and uses up vital oxygen needed for your legs, the relaxing part is for your chest to expand as and fill your lungs as much as possible. So far it has helped and that fact that it improves my stamina through spinning my legs is a bonus.

I have since been out on another club run, in general I felt a lot better although I was dropped on a hill because I thought I was in the small chain ring when in fact I was in the big chain ring and run out of gears. Then when I caught up they began the charge to the cafe and there was no way I was going to keep up with them. On the way home they averaged 21 mph over 30 miles, I bother trying to keep up and averaged 17 mph but was happy that I didn't get to the point of having nothing left in my legs.

Slowly but surely I am improving. What I haven't told you so far is some of the cyclist in the group are twice my age and wipe the floor with me. I can't think of many sports where a person in their twenties with a decent level of fitness is unable to keep up with someone in their 60's.

So the plan for my blogs now is to update weekly with my training plan, how training is going and once I start to organise myself I will add my current food and drink intake and hopefully we will see how I am progressing. I think now is a good time to set a goal for the current racing season. The first is to earn a point in a road racing event from what  I have seen from some of those that race in the same category it is going to be tough but there is no point setting a goal that is easy to achieve.

I have found out that I have a place in the 2013 Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 and will be raising money on behalf of The Maypole Project, if you have any spare change to donate please click here.    

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

My First Club Run

Glendene is the name of the cycling club I joined, based in Navestock just outside Brentwood. The club night is on a Wednesday so I went down there and met some of the members. My first thought was I am carrying too much weight compared to these guys and girls.

My plan was over winter to get myself fit and be in good condition for the cycling season. Unfortunately this didn't happen due to work but not one to completely write things off I changed my diet. I have never been out of shape but in October last year I was 81kg at 5'10, 2 weeks ago I weighed 75kg my target is 70kg.

18.05.2013 was the date of my first club run.  My sleep the night leading up to it was patchy, as it always is when I am looking forward to something in sport. My head filled with how to stay in the bunch and not make too much of a fool of myself!

The morning came my breakfast was two slices of brown bread toast with margarine, my first mistake. I was slightly late but I was lucky they were waiting for me. The club run is up to the Blue Egg Cafe in Great Bardfield and back again.
We set off from Blackmore a group of about 20. In my jersey I was carrying spare inner tube incase I got a puncture and one bottle of water in my bottle cage, my second mistake.  It was my first time riding in a group. I was nervous, trying to stay in someones wheel without crashing into them and holding a good line so the person behind can stay in my wheel. My fear was getting dropped by the group on hills as me on any kind of hill was always a struggle, but I got to the Cafe with the group even participating in the group sprint. I'm not going to lie I was chuffed 35 miles in total and not dropped once.

We got into the Cafe and I was just going to drink fluids, but someone said to make sure you eat somthing for fuel. I had a slice of beans on toast, I didn't  want to eat much more as I didn't want to feel lethagic, my third mistake and my last mistake was not to stretch at the cafe.

We got back onto our bikes and headed home, it was going to be about 30 miles back. Instantly I got cramp on my inner thighs. I tried shaking them off and it worked but anytime I tried to stand up and climb the cramp would return. As the ride went on I was finding it more difficult to stay in the wheel. Then someone said we have 14 miles to go, encouragement that I needed, but then it happened my legs gave up on a hill. No matter how small a gear I went in they were offering nothing in return. I had been dropped in a horrible way. One of my clubs mates pushed me up one of the hills. I must buy him a drink the next time I see him. The rest of the ride was painful at one point I was doing 10mph on a flat. My legs had well and truely disowned me. The club captain stayed with me and lead me home, while the main group raced away. He spoke with me about the importance of fuelling myself right which from mistakes 1-3 I failed miserably. Mistake 4 was just me being an idiot. I have never done any sport for this duration before and it showed.

I got back to Blackmore and went straight into the shop Lucozade, Cheese Sandwich, Snickers and water was what I bought, my body needed fuel and needed it fast. I devoured it all within about 10 minutes.
I was dreading Sunday and Monday as I feared severe DOMS but they weren't too bad. I had a pint of milk on the Sunday as I read that milk helped reduce DOMS. Whether it was the milk that helped or not I was just glad a could walk relatively normal.

Hopefully my second outing on the club run would be slightly more successful.