Between two weeks of ice and snow, and the forthcoming two weeks of wind and rain, there was a brief lull at the weekend – with rather a nice day for cycling. A touch cold at the start of the day, but it was a nice change to be riding on the open road – finally getting away from the treadmill of the rollers. Rollers really are rather refreshing compared to the turgid torpor of turbos – but at the end of the day, you’d be rather cycling in the good old dales rather than letting your brain get frazzled thinking up rather feeble tongue twisters (turbo vs rollers). Another few months of coma inducing roller riding, and I might not be responsible for what ends up on cyclinginfo blog.
If there was one downside to getting back to the old roads, it was the feeling that I needed to stick to more predictable and busier A-roads – rather than chance the minor country lanes, which come close to resembling mud tracks at the best of times. This brief foray into an unmarked road, led to a sharp U-Turn.
After a couple of weeks threshold riding, and spinning out on the rollers, it was re-assuring to realise that when the road goes up, cycling can be really hard. Three weeks without any hills, just isn’t cycling in my book.It was great to be racing up and down the hills, with the snow melting on the side of the road. For a few climbs in the Chilterns, I rode as hard as I could. I rare winter foray into that level 4 anaerobic stuff.
In some parts of the ride, there was still substantial snow. I wasn’t taking any risks on the descents. It was quite beautiful out in the Chilterns.
After 100 km on Saturday, Sunday was a day off, visiting Bristol to have a meeting with Isambard Kingdom Brunel about the forthcoming electrification of the Great Western Railway. One day, I’ll have to move to Bristol, just to cycle around all the hills in the city.
On Monday, I rode for a very steady 80km. After lots of threshold work and a few hill intervals, it was time for some level two endurance riding. Sometimes, I find these a little boring. But, I really quite enjoyed it today. Nothing too hard, just maintaining a nice steady tempo. I was pleased to come back with an average speed of 17 mph. Coming back from Wantage with a 20mph tailwind, was rather reminiscent of being on rollers.
When in Bristol, someone was telling me about a guy who won the Ironman Triahtlon in Hawaii, by doing several months training of level two. Running slow, to keep his heart rate below 65% trains the body to be more efficient at that level. Apparantely, it makes you better for endurance races.
You always hearing of new training methods. – Train really hard, train really gentle, train at level four, train at level two. But, I definitely won’t be doing three months of level two, I don’t have the patience. But, it was a reminder not to forget the endurance riding, amidst the excitement of threshold training on the rollers.