Thursday, November 18, 2010

Training Actuality

Not been blogging much, but I have been training much.

Getting my head down and doing some substantial rides in The Chilterns, riding to work every day, shed-based turbo training, and running a bit.

The good news is that I've caught up on Fighting Talk podcasts while in the shed. Unfortunately, that means 1 hour a week of brilliant podcast and the rest on not quite so brilliant podcasts. Ho-hum, my power output on the bike is creeping upwards and it does seem to have genuine real-world speed benefits. Not to mention the easy bike cleaning side of things.

These are testing times for mountain biking round here. Getting up in the dark, finishing a ride in the dark. Everything is filthy and wet. But these are the conditions that make British mountain bikers tough. When you spend eye-popping effort dragging yourself up a muddy hill, only to get your ass handed to you by wet roots on the way down, and then go home and hose your shoes off, there is no answer but to laugh.

I have noticed a worrying trend recently, and I know I've been guilty of it in the past: descending into myself when it gets really foul. Retreating inside yourself and letting your body take care of keeping the bike moving is a somewhat viable tactic for shorter rides. But I really can't keep letting myself do it if I want stay well day-after-day. It leads to not eating enough, not drinking enough, ignoring cold when it would be more prudent to add more clothing. All kinds of ills. I need to embrace the world and work with it, not just scurry around the hills until I can go home to get warm and dry. That, more than 10W extra power, is my main goal in the run-up to Christmas. All I need is some bad weather to play in, and I don't think that'll be a problem.

No photos as the moment as I lost my camera on the Divide. Instead, a couple of interesting altitude profiles (ft on the y-axis, miles on the x-axis). First, a recent run:

Yes, that's down to The Thames, and then along it. Looks quite hilly until you see the scale!

And then a recent training ride:

And people say we don't have hills in the south.


pedalhead said...

I know what you mean. My early morning Chilterns off-road rides are getting more...challenging. Still, training for the TD myself, which is a great motivator. Might have to sneak in a few nice warm spinning classes instead here & there though :-)

Anonymous said...

So Aidan,

what are training for?


Aidan said...

pedalhead, it is good training while you can hack it. At least it'll be nice again well before the Divide. Last year, I only really started training in March.

Marshal, I'm training for the Iditarod Trail Invitational.

pedalhead said...

Yep, few places better than the chilterns in the summer.

Iditarod looks fantastic, but they *really* need to change that music!! :-)

Cheers. Mark.

Alastair said...

ha - I also love the Fighting Talk podcasts - makes an hour run pass much quicker.