So I’ve arrived in 2013 not quite as fit as I’d hoped I would be due to various reasons. Thought it’s not all bad, I can still bash out 20 miles in about 70 minutes without keeling over, and a better paced 60ish miles in 4 hours. But it’s a bit of a way from there to London Edinburgh London.
If time were no object I’d be fine. But I’m a reasonably busy job, an OU maths degree on the go and a lovely wife who’d much rather not be abandoned (and who’s agreed to me spending 116 hours on a bike, with a possibility of needing a lift from the wrong end of the country, so you can see why I’d like to keep in her good books :).
Work is only 2.1 miles from my front door, so I’ll have to be creative to get as much benefit out of the ‘free’ training my commute offers. So I’ve worked out 3 out and back loops of 10, 15 and 20 miles depending on where I turn. These aren’t the nicest of cycle routes, but due to leaving the outskirts of Nottingham I do get some nice traffic light free stretches so I can settle into a rhythym. I find it’s this ‘unobstructed’ route that’s the best for training, stop starting through traffic isn’t the greatest for distance training.
As I’m in work for 7am, this is going to involve a lot of 05:30 alarm calls. Luckily, I have shower facilities available at work which makes life a bit easier. On the downside I only have a Carradice Barley for luggage and no rack mounts on my current bike (and not necessarily keen on the idea of P-Clips), so I’ll have to occasionally swing back past the house to pick up a rucsac of stuff to take into work. And there’ll still be the occasional need to come straight home for some reason
So for the next month I’m going to try to use the commuting loops to build up a nice steady 80-100 miles Monday-Friday, and then try to get in at least a 50-60 miler at the weekend. I’m going to try to keep these at about 75% max HR if I can, as I think I still need to work on a solid base. And then head off for a 200km DIY by GPS at the end of the month hopefully to see if everything’s according to plan.
Then hopefully February will be a little lighter and I’ll start throwing some hills into the mix. LEL isn’t that hilly (or at least the northbound route wasn’t – Northbound LEL Diy) but I find hills slightly better for building up power and speed than other methods. Mainly because it’s less boring and I’m more motivated to do it :). So I’ll resurrect and old round the houses route in Nottingham that picks lots of short steep climbs, and probably look into reusing some of the Peak District rides I’ve done over the years.
But on the upside, I managed to get my entry in on Saturday morning. So that’s the first hurdle cleared.