Everyday’s a schoolday!

Well we are 8 days into the new regime for 2013. It has been a week or so of changes. I’m still off the booze, can’t say I feel better for it and by christ do I miss a pint at the end of the week! I have in the past two weeks managed 4 turbo sessions and a couple of club runs. I have to say the last club run wasn’t the fastest but a sprinkling of some hills made up for the slower speed. The wife thought I’d fallen down a manhole when I hadn’t arrived home but I made it home in one piece!

There was a great club social run by North Cheshire Clarion this week relating to Time trials and road racing. It was a must see event. There were two presentations one by the Time Trial association by what can only be described as an elderly cyclist who I could see in the typical cap and old lycra on his 1980’s steel bike. I have no doubt he would batter me up the hills but he fit the stereotype so well. the second was by British Cycling covering road racing.

The Time trial presentation didn’t really bring me any news I didn’t really already know apart from some of the less known information. It’s called the race of truth for good reason, effectively racing yourself against the clock I think its going to be a case of not turning myself inside out for the first TT and benchmark myself against that. I trialled some TT bars on my road bike on the turbo trainer this week and all I thought was my knees hitting my chest couldn’t be quite right. I think there is going to have to be some serious practice and a few road runs in the position to sort the comfort out!

So onto the road racing. I have no illusions of becoming some Tour of Britain superstar or anything like that I just want to pit myself in a race of similar standard racers to see where I sit. The presentation was a real eye opener, all of the different classes were talked through. Even Elite class riders have to follow the same rules as a Cat 4 racer where I’d be going in at but obviously at a higher standard. The one thing which filled me with trepidation was when he said about the standard of the Cat 4’s and how bad some of them are. The one thing that concerns me is the thought of falling. Not so much damaging me although a broken collar-bone wouldn’t be top of my agenda but the thought of damaging my bike is what concerns me the most! At the end of the day though I have to go for it and see what happens.

In terms of my training I have been carrying out cadence and threshold intervals and slowly building up the amount of time sat on the turbo trainer. It is so incessantly boring it is untrue. However the combination of a dance music podcast and the intervals plugged into the Garmin I have so far staved off the boredom and all of the miles add into the Strava base miles challenge for January. The 87 miles so far hardly put me near the top but every little helps. I have noticed a slight improvement with my training. The last session I went harder and longer yet the average heart rate only raised by one BPM the mileage and time was longer and the average speed higher. Hopefully this trend will continue.

So the Timetrial and racing season commence in April so with a bit of luck and continued training my goal of losing some weight (which incidentally hasn’t changed) getting fitter and faster will continue and I can go and compete in the races!

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A New Year and New Start

Well having never done this before and seeing other peoples interesting insights into their forays I thought I would add my own blog about my cycling exploits. I sat down and thought about what I wanted to achieve in 2013. In 2012 I bought a new bike and began to take my cycling slightly more seriously. After joining a great local cycling club (North Cheshire Clarion) and becoming more active I found myself wanting to take the next step.

So with 1586 miles under my belt for last year I have some goals which I want to achieve this year.

  • Drop my weight below 11 1/2 Stone. I don’t think I’ve been below this figure since I was about 14 so to achieve this would be quite something for me!
  • Compete in my first Criterium race
  • Compete in my first Time Trial
  • Cycle more than 4000 miles

So what am I going to do to try and achieve all of the above. Well as we sit here on the 2nd of January other than a few treats sent in my lunchbox by the other half I have started the New Year diet. Cutting all of the dreaded amber nectar out for at least January and cutting down on the usual munchies!

treadmill-cartoon

In terms of the cycling I am starting with the ‘base’ miles by way of Turbo trainer interval sessions to try and get some stamina and power. I figure that I will need some of this for the criteriums. I was looking at the Eddie Soens Memorial race taking part at Aintree racing circuit but felt that early March might be a bit too much to ask for a Newbie! So with that in mind 27th April sees the Bury Clarion Criterium taking place at Lancaster so that will be the first one to aim for. It gives me a solid 4 months to get up to full fitness power and speed.

So come with me on the journey and I will let you know how I get on!