Raising my game.

I’ve been busy over the last few weeks training hard, I’ve got the bit between my teeth and I’ve been pushing myself as Germany looms on the horizon.

Last Saturday I was through at my mam and dads and I took the opportunity to treat the Roo to some tarmac. It had only been ridden on the turbo so I took it out for  a quick spin around Walney and was suprised at how quick it was, I’ve taken it out again in mid week and ridden it for an hour. I’m slowly getting used to changing gears on the tri bars and the tuck position is suprisingly comfortable.

My big week of training kicked off last Sunday with a club ride, I met Andy and then we met the rest of COLT and headed out on a gloriously sunny morning round Silverdale, Arnside and back through Millinthorpe, Holme, Burton and a tough climb up Capenwray before heading back along to Glasson Dock. I had a slight mishap that saw me fall and hit my head and knees on some steps as we got caught up in the Timprel 20 mile road race, but thankfully my helmet took the brunt of the impact and my knees had recovered by Tuesday. I had 60 miles on the clock by the time I got home, and I felt good.

Monday was a rest day, just cycled to work and back. Tuesday was a busy day, I was in the gym at 7am and did 40 mins on the rower doing one minute intervals. At lunchtime I ran a steady 5km and in the evening I went along to the masters swimming class. It was a great session with lots of drills and speed laps. I was pleased by the end of it because I’d reduced my swim stoke rate from 25 to 19.

Wednesday I did an hour on the bike before work and after work I ran a very comfortable 8 miles in 62 minutes, I could have kept going but I decided that as it was getting very cold so I changed shoes and jumped on the bike to cycle home. Thursday I took the Roo out for an hour before work and in the evening I went along to the athletic club to test my calf and its recovery with some speedwork. We ran a couple of miles as a warm up before doing a timed 2 mile time trial. I ran hard but comfortable, and again I could have kept going, to finish in 13.02. I can’t remember when I last ran 2 back to back 6.30 min miles? And the best thing my calf was fine, and on the 2 mile warm down I still felt alright.

I woke up on Friday boyed by my performance at the club and put another hour in on the bike. At lunchtime I had a 15 min recovery run with my mate Richard who is doing really well after only 2 weeks running. After work I cycled down to Andys ( 5 miles ), we than ran a steady 5 miles, and I cycled the 5 miles home.

The big test of the week came on Saturday morning, I decided to go out with the A group. These are the COLT fast boys, 4 sub 10:30 ironmen and a 28 min 10k runner, I hoped to hang on for an hour before heading back. We met at 7am and we all commented about how cold it was. Straight away from the off the pace was a lot faster than my usual Sunday B ride. We started with a long tough climb out of Halton, headed through Arkholme and Wittington before climbing the tough Hutton Roof. It was tough but I was enjoying it and I even took my turn on the front as we headed through Millinthorpe and into Levens. It was then all up hill as we climbed through Brigsteer heading towards Windermere. I’d managed to hang on for 2 1/2 hours and almost 2000 ft of climbing before I swung a right just short of Windermere at the 32 mile point. The rest continued through Ambleside and over Kirkstone pass before coming back via Grizedale, Newby Bridge and Gummers How. I headed back through Staveley, Kendal town centre and then up through Natland, Hincaster, Holme, Burton, the Kellets and Halton. I’d covered 62 miles and over 2000 ft of climbing but most of all I hadn’t embarressed myself with the fast boys.

profile of half my bike ride on saturday

profile of half my bike ride on saturday

This morning I met Andy and the COLT for the B ride, I suprised that my legs felt suprisingly good. Again as yesterday we climbed out of Halton and headed for Hutton Roof. Again I was pleased with how I climbed. Got some good advice from Steve Stretch ( 10:15 at IMNZ 2009 ) about race nutrition and using salt tablets in the heat. It was a really pacy ride this morning. Just as we hit the A6 by Beetham Andy said he was heading back, spoke to him later and he thought it was actually later than it was. He had family visiting. About 2 minutes later as we climbed  up towards Arnside I discovered that I had a slow puncture on my back tire. I waived the rest of the COLT away and said I’d make my own way home. I pumped air into it and headed back through Yealand Conyers, Warton, Carnforth, Bolton Le Sands and into Lancaster. I stopped 2 or 3 times to put more air in the tire, just to get me home. Ok I’d cut my ride short but I still had 42 miles in the legs. I’d achieved my objective for the weekend of doing 100 miles on the bike, I’d managed to do 104 miles.

So its been a very good week, I’ve got to keep the momentum going now and build on it to get stronger and faster.

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