So Week One of my chosen training schedule has arrived. It involves cycling every week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and defines each session by length of time not distance. I like that. Whether a time-based schedule, where the longest cycle is five hours, will get me round a 100-mile course, that I have no doubt will take me at least eight hours, remains to be seen!
The sessions this week are: Tuesday 1 hour, Thursday 1 hour, Friday 1 hour test (i.e. see how far you can get in an hour) and Sunday 2 hours. So it’s just the five hours this week which at my current average speed will result it somewhere between 75 and 100 kilometres (or 46 to 62 miles). I have a convenient location for the Friday test – a local park is almost exactly one kilometre around its path. I can cycle round there without being stopped by traffic lights or inconsiderate drivers who pull out in front of me as if I wasn’t there.
The build-up to the start of this schedule hasn’t really gone as planned. I have had a weakness and pain in one of my knees for many years but recently I’ve been managing to keep it to a minimum by a combination of Superdrug’s Advanced Joint Care Capsules, the occasional wearing of a knee support and resting it when it really starts to niggle. However in the last three weeks, whenever I’ve increased my distance either running, walking or cycling the pain has got a lot worse. As a direct result I’ve rested far more than I planned to as Week One has loomed so it is with a certain degree of trepidation that I embark this week on more cycling in one week than I’ve done in the last four!
Although I haven’t done a lot of cycling I have now settled into using the cleats. Disappointed as my sister will be, I haven’t fallen off my bike or even come close since my last blog post. There is no doubt they increase the efficient use of energy when you cycle: They must do that as you get the benefit of pulling the pedals up as well as pushing them down. Sadly I haven’t really noticed my own cycling getting any easier of more efficient though. At present I’m putting this down to the lack of actual time in the saddle and I’m expecting to feel the benefit from this week onward as the miles start to rack up.
I did get another bicycle accessory fitted recently in the form of a mirror on my handlebars. I felt, my hearing not being what it used to be, that it would be safer if I saw vehicles approaching me from behind rather than waiting to hear them. Mark from Cycle Power was his usual helpful self and spent over half an hour fitting it for me only for it to fall off and smash during my first long cycle! I read some years ago that somebody had invented something to fit inside a cycle helmet that gave the rider a rear-view. I need to do some research on that.
Finally the fund-raising for the big event has somewhat stalled. If your reading this and you haven’t yet contributed to Prostate Cancer UK via Just Giving please consider making a donation however small. I know you’ve probably read other people saying this, but watching the pledges come in does inspire you to train harder and therefore increase the chances of you completing the task.
Thank you for reading