For those of you who didn’t read last week’s entry I related how I’d made two basic errors during the week:
- I moved a training day thus forcing me to cycle three days in a row;
- I ran 5 km as well as cycling on the second of those three days leaving me far too tired to complete the final weekly session on the third day.
So this week I was determined to stick to scheduled days and not to run on any of them!
On Monday I had a complete rest day. I hate rest days but after the abortive session on the preceding day I decided that I’d give my ageing legs a bit of a rest. My exercise was limited to walks with the dog. Still nearly 10 km of walking according to my Fitbit but no running or cycling.
On Tuesday I was due to do a one-hour session so I decided to cycle to Richmond Park and back. A 20 mph wind was against me for most of the way there but that made for a much easier and speedier return journey. I managed 20.58 km in just over the hour and was fairly please with that. At an average speed of 19.7 kph I worked out I would complete my 100 mile race in just over 8 hours. That’s assuming I can keep up 19.7 kph for over 8 hours of course!
Wednesday was a cycling rest day so I went for a slow 5 km run.
Thursday my schedule demanded a 90 minute session so this time I cycled to the gates of Richmond Park and added the 10 km or so of the park’s internal roads to my route. In total I managed 30.04 km in 1 hour 32 minutes this time averaging a slightly slower 19.6 kph.
Friday was another scheduled cycling rest day so like Monday I stuck to walking the dog. I still managed 8.5 km according to my Fitbit but on looking back over past records that’s the lowest total distance I’ve walked and/or jogged for many moons.
Saturday is Parkrun Day. I decided I wasn’t going to make the same mistake as last week so I volunteered to help out at the Fulham Palace event. The only role left (many runners were resting before the London Marathon and had volunteered before me) was run report writer so I cycled to Bishop’s Park up and over Wimbledon Hill and watched (my run report is the blog entry before this one). The cycle there and back more than satisfied the day’s scheduled session although ideally it should have been done all at once and not as two separate journeys.
Today (Sunday) was the acid test. After duly resting for two days of the preceding week and not running on the Saturday, could I complete a two-hour cycle? Well I managed 37.9 km in just under two hours at an average speed of 19.3 kph. There were multiple hills on the route and I am happy now, if I keep up the training schedule and remain injury free, that I will be able to get round the 100 miles in the prescribed 8.5 hours.
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Week 1 of 16 is over and as you can see from my Endomondo screenshot I managed to cycle 88.74 Kilometres (just over 55 miles) in 4 hours 42 minutes. I did this in four sessions on Tuesday, Friday (not Thursday as planned – see learning point 1 below), Saturday and Sunday. If I had followed my schedule to the letter however I should have done around 100 Km in 5 hours.
The statistic linked to the footprint logo is the website’s estimate of the distance I’ve walked this week (nearly 90,000 steps mostly with the dog). In my opinion this should be ‘taken with a pinch of salt’ as I don’t track the walks with GPS and I think the formula is potentially highly inaccurate. There’s just the one run (a gentle jog on Saturday morning – see learning point 2 below).
“So how did it go?” (You may be asking yourself if you’ve read further than the first two paragraphs!) Overall, although I didn’t cycle for the allotted time or complete the distance I expected to do, I did learn three important lessons this week:
- Stick to the scheduled days – For domestic reasons I couldn’t cycle on Thursday so I cycled Thursday’s allocated hour on Friday instead. As a result of this re-scheduling I had to cycle three days in a row and consequently couldn’t complete the two-hour session I was supposed to do on Sunday. I feel I would have been better off skipping Thursday’s ride entirely and thus completing, or even exceeding, Sunday’s;
- Don’t run on days I’m due to cycle – As a Parkrun fan, I couldn’t resisted the temptation to run 5k on Saturday morning at Fulham Palace. This was a big mistake! Later in the day I had to do a ‘test cycle’ to see how far I could get in one hour. Despite feeling ‘up for it’ when setting off, by the time I hit the last hill (around the 50 minute mark) my 61 year old legs were beginning to ‘feel their age’. I think volunteering at Parkruns is in order until after 30th July;
- Richmond Park is extremely hilly – My plan for Sunday was to cycle the 10k from home to Robin Hood Gate, circumnavigate Richmond Park’s roads twice (two lots of 10k), then finish off (albeit slowly) with a final 10k home. Sadly, for the reasons outlined above, I only manged one lap of the park but I did find out how outrageously hilly it is. According to Endomondo the two hills caused me to climb a total of 73 metres;
- Get a ‘Gel Seat Cover’ – When you haven’t cycled for many months and suddenly you find yourself ‘in the saddle’, as it were, for nearly 5 hours in one week…..
Anyway, I’m undaunted by this week’s minor set backs. I’ve resolved to comply strictly with learning points 1 and 2, I’ll stay out of Richmond Park until I get fitter and I’ve already ordered a gel seat cover (£9.99 from Amazon).
The only other event this week was the arrival of this:
Now the thousands of you who plan to line the route and cheer me on will know how to spot me. Alternatively you might see the socks!
Thanks for reading!