Welcome back to the third post in my series recording my training for the inaugural RideLondon 100, taking place on 4 August.
That’s a disappointingly short 52 days away from now (as I write this, obviously).
First let’s start with some stats
Here is the all important table, containing my ride statistics since February (when I like to think my training started ‘in earnest’):
[table id=5 /]
My main objective in May was to introduce some consistency into my training. I think I did that (well, at least versus the months that went before).
I undertook 13 rides and at least managed to clock up a distance and time on the bike that exceeded what I’ll need to do for RideLondon.
Critics might argue that I will have one day (or rather 9 hours) in which to do it, rather than the 31 days that May generously offers. Critics would be right.
My only (slight) saving grace (at least on the distance front) is that 4 of the rides took place on my new turbo trainer, kindly provided by my sponsors (joint birthday present from my sister, her fiancé, and my parents). This was prior to receiving the gift from my
other sponsor wife, which meant that I didn’t record how far I went (theoretical distance – at no point did I actually leave our conservatory).
The turbo (allied to the Garmin)
Having the turbo trainer allows me to do a training session on the three days when my wife is at work and I am (nominally) in charge of the children. With a podcast to keep me entertained and the new Garmin Edge providing some feedback on speed and distance, I’m finding it surprisingly enjoyable. That said, to date I have only completed 45-minute sessions on the trainer. Spending more time on it than that could become very boring indeed.
The other advantage of the turbo is that it forces me to undertake sustained efforts whilst remaining attached to the saddle. My tendency when out on the road is to get out of the seat when I feel just a bit of burn in the thighs. I need to do more training whilst seating to build my quads, glutes and hamstrings.
I don’t really have a yardstick against which to judge this, but it feels like I do a lot of climbing relative to my mileage (or kilometre-age?). It’s a bit difficult to find anywhere around here (the southern edge of the Peak District) that is flat.
This is good for RideLondon in one sense: I am rapidly losing any fear I had for the climbing involved (approximately 1,200 metres, as I discussed in posts about the route such as this and this). The problem is getting the required distance into my legs before I become either exhausted or my knee starts to play up (see below).
Training should really be about specificity: I should be working on long sustained efforts in ‘the big ring’ rather than dancing up 15% inclines (that’s right, I dance up them).
The knee (and a lack of mileage)
My main concern continues to be my knee. Despite feeling a lot fitter than in March (when I accidentally did my first metric century, including Leith Hill and Box Hill), pain in my knee (which I have self diagnosed as patellar tendonitis) seems to kick in at a worryingly early point in some rides (Wednesday’s 40km medium bumpy ride being a case in point). It is limiting my ability to do longer rides, which as far as I can see is the main deficiency in my preparation (I’m not looking for a superfast time, just to get around the 100 miles before the pro race catches up!).
(Before anyone says it, yes I know I should get a bike fit….)
Rest the knee…
The immediate future involves me resting my knee for a couple of days, then doing some shorter rides to get back into the swing of things. I’m also going to raise my saddle a bit more (I’m sure there is too much bend in my knees at the bottom of the down stroke). I’d already raised it a little and that seemed beneficial. (Before anyone says it, yes I know I should get a bike fit….)
And then f*** the knee
My other, more insane, training decision was to enter the Peak Epic Sportive on Sunday 23rd June. This is another example of my strategy for keeping motivation levels high throughout the course of my training (for instance, I entered the Igloo Sportive in April to force me to train whilst we were moving house).
I’ve not entirely lost it – I’ve ‘only’ entered to do the Peak Epic medium course. Unfortunately the medium course is 103km long and involves over 2,200m of ascent.
I entered the ‘Epic’ because: 1. I felt noticeably fitter on a ride (I’ve since realised I was simply rested and riding at a slower pace); and 2. I raised my saddle a touch and had one slightly longer ride with no knee pain (and thus thought I had solved my problem).
And whatever happens, I
probably have to share it on this blog. Damn you Kropotkin.
Well that’s where I have got to. It’s not quite a comedy of errors, but equally it’s not going as smoothly as
Wiggins’s training for the Giro Froome’s preparation for the Tour.
Let us know how you are getting on in your training in the comments section below.