Sunday, 31 May 2015

10m pb

I was back on the G10/57 course yesterday morning for the Bec CC Open 10 mile tt. Thankfully this time I got the course right and hit a new pb to record 23:41. It was one of those pbs which is satisfying and disappointing at the same time. 4 seconds off my best time set last year but not a nice big chunk that I have been used to taking off. I have got to the stage of my tt career where it looks like I may have to invest in a skinsuit, overshoes and heaven forbid, I might even need to start shaving my legs to help take off those 42 seconds and go under 23 minutes. I think I have also realised that I need to look at my gearing.  On one of the downhill sections yesterday I was spinning out in top gear, so I might be able to squeeze some seconds out by taking a tooth or two off my rear cluster.

As I write this I should be back over at Broadbridge Heath signing on for the Old Ports' 25, the event where I did 1:00:56 last year. I am in better shape than that at the moment but there's no way a fast time is on the cards in the current conditions. But I was more worried about negotiating 12 damp roundabouts on slick tyres. No thanks. So it will be a nice 2 x 20 minute turbo session tonight instead. 

In other news, I managed a slow 7 miles with Simon on Friday with no grumbling from my calf, which was really encouraging. It was good to be back, shuffling around the North Downs again. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Little wins.

I have had a really solid four weeks of training on the bike and I have started to feel the benefits. This was brought about by my left calf finally letting go after the last Parkrun I did and with no way that I could put one foot in front of the other without doing some serious damage, I decided to take a few weeks off and concentrate on the bike. This has also coincided with a slight change of approach and attitude which I think, has really helped me to progress during the month.

I was listening to the Marathon Talk podcast and Tom Williams was talking about the fact that he was not getting anywhere near as much training in, and his mojo had fallen through the floor; pretty much how I was feeling, constantly beating oneself up about what's not getting done. He went on to talk about a Crossfit podcast he was listening to and the presenter was describing how every time you touch a kettle bell, it's a win. It doesn't matter if it's just 5 minutes of something, that 5 minutes will help progress your fitness and make an improvement, no matter how small. I tend to read about, train with and are friends with people who are banking lots of miles, training at silly o' clock, qualifying for this Age Group World Champs event or that Euro qualifier, and I make the mistake of judging my efforts by what they are doing. I have been falling into the trap that if I am not pushing out a long, hard, intense session then it hardly seems worth doing it and therefore I end up not doing it at all. This is plainly silly.

What I have done is to try to fill my week with these 'little wins'. Every time I sit on my bike, lace my trainers, or dare I say it, get into a pool or lake, it's a win. It might only be 20 minutes, but it will make a difference. Maybe only infinitesimally small, but it will make a difference. For example, my commute to work is 2.5 miles. This is a 5 mile round trip by bike everyday.  I have always beaten myself up about this. Yes Alex, great that you are one less car on the road, but it hardly seemed worth it.  But that means that so far since September I have ridden approximately 750 miles. I never bother to log this on Strava or Training Peaks but unbeknown to me I have spent the winter laying down a bit of a base. Win. On top of this, in the last couple of weeks I have added a couple of new routes home; just an extra 10 minutes here and there but instead of beating myself up about not getting a really hard one hour tempo effort in, if all I have is that 20-30 minutes then that's what I've got. Mini fist pump. Win.

It's been working. A couple of slow runs with walk breaks, but no grumbles from my calf. Win. A second best 10 mile TT time, despite being a numpty and going off course. Win. Climbing Newlands corner on Sunday and feeling like a million dollars. Win. Enjoying what I'm doing. A most definite win.