Friday, 10 June 2011

Sometimes despite the best intentions you just can't motivate yourself to get out of bed at 5.30am

This morning I was meant to get up at 5.30am to do a bike ride and some gym work before starting work at 9am.  I set my alarm last night but when it went off I really didn't feel like I wanted to get up.  So I did the usual thing I do when I am too tired to get up and set it for 1 hour later.  But 1 hour later when the alarm went off at 6.30am I still didn't feel like getting up.  So I set the alarm for 7.30am.  At 7.30am when it went off I did get up, but don't you find it ridiculous that I lost 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep for nothing.  I could have just set it for 7.30am in the first place.  I am sure I am not alone in this bad habit though.

I did however manage to get in some training at lunchtime.  It wasn't on the bike though, I went running instead.  This time there was no weighted pack on my back as I hadn't prepared it beforehand, so it felt really easygoing with just my own bodyweight to propel along.  It was almost as if I had lost 5kg in a few weeks (the weight of my pack from last time).  It felt like I was floating in the air like a butterfly - a big 80kg butterfly.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Weekly update - debauchery has not been on the cards, but training hard has

Well with only 2 weeks that I can train all out before I need to start tapering for La Marmotte I have been rather busy this week.  Most days I have been on my bike and when not on my bike I have been doing yoga and Pilates, or in the case of tomorrow lunchtime, jogging.

This weekend will be my biggest ride so far this year - it will be a 4 pass route.  I cannot decide between including Nufenen or Gotthard pass in my route, but either way it will be in excess of 4,000 vertical metres of climbing.  The Gotthard is an interesting pass but with all the cobblestones it isn't as smooth as it could be.  At least if you start from the Airolo side you are climbing over the cobblestones rather than descending over them, which would be rather bone shaking at high speed I am sure.

I have noticed my legs have really started to grow in the last week, most noticeably the thighs.  This could be temporary or it could be increased muscle mass that will stay, but one way or another it will probably help my hill climbing ability.  My dreams of having twig like legs are going down the drain  - yeah as if that was ever going to happen with genetics like mine!

The big question for this week is should I shave my legs or not?  A lot of cyclists do, and their claim is that it is better in case they have an accident as then the hairs don't get stuck in the wound and it is easier to clean and dress.  However I fear that actually for most of them it is pure vanity, as when you shave off the hairs you can see the muscle definition better.  That's why I used to do it at least.  And if anyone claims it is for aerodynamic reasons then I really think they need to come up with a better excuse.

Tomorrow will be a very early start - 6.30am on the bike for a nice spin round the airport, and then if I still have a bit of time before work maybe a few squats in the gym.  I am very lucky to work in a building that has it's own onsite gym.  It is quite small and can get very crowded during lunchtimes and evenings, but usually in the mornings before work it is rather empty.  I am not someone who enjoys working out in a crowded, sweaty gym and would rather be out on my ownsome in the wilderness.  It would be nice sometimes to have some company on my day long rides though, so if anyone reading this is a pretty serious cyclist then maybe you would like to join sometime.  The problem is finding someone of a similar fitness as a lot of people are fairly slow casual cyclists, and then some people are lean mean racing machines that would whoop my butt.  I am somewhere inbetween these 2 extremes.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

1 hour ride to burn off the cobwebs

It isn't ideal living in the city itself for doing short fast rides, as you have to get out of the city first before you can build up decent speed without having to stop for traffic lights or pedestrian crossings.  I thought of a route where I can get out of the city within 15 minutes or so, and I took this way.  The first part is uphill and then afterwards it is fairly flat.  There are some cycle paths but often as soon as you are on them they are finishing, and are not really meant for cyclists doing 30km/h +.

The best route for doing really decent speeds is along the lake, but it takes a while to get there through the traffic and pedestrians down by the lake side.  Once you are on the lake road though, you can pretty much go as fast as you want until Rapperswil down the one side or Pfaffikon down the other side.

My route today was quite random,  starting off towards Hongg and then heading towards Milchbruck and then up towards the zoo, from the zoo towards Wikitkon and then a fast descent from there to the lake and back.

What I noticed was that due to my lack of short fast rides this year, I don't have that much power in my legs for fast sprints.  I am only used to going at a slow sustained climbing speed.  This is in complete contrast to how I used to be when I could sprint like crazy, and cover 25 miles (approx. 40km) in 1 hour and 2 minutes.  I might try a couple more 1 hour rides this week either before or after work.  One hour rides are really easy to fit in to my daily routine and I feel great after huffing and puffing for an hour.  There is a nice flat road near work which is closed to general traffic and used pretty much only by hikers, cyclists and rollerbladers.  That will be a good one to use.  The only traffic you do see there is the occasional army Landrover or tank.