No way around it. Get in the saddle!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Start of Evan's Cycle Ride It Reading
Ride London is only seven weeks away and this year I am determined to ride all 100 miles of the route.  For readers new to the blog, let me briefly update you on my attempts over the years:

2013 (inaugural year)- Ballot spot.  Got a flat tire on Leith Hill and my feminist pride meant I missed the time cut-off for Box Hill. Total ride ~ 93 miles.
2014- Ballot spot. A wee bit of a hurricane hit London and entire course is shorted for safety reasons.  Total ride ~ 86 miles.  Tragically, I bought a shirt that said '100 miles done' before the race at the expo.
2015- Ballot spot.  We moved house in May and I didn't start training due to length of new commute. Deferred entry to 2016.
2016- ?

I have a score to settle and am going to ride all 100 miles this year even if it kills me.  I am taking my training very seriously and am committed to accomplishing my goal.

As part of my training, I have been going on lots of long rides with my husband and his friends (see Strava for my training log).  Some they have organised themselves, but we also signed up for Evans Ride It Reading event in May.  For that ride, we stayed with friends in Pangbourne and it was only a few miles ride to the start line. I opted for the medium route (approximately 60 miles),while the boys went for long (approximately 80 miles).  It was a gorgeous day for a ride and there were organized fuel stations along the way with lots of yummy food.

In addition to riding outdoors, I still teach indoor cycling once a week at Forest Fitness Gym and I have been training to starting leading classes at the Lee Valley VeloPark's indoor cycling too at the Velodrome in Queen Elizabeth Park.  Even though these rides are indoors and on a stationary bike, they can also be invaluable for sportive training.  Try to find a studio near you where the class focuses on riding, without any upper body work.  After a few weeks of single classes, start adding on another without a break.  You don't need to follow the lesson plan for the second class, but instead aim to ride with consistent RPMs and a bit of resistance.

Indoor cycling studio
Turbo trainers, or similar machines such as rollers, are another way to fit in more training indoors. With weather, family life, and traffic, getting out the door is sometimes tough. You can use the time on the bike to catch up on your favourite TV show, watch a film, or listen to a podcast.  To make it more interesting, download the Zwift app.  I haven't tried it myself but lots of friends on Strava (yes you can log your training on there) seem to love it.  It will give you a bit more structure to your at-home sessions and has a competitive edge to it if that is motivating to you.

Being outdoors is nice too.
My longer rides are proving to be a struggle as I need more strength in my upper body to maintain my posture.  I also need to work on building the endurance in my legs.  This realization is one of the reasons why I am spending this week here on the blog and Instagram sharing my tips on becoming a stronger cyclist.  Today's lesson is to spend lots of time in the saddle.  After all, practice does make perfect.  If I want to be good at riding a bike continuously for seven hours, I need to spend time gradually building up the length of my rides to prepare my body for that task. The benefits of long training rides include:
First long ride with husband & his
co-workers to Southend-On-The-Sea

  • Aerobic base building/Strengthening your cardiovascular system for the longer rides
  • Getting your body used to performing the same motion for several hours (endurance)
  • Opportunity to work on fuelling and hydration (in case something doesn't agree with your body)
  • Practice changing a flat tire and trouble-shooting other mechanical failures, should they occur

On top of all this bike riding, I am supposed to be marathon training. As the training for both events overlap, I have subbed long rides for my long runs and  but have struggled to find energy during the week to get my short runs in.  Work is full on, making it hard to get away from the desk or my email day or night. I cannot continue on like this though because it is just getting to be too much to fit it all in.  But I cannot afford to skip training for either is I want to be successful. I hope the aerobic base-building and mental training from cycling (7 hours with my thoughts and no way to write down all the things I think about is a long time) will prepare me to jump into full marathon training mode in August.  Last night, I did a 5 mile run at marathon pace and it felt alright even in the heat and humidity (a nice change from the usual London weather).  My body felt tight though as I stretched out in the garden.

Next steps for me?  More rides, more runs, more strength training, and more stretching.  Easy, right?

I would appreciate any and all tips about balancing multi-discipline training while working full-time. Leave a comment below!

1 comment:

  1. you mentioned you need to work on your posture... I found personally yoga has helped me so much when it comes to cycling posture. great post!


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