I’m following the british cycling intermediate plan loosely with two trips to work in the week, a hilly climb on Saturday and a longer ride on Sunday (ideally with a group).
Week 1 started with my normal commute route which is a hilly one with Cat 4 climbs both ways (as classified by Strava) unless I go around them which I’m often tempted to do. On Friday morning I set off on a longer hilly ride in the “Bathgate Alps” which seriously tired my legs in a short space of time. On Sunday I managed 50km in extremely windy conditions. The headwind going out was tough but when heading east I managed my fastest ever 10 miles.
(Rides:4, Distance: 103.96km, Time: 4:47:24 Elevation: 1,065 Av. Speed: 21.7 Cadence: 75)
In week 2 I repeated the first weeks commutes and hilly ride (but in reverse) but failed to find time for a really long ride. Instead I went out with my son on the cycle path downhill with the wind and then returned to collect the car in the evening (uphill into the wind).
(Rides:6, Distance: 109.38km, Time: 4:59:50 Elevation: 894 Av. Speed: 21.9 Cadence: 77)
After struggling to find the time to get longer rides in, I decided to focus on that in that in the third week. I started by getting up early and extending my morning commute from the usual 30 minute dash over the hill to an extended 40km loop. At first it felt like my legs were still asleep, but I got going eventually. The hilly ride home was even more difficult than normal after being sat at my desk all day. On Wednesday I was supposed to do a really gentle spin but couldn’t help trying a bit hard. Must learn to take it easy. Thursday was the normal commute and again the home route was hard. It seems the wind had returned too.
I finished the third week with my longest ride of the year, a 60km loop to Forth. I’d half thought I’d get to Lanark and back but the wind was just too strong so I turned round and headed to Livingston. I know it is impossible to compare two rides, but I did this route in August just before the Pedal for Scotland ride and this time did it over 30 minutes faster. It is interesting to see that whilst heading directly into the wind and finding it incredibly difficult, I was still far faster than last year. And I got lost in Livingston – which I always do (all the roundabouts look the same). At the end of the ride, my legs were pretty tired and it is slightly worrying to think that that ride was just a third of the distance of the Pedal for Scotland sportive. Plently of time to build up the mileage though.
(Rides:6, Distance: 159.93km, Time: 6:42:17 Elevation: 1,216 Av. Speed: 23.9 Cadence: 80)
This week is a rest week which is lucky as I’m away at the weekend so won’t have any time for cycling. Hopefully, the build up of miles coupled with a week of resting the legs will mean I’m really refreshed for Week 5