Catch up post: Training from June to August

Apologies for not updating this blog at all – just realised that was June that I last posted.  I’ll post this now as a catch up post and then add another separate post for the actual Pedal For Scotland ride – spoilers: I did it 🙂

Between the Edinburgh to St. Andrews cycle ride and going on holiday in July, I stepped up the training and rides. In June I rode 612km, mostly just increasingly long commutes to work, but also a Sunday club ride of 80km which I felt my strongest yet – until I got cramp in my calf with 20km to go and limped home – you’ll want to remember that when I talk about Pedal For Scotland.

In July I took a trip up to the north of Scotland and a two day cycling tour of Sutherland. 100km each day; absolutely wonderful but terribly windy.  The second day I had a block headwind of about 30mph (according to the BBC Weather) and on a long uphill drag was unable to cycle; spending over an hour walking up the side of a mountain.

Apart from that horror headwind display I was feeling quicker and stronger and as the summer holidays had started I was able to head out with the guys on Thursday nights as well.  A set route which included a couple of steep hills. I got appreciative comments on my hill climbing coming on a lot since I started so I was very pleased.

And then I went on holiday.

The plan had been to take my road bike away with me, but it was never going to happen.  We did go cycling quite a bit as a family but I was on my mountain bike and going at family pace. Very enjoyable, and a great holiday but it was not training.

I didn’t get back into the training routine until the second week of August and it showed.  I started with a very hilly 100km ride around the Trossachs.  Wonderful countryside and was with a couple of friends. I was showing off essentially, powering up the early climbs, but after Duke’s Pass my legs had gone.  I hung on at a pace that was too much for me and on each small incline I was dropped. I struggled over the Crow Road and my fellow riders must have been waiting at the bottom for me for about five minutes.  On The first Thursday ride back I was quickly dropped on the same hill I’d received plaudits for a few weeks earlier. There was now just a month until the Pedal for Scotland and I was worried.

The advice from all round was the slow down. Simply take it at pace where you are comfortable and you will finish. With a ride over part of the route at the end of August I found a pace where I’d done 100km and still felt like I could go much further.  There was no chance I’d complete the Pedal for Scotland in a similar time to my friends, but by doing at my own pace, I’d complete it.

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