Spontaneous training plans

I spent most of Saturday morning trying to weigh up the relative options of going outside and facing the stormy weather – or staying inside and dealing with the challenges of staying on rollers for two hours.


Where I would like to have been – cycling in the Hebrides in summer.

It was a pretty close call, but in the end I choose to avoid the relentless gales of this crazy winter and spent two hours on the rollers.

One reason for staying indoors was to avoid corrosion to the TT bike. My speedplay pedals are vulnerable to water, and seem to need greasing every ride, unless you want to be spending £230 for a new pair of X1 every month. Ironically, the sun was out and my conservatory got pretty hot – up to 26 degrees, and when you’re cycling indoors that’s pretty warm – there was a steady flow of sweat to corrode the bike in a different way. It did later chuck it down which at least made me feel vindicated in being a southern softie and choosing to stay indoors.

If you’re going to spend two hours on the rollers, you might as well make it a hard session, and hope the effort takes away from the tedium. The initial idea was to ride for two hours close to threshold because I have a 50 mile race in April (Circuit of the Dales) that I want to do well in. My training can be very spontaneous – I never really know what I’m going to do until I start cycling. I perhaps try and have a idea, it would be good to do intervals tomorrow, then steady, then rest, then sweet spot or some kind of plan like that. But, it can change and depends on what else is going on in life.

Anyway, today was about preparing for longer time trials at threshold pace. I did 280 watts for first hour, and decided I couldn’t keep that going for two hours. So I went down a gear and did 260 watts for the next half an hour. After 90 minutes I though that was more than enough threshold training for mid February. It was still a pretty big effort for this time of the year.

Sunday was a day off the bike, down in Bristol. Bizarrely the weather was so good, we were sitting outside on a cafe terrace admiring Clifton Suspension Bridge. It was ironic that the only good day of weather in 2014, was a day with no bicycle in sight. Not that I was complaining, I’ve forgotten what it was like to sit in the sun.

The only downside of having a complete day off after a really hard day, is that your legs can suffer the following day. They are a bit stiff today; they would be in better shape if I had done even 30 minutes easy riding or perhaps some stretching.

But, overall, it was a good week – nearly 300 miles (if you include the artificially fast miles on the rollers) 2 hours in 56*15 on the rollers, I give myself 50 miles. Why not? no one is counting my miles, and I do get some joy from filling in virtual mileage charts. I may have a power meter, but I still am enamoured of the old school ‘get the miles’ in approach.


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