I’m currently en route to the Isle of Wight for our mid-month Team Pedal training weekend. When we first discussed this weekend a few months ago I excitedly envisioned cycling the route around the island in lovely, glorious sunshine and experiencing for the first time cycling in some form of warmth. This time 2 years ago I was sat on the island reading a book and getting sunburnt ! Today, however, the weather doesn’t look too promising .
So , update from last weekend. We cycled from Bethesda in North Wales following a route around the Snowdonia region. Climbing a total of 6,283ft, some of the climbs were just mean.
This route in particular was a big learning curve for me, realising that adrenaline alone won't get me up the alpine passes. I need to place more focus on building my overall leg strength , and how to set a good pace that will allow me to reach the top of those climbs.
Whilst climbing, I found that when my breathing became staggered and harder to control I would get up out of my seat and push that little bit harder , on reflection I need to learn how to control my breathing and pace myself more effectively in order to maintain my energy and increase my stamina.
I've had a set back in my training this week due to a slight injury to my left leg. After last weekend I was excited for the weeks training ahead of me , a high-intensity spin class on Wednesday, a 74 mile ride to Nottingham on Thursday and then the weekend training on the Isle of Wight.
Wednesday went to plan, during the spin class , The PT had us cycling one footed on full resistance. Powering a bike theoretically up hill by one leg is hard graft , and doing 4 reps on each other for 4 minute durations really built up a sweat. After some up-hill, high resistance sprints and some crouching reps ( using your core to balance as you cycle very slowly out of your seat without straightening your legs and having your hands off of the bars) I'd felt like I'd really worked hard and targeted my weakness which is uphill strength and stamina .
That evening I aimed to try out my new Mavic MTB shoes and Shimano clip-less pedals. Now …. I was thrilled to find that I could actually use them without getting stroppy and giving up. In fact I actually liked them!
My major downfall though.. That caused my to lose balance and fall off my bike with my feet still clipped in, at the side of a main road .. And receiving a lot of concerned stares from passing drivers ? Pure cockiness.
After a mere ten / fifteen minutes using these pedals I felt really confident on them and appreciated that they would be better on longer rides than my average running trainers and normal pedals.
Cycling back up the road afterwards with dad using his hand-cycle, he said 'its uphill so ill be quite slow, go around the block or meet me at home' to which I replied 'nah it'll be great leg training to go slowly on a high gear uphill'
Turns out I can't go slow, without pedaling. It results in lost balance and a very very black and blue bruise on the left knee and thigh! So I bailed on the Notts route because I wasn't sure how badly injured my knee was 😦 which I was really disappointed about . However , I've merely postponed it , I will be doing it at the next opportunity !!
The swelling has reduced a fair amount and I'm just left with bruises now so hopefully my leg will be totally fine for tomorrow's ride around the island !
And hopefully I will get on beautifully with my new pedals ! Fingers crossed.
All sounds better than pounding up and down Fuengirola sea-front! At least I had the sun on my back though! Keep it up, it will be well worth it. Remember: pain is temporary – achievements last forever.