Tag Archives: Cycling

Ramping it up

Increasing the Training load

With 10 weeks to go until Half Outlaw, (:-o) I have been increasing the intensity of my bike workouts. Had a great turbo session on Thursday. (I never thought I’d say that!) I used a Sufferfest video for my intervals, but ignored their instructions and focussed on 4 sweet spot intervals with long recoveries. There was a bit of stupidness at the end when you were meant to attack on and off, which I did do, which accounts for my power surges at the end. I also managed to run for 30 minutes on Monday without pain in my knee, so I’m feeling a lot more optimistic on that front. I also had a good swim on Friday, getting a PB for 400m, what a great week.

Training peaks data

Training peaks data

My grandad

My mum found some old photo’s of my grandad which she let me scan in. He was a cyclist, and died before I was born at the age of 49. He had the same birthday as me too, a bit of inspiration for me.

Robert Le Poulain 1950

Robert Le Poulain 1950

RobertLePoulain02

Marked on the back is “Paris-Dieppe 1950”

First meeting of the Dynamos running  group

On Saturday I organised the first meeting of the Narberth Dynamos running group. We met up at Templeton airfield and did a couple of intervals at tempo, trying to keep the same pace for both intervals. My volunteers did really well at pacing, and said they enjoyed it, so they will be back for some hill reps next week!

I did the risk assessment for it a few days before, as you can see my Garmin is still going crazy, so I phoned Garmin, and they are going to send me a refurbished/new one, the only trouble is I have to send it back! Without data for a few days how will I survive?

The route

The route

Bike mechanics

Power meter

I have been meaning to invest in a power meter for a few months, but couldn’t decide which one to go for. Finally I decided on a stages power meter, but first I needed to change the chain set on my road bike, as it wasn’t compatible with the power meter, cue female panic!

I have started setting up my bike on a bike stand in front of the computer for jobs like this so that I can get advice straight away when I get stuck with something, it works well for me.

Whenever I decide to do some bike mechanics I have a little voice in my head that tells me I don’t know what I’m doing, and I can’t do it, because I’m a woman (ridiculous, but what we’re told by society every day). Anyway I managed it, and had a brilliant high from doing the job, I was very proud of myself! So for any women put off doing a bike job, its really not that hard, although I did have to wait until Milo was full time in school so that I could actually concentrate for a few hours (yes it did take me that long!) Can’t wait for the power meter to be delivered now! Afterwards I did a bit of cooking to balance the Yin to my Yan!! 😉 you can see here on my other blog.

Bike storage

One of the hazards of keeping my bikes in the garage, is that when my husband does some sanding, (which he is quite partial to!) my bikes get covered in sawdust, but I was quite shocked today when I discovered that my TT bike has also got cobwebs on! Not a good look…

The spiders have been at work
The spiders have been at work
In retirement
In retirement

Covered it up today with a plastic bag.

TTFN

New Year and all that…

Looking back 2013

As its the New Year I have been thinking about the past year and what I’ve achieved, putting it into words affirms the successes of 2013 and gives me something to build on for next year.

Firstly I upped my hours.

Hours and distance completed in 2013

Hours and distance completed in 2013

I came 5th in The Slateman, and was then ill for a week after!

slateman

I completed my first 70.3 on Exmoor in poor conditions, came 6th in my age group, 21st woman overall, and in the top 16% overall (men and women)

cropped-image-1.jpg

Completed my first 50 mile Time Trial, ouch….

cropped-img_0584raw.jpg

I won’t talk about Bala again! But if you want to read what happened its here

Now that I have reflected on 2013 its time to put it away. I’m not going to compare myself to last year. I will be the best that I can be in 2014.

2014

So for 2014, I have only entered 2 races, Half Outlaw, and Ironman Wales. I will probably do a bit more Time Trialling, and strangely would like to do a 50 mile one again, (my memory of the last one must be failing me!) Also I have entered The Tour of Pembrokeshire, and I’ll probably do part of the long course weekend, so I’m looking forward to a good year ahead.

New Year is traditionally a time to make resolutions. Personally I don’t like making resolutions in the New Year. I can make a resolution any time that I want to, and I think a lot of people set themselves up to fail with unrealistic, and unsustainable goals, which are often negative e.g. “I’m going to give up chocolate, alcohol, smoking etc”. Then when they fail they give themselves a hard time for failing, instead of creating a positive sustainable goal, for example, “I am leading a healthier lifestyle”. Its not something that will happen overnight, and every day is a step towards the goal, but gradually we can make changes in order to become that goal.

Sometimes I look at where I am now and realise it is because of these small changes that add up to the big picture. Its a great feeling.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Strava debate, my two pence worth!

The Strava debate

I have recently decided to try to simplify my life a bit by not downloading everything to Strava. It has also coincided with a long break from training due to illness, so I have had more time to think about the pro’s and con’s. I found another feature the other day, where there is a leader board for clubs, so that you can see how you stack up against other people in terms of distance, time, etc. This is one of the reasons I dislike Strava. I find myself constantly comparing myself to others, which I am trying to do less of! So here goes my list of positives and negatives

Positive

  1. It allows me to compare my efforts and power data for a certain segment, or hill climb.
My record, while being chased by a dung laden tractor.

My record, while being chased by a dung laden tractor.

2.  I quite like the social side of having been out on a ride with others, it shows up that you had a ride with someone, and also allows you to comment on peoples rides. (I do have friends really!!)

3.  You can see where you are compared to others, however there is a limited women’s pool on Strava.

Negative

1. If you compare yourself to others on Strava you don’t know what the conditions were like, so you are not comparing like for like, they also may have been time trialling while you were on a long ride.

2. Sometimes people can comment negatively on your ride/feed.

3. If you look at what other people are doing it can cause anxiety about not doing enough.

Conclusion

If used wisely it can be fun to use. My husband has just recently entered some of the challenges on there, which got him out riding more than he would normally, so it can be good at motivating people.

I have started making my rides private, then I can still see my results and where I stack up, but I will probably not download everything, ultimately its something else to distract me from other stuff that I should or want to be doing, and I use Training peaks for analysis of data so I don’t really need another programme. However it did show me that I set a personal record on a section of road to Marros, and would have picked up a queen of the mountain had my ride not been private, while being chased by a tractor pulling s**t, maybe I should visualise that in future races 😉

Don't know which is worse, being behind or ahead of one of these.

Don’t know which is worse, being behind or ahead of one of these.

Last hill climb, the end of the summer, more baking…

General synopsis

After feeling pretty negative last week I have started to adjust to the change in season, and my loss of fitness. I have had my level 2 coursework to complete, and also Milo’s birthday to sort out, so I’ve been busy with that. Also I have been running, cycling and swimming WITHOUT my garmin!!!

Its been good not to have any pressure and I still need more time to recoup before next year. I made some progress planning next years training, and have also looked at areas that I can improve upon. Having the last race of the season as a DNF has focussed me a bit more on what I need to work on. I now have a list of strengths and weaknesses, and action points!

Birthday caketastic

Birthday caketastic

 

Baking extravaganza

Got back into some baking, and chutney making, and have experimented making idli, (if you don’t know what they are the link is here) which I am now addicted to, I think they would be great snacks to take on long rides, so I am perfecting making them!

Hill climb

I spent all of Wednesday contemplating whether to do the last velos hill climb. At 4pm I was about to go out on a ride on my own, when I changed my mind and decided to go after all. I cycled there and back, it was a lovely way to close the season, getting back in the dark, and seeing the sun set behind Carew castle. I took a wobbly photo with my phone….you get the idea!

Carew on the way back from hill climb

Carew on the way back from hill climb

I didn’t get my best time, but enjoyed myself, although I couldn’t stop coughing afterwards.

Results of Hill climb

Results of Hill climb

I took my garmin, but had no power or Heart rate data, so was all good!

Strava stats

Strava stats

A hard week of training time trials and a hill climb.

Have had another busy week this week, and lots of time outside in the fantastic weather.

A few more QOM's

A few more QOM’s

I entered the Pembrokeshire Velos Open weekend Time trials and Milton hill climb after I got back from Barcelona. I checked with my husband who said this would be fine…. A few days before, he mentioned an event at Freshwater West that he wanted to go to on the Saturday, which was the date of the time trial and hill climb. This was fine as my TT was early, but the hill climb was at midday, I ended up doing the time trial going home, packing up for the beach, driving to the beach, dropping the boys off, then driving back to do the hill climb. When I got back to the time trial HQ I had £5 in an envelope waiting for me, as I had won the morning event (only 2 women entered). I stayed on for the presentation for the hill climb, and won another £5 (again only 2 women entered!) My power meter conked out at the start of the Time Trial so no power data for me. Most annoying, as I was going to use these as a test for my FTP! Now I’ll have to do another one 😮

Hill Climb Results

Hill Climb Results

The sea was great afterwards to cool off in. Beautiful clear water at Fresh West. When I got there the Pembrokeshire surf riders were organising their retro surf contest, which involved paddling races, flapping about in a puddle like a dying fish contest, and a mincing walk contest. (there was no surf!)The stars must have shone on us because Patrick (husband) won best adult male. I was so proud 😉 He won some surf wax, a wax comb, a T-shirt, a surf wax air freshener, and a bracelet!! We stayed for a BBQ which started to catch fire after half an hour, and spent lots of time in the water, lovely.

Freshwater West, so lucky to live near these beaches.

Freshwater West, so lucky to live near these beaches.

Got home for an early night for me, and beach party for Patrick, which was going to involve him sleeping on the beach and me picking him up at 6am to drive to the 15 mile Time Trial. I woke up at 2:45am to hear a van dropping him off back home, so I set the alarm for half an hour later, then woke up every hour until 6am, when I drove to Carew again. On the course there was a strong headwind on the way back, so I took it quite easy on the way out, probably too easy, but my legs weren’t working today, I finished 3 minutes slower than last weeks time, but still won my fiver (only 2 women again!) I got home to a very hungover Patrick, who I sent back to bed.

1 2