A while back I wrote that I wanted to avoid quantity and instead go for quality. I think I have done that so far in 2017, but that could all change as I near the end of December.
My mileage has seen a mixture of rides for pure relaxation and fun as well as some physically demanding rides and some big (for me) mileage single rides. Looking at Strava is interesting, but not always an accurate record of how a ride has gone for me. I have done a range of variations on a couple of themes as my routes, some with higher mileage with others, but all my rides have taken on a new dimension by riding my Cinelli Experience. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Carerra, in fact it will become my Winter Bike when I get amongst the components and get it up to spec again. More about the comparisons another time.
Some of my rides have been a bit specific, but not the number I had hoped. Sometimes the fun of just getting out takes over. I recently borrowed a few books from the library about cycling fitness, and as a consequence I want to tweak things and be a lot more intentional in my rides for the remainder of 2017 and from then onwards. I have to be careful though, I tend to be quite obsessive, especially when I can see a direct link to method and visible changes in fitness and times!
How am I going to go about this? Well, I am in the process of embarking on a program which means better food, and a focus on sessions to improve my endurance, strength, the mystery of lactate thresholds and hill training. All of these over a period of time will hopefully conclude in doing at least one 100 mile distance.
One of my targets for this year was to ride the distance of 50 miles in one go. That was achieved and exceeded by doing two 63 mile rides. I then felt the need to have the aim for an 80 miler which took me to two rides of 78 and 80 miles respectively. Both done on the Cinelli, the latter ride forcing me to take the challenge of climbing Parbold Hill (surprisingly easy after 70 of those miles!).
One of the things I learned from the two rides was that the bike and me are in constant adjustment to get things dialled in. I also need more core strength and much better flexibility (especially the neck and shoulders). The second ride was much better as far as the neck and shoulders were concerned.
As the colder days approach, it looks like the old Saracen is going to be coming out to play off-road. I am looking forward to it, my handling skills should get better and the terrain should help me maintain some kind of fitness.
Health and fitness are two interesting things that seem to be held in tension to each other as far as cycling is concerned. One of the obvious changes visibly is the decrease in wait, neck, arms and facially. Being fit does not mean being healthy, and so I am going to be taking extra note on my weight (I want to climb well but don’t want to be as slightly built as Chris Froome!). The Autumn and Winter is going to include me doing some upper body work. I am currently weighing 11st 11lbs (sorry, I still work in £’s and pence when it comes to weight….. oh and miles).
Targets, yes I have some. I still have a C2C in my head, and would love to do it with my youngest son. Not sure when that may happen though, we are both busy and living 4 hours away from each other.
Well, it is time to call this a day and continue milling over my cycling programme in-the-making. Hopefully is will be SMART and all that kind of stuff!