Social Riding at RPE 8 :-)

Amazing ride yesterday! I returned with mud literally covering my face (leader was lacking mudguards. I would complain but I don’t have any either so I have no right), bike completely caked (dont worry, I cleaned it), and feeling absolutely wonderful.

I’ve been training with Farnham Tri Club over the weekends and really getting a lot out of it. Where usually I would aim for 50miles on a weekend ride, plough through it and feel I’ve got some much needed millage in my legs, I can now do so, work a lot harder and expand my social circle all at the same time.

Yesterday’s ride was about 56-hilly-miles, with some sprint sections thrown in to counter the drafting.

Farnham club has five groups, one being the hardest, five being the slowest. I’ve experimented a bit the last few weeks. Obviously, the speed of the group varies depending who turns up but there are a couple of diligent weekly pace setters.

Yesterday, I went with group two – and it epitomised perfection. Firstly, it was raining at 8.30 when I left and I was tempted to turn round and sit on my turbo. I didn’t, and the group ride was much more fun. Secondly, there were times I wanted to drop down and die but the group kept me going and I couldn’t (wouldn’t) have kept that pace on my own. Thridly, I enjoyed being the only girl able to hold her own in the pack, and was flattered to be considered strong enough to lead for a bit.

I worry that if I can slot into group two happily, the really fast riders Farnham has to offer must be looking elsewhere to train, unless group one is a huge step up. But that isn’t for me to worry about.

Group swimming today was good, but not quite as good. The coaches are great and the sets LOOK fantastic. Today SHOULD have been a 3.2k set that went along the lines of 1×400, 3×300, 5×150 etc down to 25’s. But the fact is that with a one hour slot booked, where you spend around 10-20mins having drills explained/chatting, there isn’t time to fit it in unless everyone gets in bang on the dot at 8am and doesn’t stop to talk between sets. And this, quite frankly, is not about to happen.

I wonder if maybe short sessions are better, and my 2.5k-3.5k or nothing attitude is stopping my progression. As they say, adaptation takes place during recovery, not in training. However, I still feel 40mins of swimming just isn’t enough to call it a day. Thats ok though, becuase I’m stopping off at Donyngs Gym on the way to my new house…

(did I mention I’m moving to Redhill today? No? Well – I’m moving to Redhill today. Lets see what Redhill cycling and swimming clubs have to offer…)

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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