Firstly – on training side: I may well be going down the coach route. So, over the next few weeks- expect training hours to go DOWN, recovery periods to INCREASE, and hopefully body will respond as it should. I’ve been considering it for far too long, been saying “I know I’m doing too many junk miles and hours and not letting my body adapt” forever, and maybe the only way to resolve it is to get someone to tell me off when I start going down the hard work always = gains route. This might be the case when starting out with absolutely no fitness (alla 2009) but it is now 2011 and I am going round in circles. Slowly.
(And yes – there is a mountain bike in this picture. Apparently the result of a broken shoulder – road biking is ‘safer’)
So finally the weekend arrived, and off I set on an intrepid bikey adventure.
As a newbie to the club I was unwilling to select an overly fast ride, resulting in loss of newly discovered cycling friends through frustration/being dropped, so I selected a slow ride. The first twenty minutes I wondered if I would be able to maintain snail pace. However, having arrived late (so many reasons I won’t even BEGIN – it was not a good morning) – and been told they would happily wait until I was ready I was slightly overwhelmed with how friendly everybody was, so I decided to forgo normal training motivation, chillax, and just make some friends.
As time, and miles passed, it became evident there were a few of us who were up for something a bit more speedy, and thus it became acceptable for us to power up the odd hill, than hang around and wait for others to catch up, or, more enjoyably, allow them to go on ahead and then play catch. This stop, go, stop, go momentum resulted in what seemed like a 40mile interval session, followed by some 10miles I added in on return.
A 50mile ride should usually take about 3hrs-3.30hrs – depending upon conditions and hills and general mood. We left at around 9.30, and I arrived home about 2.30 (via co-op- they say you shouldn’t shop hungry but I was past caring). And to be honest, provided I had the time, I’d love every weekend to go like this – I met some great people, posed for some photo opportunities, and had an espresso bought for me. I also had the strangely uncomfortable experience of giving some advice to two aspiring triathletes. I’m not sure I feel experienced enough to give OUT advice, but for once I actually felt I could be of some help, which it has to be said, was rather nice.
Long ride should usually be continuous rather than being sudden sperts of speed – the idea is to keep a pretty low heart rate and get miles in your legs, not turn it into a super long version of the rest of the week, so I expect next time I’ll go with a group that’s pace matches mine a bit better. However, on the social scale, I loved this ride and would advertise the Redhill club and their personalised brand of espresso-buying, puncture mending (yep – but not just me – 3 of us – 4 punctuates – 1 ride. Hm.) friendship to the masses (the masses being the handful of people who actually read this..)
Happy riding my friends!