Tag Archives: cycling training

It’s been a while

Sorry for the long period of silence it has taken me some time to put my thoughts into sentence form!

Since competing the Trans Alp at the end of July life has been somewhat bizzare… I came back full of memories of the highs and lows and buzzing from achieving my dream to complete my first stage race.

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Top of Umbrail Passe

The Trans Alp was a magical time where life was completely consumed by racing. The year leading up had also been consumed by training, after a week of re-telling the story and the excitement that we had achieved it, I hit the ‘what happens next’ wall. I found it difficult to describe how I was feeling, but down pretty much covers it, after such a high it was a massive low and for a good few weeks I couldn’t get on my bike for the shear fact that I didn’t know why.

I decided to take the pressure off trying to find the next thing and spend some time enjoying cycling with friends and family which was fun.

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Portsmouth ride with Lauren

Getting out and having some chilled time on my bike was great and gave me time to clear my head and think about what was next.

After a coffee ride with my Mum one day she said why don’t we do a challenge together! after lots of discussion we have now decided to do London to Paris next year which I am super excited about!

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Mum and I riding along to South Cove, Lowestoft

Alongside this my plan is to tackle another stage race. I would love to try the Trans Pyrenees or Swiss epic, so whats next?

I am going back to the gym to build my all over body strength for a few months before putting in the miles starts again.

Thanks to all my friends and family and sponsors for your support over the years.

 

 

Vo2 Training Session

Today I did my second vo2 session of the week! These are lung busting short sharp efforts with minimal rest in between.

I have been at home this week so found a loop on quiet country roads which was around 2 miles and sprinted round as fast as I could.

My best time was 6 mins 33 seconds with a max heart rate of 186 bpm.

I did four efforts which is an increase of one effort and between each one I had a 2 min rest.

Altogether I did 19 mins at my threshold heart rate (between 168 – 186) which i am really pleased with.

Cycling along the beach at Benacre

 

New Year, New Challenges

As it’s the start of the New Year I have heard a lot of friends new years resolutions, to join the gym, stop drinking or eating sugar. My new years resolution is to gather as much experience in endurance racing as I can and establish my first year riding in the Elite category.

I am under no illusion that this is going to be tough not only in moving up to the sharp end of racing but also taking on a new longer distance and essentially having to adapt my physiology to be able to cope with the increase in distance. Where cross country racing is short and sharp with races not being over an hour and 30 mins, I have predominately for most races been anaerobic for most of the time (heart rate above 170bpm). Endurance racing is going to require me to work aerobically to be able to take on food in order to fuel the long distance.

With this in mind I have been scouring the Internet for events and came across the UK’s only beach race. Looking at the photos and reading about the event I decided this would be a great first long distance race for me to tackle. I also managed to convince Martyn that he should race too for moral support, he reluctantly agreed.

So a little bit of information on Battle of The Beach. It is 25 miles (40km) of beach, singletrack and double track and the race loops three times around this 7-mile course.

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Taking place in Pembrey Country Park, South Wales on March 21 – 22nd . There is a weekend of racing including roller racing on the Saturday, a youth race and many categories in the main event on Sunday afternoon (including my open female race). The trophies for first, second and third look awesome and there is also prize money for the top three in the open male and female races, bonus!

I have done a little research on the results from last year where the winning female had impressive lap times of around 31 minutes making her travelling speed 14 mph, on the beach! That is as far as I’m concerned, super speedy and has motivated me to increase my speed training.

To increase my ‘spinning’ capability Mark my coach has set me the task of high cadence sessions working up to a cadence of 130 rpm! At the moment I can’t reach 130 rpm, but with practice I am getting closer! The idea of these sessions is to get me used to a higher cadence, which will eventually allow my heart rate to drop so I can work aerobically for longer during endurance events.

So far my training for this season is going really well I clocked up 475 miles in 37 hours in December.

I am going to keep a diary of my training and my progression towards 14mph off road consistently which is my goal for March and Battle of the Beach.

 

 

Latest vo2 max test results.

Last week I revisited the incredible team at Surrey Human Performance Institute for a vo2 max test. My last one was in June, when my vo2 max was 47.5 at a power of 240 watts. I was in the middle of my racing season so took on board the new training program as much as I could but with races every other weekend this wasn’t always easy. Have a look at my plan here.

When my season ended in September I really concentrated on performing anaerobic threshold sessions at a hear rate of 150 – 155 and a wattage of 180 – 200 watts. I have been doing one or two of these sessions a week along with hill sprints and strength and conditioning to build the power in my legs, i am now going to change tact and concentrate on getting in a long endurance ride every week and increasing my leg speed on tempo rides when my heart rate will be low and in a fat burning zone and my leg speed high. This will improve my oxygen use and my cycling efficiency.

After my latest VO2 max test my new VO2 max is 50.7 at a power output of 280 watts. This is a great improvement and i feel happy that all the hardwork working at AT has paid off! I think it also highlights the importance of knowing your numbers and working within heart rate zones as my performance has improved, lets just wait and see how this transfers into racing!

My new anaerobic threshold is 229 watts and a heart rate of 145 – 150. I am now working on my new training program ready for my first race in March.

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