Tuesday, 24 May 2011

It was all going so well...

Had a great ride on Sunday with www.natsmtb.com . Simon was leading and I managed to get a last minute pass out to ride all day. 30 miles from Rowsley in the White Peak. Up hill and down Dale. 25 riders started out and with such a large group it was fairly steady progress, but it was nice to chat to everyone at the top of the climbs. Lots of ladies out on Sunday too. Probably about 7 out of 25, always nice to see.

I was feeling good all ride and persuaded 6 others to do an extra climb to finish over Carlton Lees

Stiff legs on Sunday night but otherwise all was well.

Monday I had booked the day off to do a big ride. So I was up and out with the family and onto the trails. A ride along the river is always lovely first thing in the morning and with miles of trails ahead of me for the day I was in good spirits.

I was pushing to keep the heart rate up and standing up on all the hills. I got to the point where I was as far from home as I was going to get, then it happened.

Oh, what was that? A knee twinge? No, can't be.

There it was again...

Yes, definitely something going on. What happens if I do this? That? Hmmmm not good.

OK I'll just do this next bit of singletrack then I'll head back. Maybe just another little bit, right definitely going back now cos it's getting a bits stingy down there. Finally limped home into a heavy headwind at half one. Iced the calf / knee and cursed.

More icing and worrying in the evening. Wait and see what its like tomorrow...

It's stiff and sore first thing. Get to work, ring physio. Physio booked for 2pm. Carly, not seen her before.

Carly is my new favourite physio.

She diagnosed a calf strain of the big (can't remember the name) muscle. Then she started on it with her mega thumbs. Excruciating pain for what seemed for ever. I knew it must be good for me so I grinned and bared it then she stuck some needles in it then microwaved it for good measure. A good going over. I do like a hands on physio.

www.advance-physiotherapy.com if you're in Nottingham. Recommended.

Stretches and ice discussed. Next appointment booked for Friday, no cycling til then but maybe Friday afternoon if I've been good...

Friday, 20 May 2011

Funky Michelin Protek C4 Magic Inner tubes - Unboxing

I spotted these when they were first announced a couple of months ago and I was intrigued.

Sounds like a good idea and the numbers quoted sound good - supposedly they also weight 260gms

Ordered some from CRC http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=61939 and they arrived the other day.

My able assistant helped me with the unboxing

Not 260gms at all then!

344gms is silly heavy for me.  My usual tubes are 120gms so these are putting over 200gms onto the bike - as rotational mass too which is the worst place :-(.  These things had better work - but the extra weight will be good training weight for Mountain Mayhem?

The tubey shaped bits go on the inside of the tread for the magic puncture resealing.  The idea is that the tube is in compression when inflated instead of tension so if it gets a thorn puncture in naturally seals rather than opening up.

The tube's also got glycol slime stuff in it to also heal sealing punctures and a removable valve core so you can refill it with slime.

This is the side of the semi inflated tube.  The ridgy bit is the top.

So it went in the tyre OK but I could feel the extra weight.

First test is Sunday in the white peak for 25 miles.

Week 8 - A (sort of) Rest Week

"Are you going out again, I thought this was a rest week!"

The Missus obviously hadn't seen The Plan.  Four more steady, slow or easy rides this week.

The highlight of the week was riding with Pete Simon and Lady Alex on Tuesday Night.  A steady ride round our usual Strelley Route with added Brick Shoot of Doom in the middle.  Always nice in the dusty summer.  Gels and Asda Foamy Fruits were compared and the fruits won hands down on flavour and carbs!

The rest of the rides were dispatched on the road commuter which is now sporting a hefty 42/14 gear ratio.

No Thursday night ride this week due to works leaving doo and eat as much as you can buffet #lardloading

In other news the very old heart rate monitor strap has died, so I made a snap purchase of a cheap Karimoor one which seems excellent so far.  Maybe a mini review sometime soon?

Friday, 13 May 2011

Week 7 - The Training / Socialising Dance

I ride for a few reasons.

Fresh air
Me time
Being able to eat as much cake as I like
The journey
Going really really really fast
Seeing things people don't usually see

I train for 1 reason

To ride as fast as I can on one day of the year

Sometimes it's difficult to keep these things in perspective, especially when The Plan says one thing and your friends want another.

This week was a Sprinty week of rides, culminating in a big hill rep and Race Pace session. With friends returned from sunnier climes we met up for a couple of night rides as usual.

Tuesday I sprinted up to Burntstump for wooded singletrack heaven, trying out my new slinky Lidl compression socks - awesome at stopping you getting nettle stings :-)

Thursday night started wet and got drier. Lovely sunset and sprinted up every hill. Another Dogwalker visit.

Friday, and hill reps were hard! 5 reps to do today then 30 mins at race pace. The hill reps were dispatched then the only way to get up to race pace was to chase a stupid motorist down the road for cutting me up - worked a treat!

Overall feeling really strong and fast.

This training could be addictive

Friday, 6 May 2011

Week 6 - 5.88% Faster

This week I have been struggling with the Heart Rate training, but I found a solution – changing gear.

Mondays ride was a lovely sunny bank holiday ride round my local Rushcliffe loop. It was to be a 2 hour Zone 2 ride. The first half of the ride is nice and hilly so I could push hard enough to get into The Zone! The second half runs along the side of the Trent and is dead flat and, as hard as I tried, I just couldn't get my HR high enough.

While I was mulling this over I was wondering if I was over-training, ill, tired, hot, or just rubbish!

But another solution came to me - change gear?

I run a fixed ratio of 34:14 on the Scandal which has evolved over the years from 32:16 steadily getting higher. So I ordered a 36t Surly Stainless Front Ring to replace my 34 - this should make me 5.88% faster. This should also push my HR higher and get me into The Zone!

Tuesdays night ride was a little better. A hilly route meant that I could push and keep well within zone 2.

I ordered the ring via eBay from www.koo-bikes.com and it arrived Wednesday morning. Excellent service! A little chainring drilling later and it was on ready for Thursday night ride.

I don't know if it was the emperor’s new clothes syndrome, but it felt faster and my HR was up just the right amount. I flew round in just over 2hrs :)

Fridays hill reps required 5x3mins AND 20mins at race pace (as fast as you can!). This was carried out on Carlton Hill which is just the right length for the hill reps then over to Arnold and back into town via the hilly Mansfield Road. The 20mins race pace was hard to keep up on the fixie. Just not enough hills round here!

Maybe the commuter needs a new rear cog...