Catch up on the past few weeks
I’ve not written anything since my first open time trial, some 3 weeks ago. Quite a bit has been happening, but I got a little bored with posting updates about individual training sessions, and they can’t have been very interesting to read. So I thought I’d scale it back and just blog about races and significant events. So what’s new?
I guess the biggest news is that I took on a coach/mentor, Ben Price of Kinetic Velo. I’ve known Ben for a few years, he built and fitted my road bike. I’d been happy with my progress training myself, turning up the wick each week and seeing steady, but constant gains. The main thing I felt was missing was the knowledge that I was going as hard as possible. How do you know if you’re going as hard as possible? Ben has been a pro rider, he knows what it takes, so I thought why not invest a little in myself to learn what is possible, where the end is?
In my last post I mentioned that the rider who started behind in the St. Ives 10, and who finished 4th (Mick Hodson) had chatted to me after the race. About 10 days later I noticed that he had ridden in a 25 mile race one week after mine, and had actually ridden faster on average than he had in the 10. I asked him about this and he confirmed that the course in question, E2/25 near Newmarket/Cambridge, is indeed a very fast course, probably the fastest in the area. There’s a time trial on that course on 29th June. If *I* could ride faster on that course than I did in the 10, it would mean I would break 1 hour for the 25, which would be a real milestone for me.
So I decided to book a place in that race, and engage with Ben to train specifically for it for 2 months, and then after that we’ll review where we go from there. I’m currently two weeks into that arrangement. We have quite different approaches and are still working out how best to work together. But overall I am very positive, especially after today’s training ride.
Part of the regime I have signed up to is fortnightly 1-on-1 training rides. These should be the hardest rides I do, according to Ben the idea is to ride to destruction! This morning was the first of these rides.
Well, I did get destroyed. We did 3×10 minute intervals with 6 mins rest in between. I was in charge of timing, as Ben’s computer is bust. Sadly it seems I can’t count, and the second interval was actually 12 minutes long! These are similar intervals to those I have been doing for the past couple of weeks on the turbo, riding my TT bike. First week I averaged 278 watts. The second week I was instructed to be falling off the bike at the end, and averaged 285 watts. Today, on the road, on my road bike, I averaged 297 watts across the 3 intervals. This increase is surprising because I’d expect to be able to produce higher numbers on the turbo. On the road we had to contend with junctions, including right turns and crossroads, speed bumps, variable terrain elevation and wind. I think the likely explanation for most of the jump is that I’m probably able to produce higher power on my road bike. But it definitely helped to have Ben there, encouraging me on. Telling me when I dropped the pace. Driving me forward. It was a real eye-opener.
I’ve uploaded the ride to Strava, take a look here if you like. There is a segment on the ride called ‘Bullock Road Howler’, which I have ridden countless times before. As luck would have it, the segment matched most of the second half of my first interval. I am now sat 2nd of 230 riders for this segment 😀
I’m riding in the Peterborough CC 10 mile TT next Saturday, on the same course as before (N1/10). I’m hoping to go faster than last time, but that’s dependent on the weather as well as my ability to pedal hard.
Yesterday I had a bike fit with Adrian Timmis, of CadenceSport. I will write about this hopefully in the next couple of days.