Ha ha! I am sadly not flying at all at the moment.... I now have plans on Saturday (Tama Hills) but will probably be out on Sunday too, although I am not sure I will fancy a 2nd dose of Tama Hills. I will let you know if I change my mind though....
The other day I did the unthinkable. I bought a power meter. Having decided to focus more on cycling this year, I thought it would be a helpful training aid. I'm really Looking forward to being able to gauge my efforts more, especially when riding in headwinds/tailwinds on the Arakawa.
Well one month on from returning to the UK and the cycling is ...well ...different. I haven't yet managed to get outside for a ride at the weekends (not just the weather, had to move house and do some decorating, plus only have the old bike here until March), but on the plus side I am down at the Athlete Lab the majority of work days. After a disappointing first FTP test (235W) at the start of Jan I have been building over the last four weeks and seen progress. Last week I was up to 245W and felt comfortable at 250W yesterday. The real difference is the cadence I am now doing this at. Most of the training "rides" I have been doing are at high cadence so I seem to have got very comfortable around 95-100rpm mark. 85rpm now feels incredibly slow for me to cycle at. I understand they will change their programs during the year, changing the focus to power and climbing as the season gets underway, but good to be building a base for now
One other change - the pedals on the training bikes are all SPD-SL so I changed cleats to use my own shoes. Initially this gave a few knee issues (I use Speedplay normally, which I found in the past eliminated the knee issues I had when climbing) - nothing major just a little pain. That seems to have gone away with some adjustments to riding style - keeping my knees even closer in to the top tube which has the result of pushing my heels out slightly (my feet are now straight rather than before I tended to find my toes pointed slightly outwards and heels were slightly inwards). My inner legs now rub more against the seat nose but ignoring that. All of this means I no longer get any problems of cramp in the calf muscle which used to plague me on high intensity/high cadence rides. Combination of better base training and a more rigid cleat seems to have been the solution. When my bikes turn up from their round the world cruise I'll be adjusting the play in the speedplay cleats to mirror the blue SPD SL cleats
Yesterday I got schooled. Not so much that I was being dropped, but I was riding with someone who can best be described as a gazelle. It is rare that I get caught being a spectator while riding, but I couldn't help but enjoy watching how effortlessly he was able to get over some obstacles and how he made "boring" sections of trail a challenge.
I am super stoked to ride with him again to help me adjust my mindset and ride style to be a bit more like his. Always fun to learn something new.
Well off to a good year. Nearly 800km for the month of January. 300km last week and closing in on 250km this week. Going for 10,000 km+ for the year. Planning on doing an Everesting challenge, but not sure where to do it at this point yet. Will be scouting out climbs.
You did well to get out so early. It's always a challenge to leave a toasty warm futon for the icy outdoors. The older I get the more enticing a nice duvet seems. At least we there wasn't a terrible Northern Wind this morning. I always look forward to hearing about your escapades.
I get up at 0400 everyday for work, so this morning I slept in until 0430. I was showered and sipping on coffee by 0500. We hit the trails by 0630 and while cold, there were absolutely no hikers for the first part of the morning. We did eventually encounter one, but it was a wide area and no big deal.
I got home for a late lunch and then wanted to nap. Just as I laid down on the couch, the sweetest little voice said "Dad, I want to ride my bicycle" - So I jumped up and out the door we went.
I will admit - Road biking to me can seem like a chore. I enjoy it and I love the amount of ground we cover, but when I get on a MTB, it is different. I have the kind of fun that makes me feel like i am getting away with something. Nothing this fun can be considered exercise!!!