Time for a training schedule

All of last week I meant to write a new blog post, but never managed to get around to it.  It’s been a busy week, added to which I’ve not been getting enough sleep.

I finally got my bike back together a week ago.  I’d been having some problems getting the new derailleur to index correctly.  It turns out that the ball at the end of the gear cable had slipped inside the shifter while the cable was slack, and it was not getting any pull at all from the first three shifts.  It seems that its position within the shifter also meant that the cable was getting crushed when trying to shift, which resulted in its eventual snapping.  I bought a new cable managed to get the new mech indexing correctly, with a bit of help from the guys in CycleChat’s “Know how” forum.

The only problem with the bike now is a creaking sound coming from the saddle.  I originally thought it was a clicking sound coming from the chain, as I could only hear it when turning the cranks, but it went away if I got out of the saddle.  I’m going to take the saddle off and grease all of the contact points between the saddle, rails and post.  Hopefully that will make a difference.  I have been thinking about a new saddle for a while and put a bid in on a Fizik Antares on eBay yesterday, but I was outbid in the last few seconds.

It was great to get back on the road bike after three weeks, but I could really feel the effect of having not been training.  I did some laps of Richmond Park on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes.  Tuesday felt hard (anti-clockwise), Wednesday felt comparatively better (clockwise), but then Thursday  was quite hard again (clockwise).  The legs were feeling the strain much earlier than I’d hoped and I couldn’t hold hard efforts for terribly long.  I think this week I need to get a couple of interval sessions in on the turbo followed by plenty of stretching.

I’ve had a bit of a bad run so far this year.  After being in fairly decent fitness in November, I was too busy to train much in early December.  I was in snowy Finland for three weeks over Christmas and got next to no exercise, and was then faced with icy roads for the next two weeks back in London, which meant almost no training.  Things started improving slowly as the snow and ice subsided and I then got myself set up properly for turbo training, which boosted things.  Then I got sick for a few days and it took another week to start feeling normal again, which was a bit of a set back.  Recovering from that, I started getting out for regular lunchtime rides again and then did a 200 km London-Brighton-London ride, which resulted in the mechanical that left me unable to train for another three weeks.

It’s been really up and down so far.  Knocks the confidence a bit.  I want to do some racing this year, and will probably begin with a Tuesday night race at Hillingdon.  But I don’t really want to start until I’m feeling sufficiently capable.  That means getting back to at or below 58:00 timings over three laps of Richmond Park.  It feels a bit out of my reach at the moment, the best single lap I’ve done recently was 21 minutes (and I can’t even blame the road surface much any more).

I think one of the things I’m lacking is getting out for longish group rides.  It’s not viable for me to do the Willesden CC club runs as they start way off in Denham and would end up taking up all of Sunday morning and half of the afternoon.  I am generally occupied in my role as a daddy during the weekend anyway, so don’t get a chance to get out that much (if I had the time, I’d probably head out and join the Kingston Wheelers club run).  Most of my rides are also quite short, about 40 minutes including warm up, which doesn’t build much endurance.  I get out for an early weekday ride from time to time, but that’s always by myself.  The Friday Night Rides to the Coast are fun events, but I don’t think they do much for training as they are at a more social pace.

WCC now have their summer training sessions on at Hillingdon on Thursday nights.  I need to try getting out to some of those.  If I could do the following, I’d be pretty happy:

  • Thursday night training at Hillingdon twice a month
  • Tuesday night race at Hillingdon once or twice a month (once fitness is up to scratch)
  • Early morning weekday ride into Surrey once a week (~60 km before work, anyone want to join me?)
  • Friday Night Ride to the Coast and Saturday Morning Ride back to London once a month (~200 km)
  • Lunchtime rides in Richmond Park two or three times a week
  • Turbo training once or twice a week

Maybe that’s over optimistic, but either way it’s time for me to put together a training schedule and stop making excuses.

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