Churchtown Time Trial

Yesterday I made the commitment to hit the route I call the “Churchtown Loop Around“. This route is kinda like a Time Trial (TT) in that with the exception of one T-junction it’s just a full on, fairly flat route that has mostly decent tarmac and zero traffic lights.

Straight up, I kinda regret saying I’d do this route yesterday. I made my bed and then had to lie in it. And speaking of beds… and sleep, I didn’t get much last night. About six hours.

And then all I ate all morning was two slices of toast with nutella on, so hardly a champions breakfast. But crucially I did make sure I’d had plenty of water.

That was a good idea because again we have had a sunny day – hitting 17c at the time I set off. Short sleeves and shorts were very much the order of the day.

Anyway the point is I didn’t really want to go out and belt it for an hour. So when I set off I mentally resolved to keeping to 220w and seeing how I got on at that pace.

Well, once I’d left the outskirts of North Preston, hitting the roundabout that leads onwards up the A6 towards Garstang / Lancaster / Scotland, I felt like I had a tail wind behind me, and knew from the ride graph that the ‘out lap’ part was down hill.

Surely I could just go a little harder for a little while, and then ease off, right?

Coming up the little hill from the roundabout there’s a segment start there – A6 to St Michaels Road. There have been times I’ve really tried hard on that segment and not even come close to beating my previous PB.

Today I annihilated it.

Don’t ask me how. Well… probably that tail wind, right?

Anyway, that spurred me on.

Looking down at the Garmin I’d seen speeds over 40kph… I was flying. I knew I needed to average above 30kph to do the lap in a decent time, and so that became my metric – do not let the needle (ahem: digital read out) drop below 30kph.

Without the benefit of an average on the display I had to make rough mental calculations. But as the ride went on I knew I was waaay ahead of where I expected to be.

Intentionally I’d started a new lap as I’d left the roundabout heading on to the A6, and the numbers there told me I’d flown past 10km in under 20 minutes, and hit 20km in under 40 minutes. Those are numbers I’d usually only expect to see on Zwift.

But that’s not to say I wasn’t working hard for it. Damned hard.

My average heart rate during the 40 minute effort was 176bpm. Definitely earning my money on this one.

What I didn’t expect today was to set both a 20 and 30 minute all time PB on the power curve.

20 minutes – 251w

30 minutes – 249w

The Garmin then factored that down to an FTP of 238w which is ~7w lower than the 245w FTP I have been using, but I would say the numbers are in the same ball park and I’m not going to amend the 245w figure. That’s not for any macho reason, rather I’m finding those 245w SST sessions ‘about right’ and I don’t think I’d benefit for dropping wattage slightly. If anything I think being ever so slightly optimistic on that number is pulling me up, and that showed today.

The one downside for today’s ride?

Well… I need a rest.

I’ve pulled muscles in my ass… oh mercy.

Well, not my ass, but just right below my ass cheeks, the very tops of my legs. I bent over in the shower after the ride to pick up my empty protein shake cup (hey, I’m efficient) and when I stood back up I realised I’d messed up.

So now I’ve got a funny limp… but that wouldn’t be a problem usually. I could take tomorrow off the bike. Sure, that would suck because the weather is blooming lovely. But no, I have to do the Stage 4 ride for the Tour of Watopia.

🤞🤞 Fingers crossed all muscle pain miraculously cures itself overnight. 🤞🤞

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