Weekly Review July 27th – August 2nd 2020

Every week I try to review and reflect on my previous week on the bike. This allows me to see how my fitness and ability is progressing on a wider timescale than day to day. For previous weekly reviews please click here

This week consisted of only 3 days riding, with all three being outdoor rides. No indoor cycling for me this week. Kinda makes me wish I’d given more thought to the domain name! Well, OK, not really, as I shall cover below.

This week’s exercises was as follows:

Even though I only rode three times this week, each activity pushed myself in one way or another.

Starting the week with a trip up Oakenclough climb, testing out my new water resistant Rapha jacket, and generally just enjoying being out and about on the bike, regardless of the conditions. Boy, was it windy up the hill.

Then out again on Wednesday, a much nicer day overall but still with residual rain water on the road when I got up on to Beacon Fell. Getting in a decent climb, and a hot(ish) lap made the ride all the more worthwhile.

I felt fine enough after both rides, and was really looking forward to Friday’s ride as I could see from the weather forecast we were due an incredibly warm day – by British summer standards, anyway.

However, come Friday and I absolutely struggled.

I decided to set off later than I probably should. Getting out of the house at 09:10, when heading out at around 08:00 would likely have been a better shout.

The reasons I delayed were two fold. Firstly I figured the delay wouldn’t be that significant for temperatures. I knew the day was supposed to max out at approx 29c, and I figured my ride would take 2-2.5 hours so should be back before noon and still inside the ~26c range at the peak.

Secondly, I figured getting out later would miss the rush hour traffic.

Neither really worked out as planned.

My ride took over three hours, and the heat was – I’m guessing – a huge factor in my really underwhelming performance.

After that ride I decided I needed a couple of days off the bike as I felt my legs needed a proper rest. And so here I am, typing this on the Sunday evening with – hopefully – rested, and as such, untested legs.

The interesting for me as of late has been in doing this longer rides, pushing my longer time frame power figures up a touch. Previously I’d really fall off the pace after an hour. Now I’m able to reach almost the 1.5 hour mark for what feels like the same amount of effort, but still, the drop off after 1.5 hours is fairly evident both out riding, and from the graph above.

At this point also, my “free” days of riding are over the time being. I’m starting a new role tomorrow so mid-week day time rides are off the cards. This is why I’ve been so heavily prioritising outdoor activities as of late, as I know the days on the turbo were going to be back upon me whether I liked it or not. That said, I still think the most efficient way to train is on the turbo, so there’s that.

I’m not sure how this next week is going to go, as typically when starting a new job I’m knackered for a while, until I get back in to the routine.

Anyway, in the interim I’ve been extremely happy with the progress of my latest site – bikeclimbs.com. There are still two big changes I want to make – one of which is to add a search facility – but the initial progress has been good, and I’ve already found the site useful for my own needs, so hopefully you will find it helpful in some way, too.

Until next week!

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