Tag Archives: cycling

endurance training (or how not to…)

3 Jul

So you want to be an awesome cyclist like me?  (No?  Don’t you know i’ve met Victoria Pendleton?) Then follow my recipe for the endurance ride of your life.  This ride took place on a lovely sunny Monday evening…

First i selected an approximately two mile route (I wouldn’t go more than 3 miles for this one).  A route that just so happened to have a local fayre at the end of it.  If you’re a stats person i’d say it had one short hill, approx 7%, but was mostly flat.  I can’t tell you true stats as this really wasn’t deserving of a Garmin or Strava outing.  Next, cycle at a leisurely pace for the first two miles.  It’s important not to exert yourself too much at this point – the real test is yet to come.  At one point hubby was shouting at me from about a mile away that he couldn’t ride slowly enough to stay with me.  What he didn’t realise was that the dress and leggings i had chosen to wear, instead of that boring lycra, was adding extra resistance and giving me a great workout.

Stop at aforementioned fayre.  Wander round for a bit (ah yes cross training with a walk no less) then, and here’s the crucial bit and where the endurance part kicks in, eat a large pot of locally made stew.  You know the type that’s probably been stewing since the fayre the year before, full of root vegetables and beans, and so claggy you can feel it sticking to your insides as it goes down?  Wander round some more.  Admire long forgotten craft forms and spend time looking at and choosing some gorgeous artwork before remembering you cycled there and you’ve no way of getting anything home!  Finally, attempt to cycle home on your very full belly!!  This works best if you think you know a shortcut to your house which you persuade your husband to take only for it to pretty much take you back from whence you came before taking you under and over a few rolling hills before eventually delivering you home.

I can truly say if you can survive that you can sew that endurance badge on your cycling shorts.  I was a whinging moaning mess by the time i got home.  Although to be fair it’s not that different from my more serious training rides.  I’m pretty sure if Lance Armstrong had read my training book there would have been no need for all that doping!

I’m still in recovery now but i’m pretty sure by this time next year i’ll be ready to do it all again.

On a more serious note, if certain people’s passports turn up in the post in the next few days i’m hoping to whizz off to France for a day or two to catch a snippet of the Tour de France.  Exciting stuff.

Anyone else got some training gems to share?

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random phone pics of cycling, beer and birthdays

4 May

despite the fact that i have two pretty awesome cameras i take more pics on my phone than on any camera.  It’s just always there, it takes some pretty fab pics and then i can mess around on snapseed if the mood takes me.  So here’s a few pics from the last few days.  David Bailey eat your heart out…

ImageSome of my birthday cards.

ImageWaiting for hubby so we can ride home to the pub together after work (we had much to put right with the world don’t you know and that can only be done over a pint).  And yes this is the view two minutes away from my office.  How do i get any work done???  I love that there’s one solitary tiny little grey cloud in this picture – like it’s trying to be menacing but it’s just so small and cute!

ImageSwift half birthday pint after a 20k ride (with a 221m climb no less). Thanks to Strava for the stats.  I LOVE Strava and i’m not exactly sure how I managed to live this long without it – I don’t even have premium yet and i’m totally its biggest fan!

Looking back i notice a theme of beer, cycling and birthdays.  I guess that’s the kind of week it’s been. 

Love to you all X

beating the winter weather aka turbo training!

10 Apr

Lately the weather here has been pretty Jekyll and Hyde.  When the weather doesn’t look as beautiful as this…

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(both taken on a recent walk just a week ago) we are suffering high winds and sideways rain/sleet.  So the only way to train in a civilised manner is to set my road bike up on the turbo trainer.  I’m loving my foldable Turbo trainer.  Super easy to set up for a total novice like me and folds away when you’re not using it.  Or if you’re like me you just leave your bike set up in front of the telly for days on end!

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One thing i was surprised about using a turbo trainer is just how much harder it is than road cycling – not only is the resistance harder but you don’t get the joys of stopping occasionally to free wheel down hills for a bit.  I can still only cycle on the first few settings.  I’m sure i can already feel the benefit though.  I’ve looked up some free videos on YouTube which have been great and I’ve also tried some tough interval sessions.

Having said all that i can’t wait for the sunshine to come back as there really is no substitute for getting out there in the fresh air (and stopping for cake and tea along the way!).  So tonight i’m setting out the cycle kit and i’m going to sleep with my fingers crossed.  I promise i’m not always a fair weather cyclist but when the winds get over 30mph the warmth and dryness of the car do look awfully tempting.

X

cycling with Victoria Pendleton

10 Oct

I did it!!!!  Last Sunday i took park in Cycletta at Tatton Park in Cheshire.  Cycletta is a series of cycling events round the country designed to get women on their bikes “for fitness and for fun”.  You have the choice of doing a 40k or 50k distance.  As I’d never done a cycling event before i chose the 40k distance which took us through lots of beautiful Cheshire countryside.

the start line, that’s me in the middle

The event itself was really well organised but it was super cold to start off with which i wasn’t prepared for.  All sorts of levels and cyclists take part (I even spied a woman on an electric bike – gotta say i was jealous!).  I of course took my beautiful new(ish) road bike.  Victoria Pendleton (the Olympic Gold medal cyclist) took part and at the end we all got the chance to meet her. She was very patient and lovely given the huge amount of women that queued up for the chance to have a pic taken with her.  I actually got ridiculously excited before meeting her…i’m pretty much a super fan.  She looks so pleased to be meeting me huh?!?  I got my bib signed by her too.

I need to master helmet hair!!

By the way it’s pretty much impossible to look good next to her so i didn’t even try.  Don’t judge me!

I cycled the race with a friend who i hadn’t seen or caught up with in ages so we took the course at a fairly leisurely rate and chatted most of the way, filling our pockets with sweets at the feed stations (that’s what you’re supposed to do right?).  I broke away for about the last three miles and raced them which was sooooo much fun.

The goodie bag we all got at the end was amazing.  It included a cloth rucksack, lots of free samples, two magazines and a loaf of bread (not pictured below).  There were also free massages, manicures and helmet hair rescue stations for all participants.

That evening we stayed in Liverpool at a place called Base2Stay.  Base2Stay is a hybrid hotel/apartment.  I’m definitely a fan of renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel when i’m staying in cities.  The staff at Base2Stay were super accommodating and housed our bikes for us.  The bathroom in our room was so massive i had to get a photo.  I mean there were two sinks!!  What the?!?!?!

this picture does not do it justice – there’s a huge rainforest type shower hidden in the corner

And yes i am that easily pleased.

So i know i’ve said this in like, thirteen other posts but i’ve soooo got the cycling bug now.  It’s so much more fun than running (although still doing that a bit due to impending Great South Run in two and a half weeks!).  I even own a little collection of padded lycra shorts that i would never have dreamed of owning (let alone admitted to owning) just six months ago.

Roll on more cycling events!!!  There’s one more Cycletta event left this year so if you’re interested check out the Cycletta website.  I would if i could but i’ll definitely be signing up for 2013.

let’s catch up (or my cycle tour of Devon)

16 Sep

i know i don’t write or call as often as i should.  I am a bad blogger.  I wish i was sorry but there is such a good reason.  Basically i have a new love.  Don’t worry the hubby needn’t be jealous for my new love has two wheels…

Yes i am the proud owner of a beautiful road bike (and i don’t cut my hedges often enough).  Isn’t she lovely?  Not sure whether it was the Tour de France or the Olympics that got me but either way i have been totally seduced by cycling!

Both John and i have been cycling lots, not least because in three weeks time i’m taking part in Cycletta in Cheshire to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.  This is a 40K cycle ride so i need all the training i can get.  Did i mention Victoria Pendleton will be there also?  Eeek, very excited!

Recently John and i spent a week in a cottage in Devon for our holidays. It was absolute bliss, gorgeous sunshine and totally surrounded by nature.  What’s not to love.  The view from our cottage:

We cycled the Tarka Trail and the Granite Way, both great traffic free trails suitable for road bikes and for our third ride we did a 20 mile round trip to a lake.  Although it is VERY hilly it’s wonderful country to be cycling round (did i mention it’s hilly?  Oh yeah, it’s hilly).  The lanes are very quiet.  You’re more likely to meet a tractor or a horse than a car.  Plus there are plenty of establishments selling wonderful local cider and cream teas (the essential cycling nutrition combo).  We were extremely lucky with the weather – if it had rained all week it may have been a different story but if you are lucky enough to spend a week in Devon in the sunshine i would totally recommend getting on two wheels.

In other news…I also recently ran the Guernsey Marathon as part of a relay team.

Yes this is the best picture my hubby could take of me.  I think i was running faster than the speed of light!!  I shall do a proper recap of this race in a separate post (although don’t hold your breath with my current track record) but it’s safe to say my leg of the race was fairly unpleasant.  I tore my ACL back in May and although my rehab is going well my knee is still fairly unstable and i couldn’t get in as much training as i’d like to have done.  The leg was 4.2 miles of hills (up and down).  It has taken my knee nearly two weeks to recover.  The team part was awesome though and i would do it again in a heartbeat!

Until next time X

 

 

 

 

thanks for the holidays Queenie

5 Jun

Thanks to the lovely Queen i’ve had four whole days off work!!  A – wooo – hoo!!  A little recap…

I ate this amazing dessert, after an amazing dinner, cooked by my lovely friend Caroline.  She is some kinda domestic goddess that i could never be.

I cycled!! Yay!  If you’ve been reading my blog lately you’ll know that three weeks ago i badly twisted my knee playing Touch Rugby and have been unable to do any kind of exercise since (other than boring old physio exercises).  On Sunday i did a small cycle ride (about 2 miles) and i was so happy.  I can’t say my knee wasn’t sore but it didn’t get any worse.  Makes me very smiley!

I also managed some pilates.  I love Suzanne Bowen’s 10 Minute Solutions series and i did two segments of her Perfect Pilates Body this morning.  I’m going to try and fit this in every day until i’m back up and running (and hopefully continue as much as possible while i’m running).  Not just to keep me in shape but to strengthen and prevent injury in the future.  Good sense methinks.

I made thai green curry.  It’s not culinary genius – it’s just curry paste, coconut milk and veg but it’s yummy.  I had brown rice with it.  I’m never 100% sure whether brown rice is that great for you as there’s so much conflicting advice out there about how hard it is to digest but i like the taste so whatever!

We went swimming in the sea.  To put this in perspective people i don’t live in California, i live in the UK.  The average sea temp for June is just 14°.  You’d be happy if you were served your G&T at that temperature.  It was seriously refreshing though and totally worth it.  It was high tide, the sand was white and the water was crystal clear.  Once my body went numb the water felt wonderful.  I felt amazing afterwards and vowed to go again as much as possible.  Then it rained today.  Oh well.

I hope you’ve all had fantastic weekends.  What’s your favourite exercise DVD?  Is there one you always go back to?

chickpea overload?

20 Apr

My lunch today:

chickpea salad with houmous on the side (well on the top and the side really).  Totally yummy.  And for the record i’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as too many chickpeas!  The people who sat next to me all afternoon may disagree!

My bike computer seems to have given up the ghost and look where it got stuck:

I was sooo looking forward to seeing it flip over to 300 miles but its been stuck on 298 for two days now.  Grrrr.  Still when someone buys me a lovely Garmin for my birthday next week i won’t need it anymore!!!

That’s all i’ve got today – enjoy your Friday night.  I’m going to watch a friends band on their first outing so should be good.

It’s the weekend – whoop whoop!