Saturday, April 12, 2014

88, 140, 30.3, 0 - more data for Etape du Tour training

So in my quest to train smarter for the Etape du Tour, harder wasn't working out too well, I've invested in a better Garmin.

I don't really understand it if I'm honest. But what it does is allow me to do is get an awful lot more information both while I'm riding and to analyse afterwards.

Also, it matches my bike's colour scheme.

The numbers in the headline are my cadence, heart rate, speed and the road gradient read from the screen while I was riding today. So a pretty good cadence, a nicely controlled heart rate, a good cruising speed on a flat rode.

All of the data

It also allows better management of my gears. Better management of myself and my effort too.

My ride today took in Box Hill twice as part of a 95km "getting my mojo back" ride. The last time I rode up Box Hill I found an effort level I thought I could hold and went up in 9min 39s. Today I decided to hold my cadence at around 90, my heart rate at 180, and see what happened.

I rode my second-fastest time - 8min 27s - three seconds off my best, which was set a month before the Etape last year. A minute better than my next best time.

Now, as my previous blog post will tell you, I've not been training properly for the last week or two and hadn't exactly prepared properly the day before - drinking too much and eating and sleeping too little (although not catastrophically badly on any count).

But having the data to look at while on the bike to measure effort meant I could deliver a consistent power output without going into the red. And analyse afterwards too.

It means I can now see if there's something going right or wrong as well as get more information for comparison of segments (ie it might be slower, but now I have a heart rate comparison to see if there was a reason).

With a bit of luck, it should put me in a far better place to tackle the Pyrenees and cope while riding them in July.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Losing my mojo when training for the Etape du Tour

So there have been a couple of setbacks in my plan for 2014 already.

First, the trip to ride Liege-Bastonge-Liege was cancelled by the operator. While this proved to be something of a relief as I was struggling to see how I could possibly manage 160 miles in a day, let alone in about 12 hours, it took out a chunk of motivation.

But things were still going well. I averaged more than 150km a week in March - out every weekend for more than 100km with a few commutes thrown in and mid-week turbos to boot.

It was going well. And then, well, I stopped.

For the last 10 days I've basically done nothing. Missed turbos, missed my weekend ride, not turned up to a sportive I'd payed for,  barely ridden to work, eaten too much, slept too little and drank far, far too much.

I need to get back onto it, I need to get my mojo back. On the plus side Pez is back from holiday now and has a ride booked in this weekend.

Hopefully getting back on the bike this weekend will help kick start my training plan. And while I lost the LBL trip, I've gained a new one.

Pez and I found a deal - we're riding the first two stages of the Tour too - the ones in Yorkshire. The London Cambridge stage is just 100 miles long and really very flat. Should be quite a good long weekend ride.

I could ride four stages this year and I've got longer than I thought to prepare. Now, if I can just get back on the bike...