Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Final Epic Prep

No real cycling this weekend. I went away to Newbury for my 10th wedding anniversary but I did manage to get to the hotel gym on Friday and Saturday and then again on Monday when we got back. A bit of cycling, running and stepping and lots of stretching to ease the pain in my right knee. Its now just an occasional dull ache so its looking ok.

My plan for the rest of the week is a couple of trips to the gym and maybe a 20 miler on the bike to see if everything is ok. I changed my rear tyre after wearing the last one out on the turbo trainer so I need to make sure I've fitted it correctly.

I'm now taking the bike to the shop for a quick tune-up. Its my one free basic service I got when buying the bike. I had hoped to save it for sometime in the winter but the gears have become a bit clunky so I guess it needs doing.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Sore knee

So I went for a gentle 5 mile run around Battersea Park, nothing too strenuous but at a reasonable pace - around 8:30 minute mile pace I guess. By mile four my left knee was aching a little. By the time I got home it was more than aching. An hour later it hurts. 9 days 16 hours to nurse it to health.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


So, I'm sick of spending money. Running was relatively cheap. 2 or 3 pairs of shoes a year at £70 a pair, socks, tops, shorts, watches etc. Probably £200 for the outfit including hat, glasses, gloves and everything else.

But cycling is ridiculous. Every time I think I have everything, I think of something else. Today it is cleat covers (£7) in case I have to walk on the Epic (always be positive) and new tyres (2 x £14.99) as I set the turbo trainer too tight and its worn my tyre away.

Also, I stupidly left my saddle bag open and my tyre levers (£3), mulit-tool (£10) and CO2 canister (3 x £2) fell out on Sunday so they all need replacing. Finally, more Viper bars (5 x £2) for the Epic. I might do a list of things I've bought for cycling. Then again, it would hurt to see the final bill.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Epic Map

I received my Epic details today. I am number 644. I can't really believe I'm doing it. I'm going to feel really out of place.

I used the map to enter the details into Bike Route Toaster so I could save it as a .GPX file for Ed's Garmin 705. Once I'd done it, I go to see the profile. Wow. That makes Sunday's ride look very small.

Although it looks like the big hills are at the beginning, I am told that the hard ones are in the second half. I'm guessing they are the ones that are so steep, over half the people walk.

Getting the info has prompted me to make a list of things I need to take with me to Wales.

Bike, Track Pump, Computer, Garmin, Water Bottles, Glasses - light lenses, Glasses - dark lenses, Road Pump
Shoes, Thin Socks, Shorts, Bid Shorts, Tights, Base Layer, Orange Jersey, Waterproof Jacket, Fingerless Gloves, Thick gloves, Underhelmet Hat, Helmet
Inner Tube x 3, Tyre Levers, Multitool, CO2 Canister x 3, Money, ID, Inhaler x 2
SIS PSP22 - enough for 4 bottles, SIS PSP22 sachets x 4, Viper Bars x 4

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Almost a century

Up at 5:30 to eat breakfast and be out of the house at first light. At Ed's by 6:45 and then off to the Surrey Hills to follow a Kingston Wheelers route. It was mostly a route we had already done a few times but it replaced one short hill with two bigger ones.

I struggled from the word go with Ed moving ahead on every climb, even smaller ones. I think his fitness and confidence on a bike has really improved and I was suffering from the excesses of Friday night. He waited where necessary and I was ok on the flat. When it came to the two new hills, we was first up the first one but on the second, he realised he wasn't as good on the very steep sections and we both puffed and panted to the top. He also fell off after he stopped for a breather half way up a steep section. It looked very funny.

He was a minute ahead of me on Box Hill where we stopped to have tea. After the stop, we went round to do a second climb of Box Hill while I had to get home by 12 so didn't follow. I had to push quite a bit but was home by 12:10. 76 miles covered and more than 5500 feet climbed. All good.

I then had to take the family up to Clapham Common and then into central London on the London Freewheel. A slow ride but with Yvette on the back and 76 miles in my legs, it was hard work. 17 more miles and 93 in total. 1 mile short of the Autumn Epic but about 4000 feet short. Gulp.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Turbo Trainer Session - 22 miles

I used the turbo trainer again. Just over 22 miles in 1 hour 10 minutes. I did 30 minutes of continuous cycling at a constant rate before doing 5 minutes solo legged on each side i.e. take one leg out of the pedal and just use the other one. This was surprisingly tough. Apparently, it helps to teach you to pedal smoothly and to use the up as well as the down stroke. I then put the resistance up and did 20 minutes of hills before doing 10 minutes easy to cool down.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Turbo Trainer Session - 20.18 miles

12 miles cycle to Dad's group in the morning with Yvette on the back. Then in the afternoon I did another 20.18 miles on the turbo trainer. I did it in 1 hour so my average speed was over 20 mph for the first time. The difficultly was set to about a third and I was in the big ring and half way on the rear cog. I might be getting a little quicker.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

London Duathlon

I rode my first Duathlon today. It was the London Duathlon in Richmond Park. I did the Challenge course which was the longest option.
Run: 9km with a climb of 70m
Bike: 21.5km (2 laps) with a climb of 224m
Run: 4.7km with a climb of 32m

It was fabulous weather in Richmond Park and was warm by the time I got there at around 7:30 to get my chip and rack my back. I felt like a complete fish out of water wearing my usual running gear with my number pinned to the front compared to lots of skinny people in one piece lycra outfits and race number belts. I found out that belts are used as you have to wear your number on your front for the runs but on your back for the cycle.

I found a spot for my bike and tried to remember everything my friends Simon and Stephen had told me. Lay towel out, place on bike shoes and gloves and drink. Helmet on bike. Glasses out. All set. Check again. Walk away, Walk back and check again.

I walked to the start, watched the elite duathaletes go off and wait for my number to be called. You set off in waves of 10 every 20 seconds. I got going at around 9:30 and started the 9K run. My legs felt very heavy as I had 71 miles of cycling in them from yesterday and I took a bit to get going. I had no watch so I had no idea how fast I was going but it felt ok and I was passing people and few were passing me.

Transition 1 went ok. A little too long but I was out on the bike before too long. I had to keep telling myself that the transition was not a rest and I was still racing. The bike section was great fun and I was hunting down other riders and passing them. Apart from the hills I felt I was close to around 19-20 mph but looking at my time it seems I was more like 16mph average. I wasn't very happy about this.

The final 5K was tough as my legs were leaden after the cycle but by 2K I was speeding up and going for it. I'm sure the 5K was a negative split. I pushed to the end and I a nice medal for my toils.

It was a really great event that was both big and well run. I would definitly do it again.
Run1 00:45:03 (8:03 mm)
T1 00:03:01
Bike 00:47:12 (15.8 mph)
T2 00:02:04
Run2 00:24:06 (7:44 mm)
Time 02:01:25

Saturday, 13 September 2008

71 miles in the Surrey Hills

I was up at 5:55 to get ready for my longest ride in years. I got to Ed's at 7:00 am and then off for our cycle. We rode into Richmond Park before heading through Kingston and then starting our basic Surrey Hills route before going back through Kingston, into Richmond at Kingston Gate and then towards home. I stopped for a puncture on Ed's bike after about 30 miles and then for a cup of tea on top of Box Hill.

I left Ed at Tibbets Corner and cycled home. I finished doing 71 miles in 4 hours 30 minutes. No real excessive pains, I could have ridden another 20 miles and I enjoyed it. A good day. The only note of caution is that we only climbed 3,800 feet but the Epic is 10,000 feet so it will be so much harder.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Turbo Trainer Session - First one

I did my first ride on my new turbo trainer today. I was sceptical about the usefulness of a trainer but it turns out that its great. I did a 20 mile workout in just over one hours with a mixture of easy, tempo and hills. I got a good sweat on and felt like I had an ok workout.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Surrey Badger Half Marathon

With very very heavy legs, I was out the door by 7:20 to cycle the 17 miles to Leatherhead. I thought I would get there in time but I arrived as hordes or runners were coming the other way, walking to the start. I quickly locked my bike, dumped my bag and put my number on. I got to the start line and realised I had 2 t-shirts on and I had not put vasaline on so my nipples so I wase going to suffer. I started and I felt very sluggish. If it had been a flat half I might have got into my stride and been ok but it turned out to be a wet, muddy, cross country, hilly half marathon. It was a struggle. By mile 8 I had nothing left. I was shuffling along like an old man with piles. I ended up walking at times and was feeling worse and worse. I was being passed by so many people, I forced myself to run all of the last mile. I can't remember ever wanting the finish line to come so much. I finished in 2:09 which is terrible by my recent standards.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Brick session

My first ever brick session today. I did:
1 - Cycle to Richmond and then 2 laps: 16.6 miles in 1:05:51
2 - Richmond Park 5k: 3.11 miles in 23:59
3 - Start Brick Session - 2.5km run: 1.86 miles 13:09
4 - Transition 1: 2:00 minutes
5 - 10km cycle: 6.15 miles in 21:43
6 - Transition 2: 1:09 minutes
7 - 2.5km run: 1.86 miles in 15:46
8 - Cycle home: 5.57 miles in 23:45

I found it very tough, even getting a big dose of cramp after the 10km cycle but it was well worth doing. Great excercise, finally did the RP 5k TT, met up with Stephen, met some nice people from the Clapham Chasers and got some valuable tips for the Duathlon next week.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Monthly Stats - August

I'll post my monthly exercise starts for each month. I'm hoping that I find the time to maintain my running but increase my cycling although I'm not sure that is going to be possible.

I probably won't include gym sessions unless its a spin class or treadmill.

September goals:
Break the 200 miles cycling for a month
Do over 100 miles running