(Last Updated On: 16th January 2017)

L2l Diary, Part 3 – Week 1 of Training….. RAIN!

(Catch up on previous diaries here)

Week 1

So week 1 has come and gone.

With it came the first arctic blasts of winter and a storm that made Sunday feel like a boat might just turn up and ask two of every creature to hop on board.

The aim was two 80km rides on Saturday and Sunday plus whatever I could fit in during the week.

The result was an 80km ride on Saturday with a 20 minute turbo session in the week (plus some decent weights workouts).

The problem with having a plan is you feel a sense of regret when you don’t complete it. Reality is that Sunday just wasn’t suitable riding weather and whilst I could have done some work on the turbo I decided to give my legs a day to recover after the longest ride of the year so far.

A little disappointing but if this stage of the plan is to build a solid base then it’s not a bad start and I was really pleased to start adding in some kettle bell sessions to build on my core strength.

Saturday’s Ride


Saturday’s ride was pretty decent though. I didn’t head out until near 10am as the roads were frozen solid when I woke up. I wore pretty much every piece of clothing I had and headed out into the cold.

This was a new route, I always use this as an incentive when the weather’s bad. Nice to get out somewhere you’ve not been before. I would say about 10% of the ride was on roads completely new to me which is rare when you’ve lived in an area for a few years like I have.

I was on the winter bike bogged down with mudguards and clothing so a pretty slow average but today was more about just slogging through the miles. The weather made for a rather introspective ride. The world becomes a smaller version of itself when the weather is close kind of like cycling in one of those shakeable snow globes. The mist and drizzle closes in around you and you are just stuck in your own domed off world focusing on what’s directly ahead and the pedal strokes you’re making.

The first 40km or so were straight into the wind which always makes for a tough slog but after the turnaround my mood lightened somewhat and the sun even made an appearance. The highlight was battling to the top of a sharp rise on the way back towards Bedford, rounding a blind bend to see a buzzard flying no more than 9ft off the group straight towards me. It swooped right above my head with what felt like inches to spare. Magnificent and one of those perfectly timed moments that typify life out in the saddle. You have to put the time in to get the rewards but when you do they are worth it, however fleeting.

Nearly 700 metres of climbing is also an achievement for the flatlands of Central England, this is something I am attempting to intentional build into the plan ahead of the dreaed moors of the South West.

All in all a good day out and was probably a bit ambitions to even dream of attempting it all over again on Sudnay at this early stage.

The Week Ahead

This week is going to be interesting. I have Friday and Sunday as days off from work but with a bike fit planned Friday (more on that later) getting a ride in might be tough. 

Sunday is planned as long ride day the aim is to do 100km which would be my first time in months.

I am also starting Jujitsu on Tuesday night. I have wanted to do a martial art for years and am hoping the power and flexibility benefits will really add to the training plan. It’s certainly going to test my body in new and interesting ways, at least the bruising will give me more excuses to skip rides!

Fingers crossed I can fit in a couple of turbo sessions too but it doesn’t matter what way I try them I simply don’t find them fun. My turbo bike is old and uncomfortable and the speed sensor that estimates power makes the data for proper interval sessions completely useless. We’ll see…..

Bike Fit

As touched on earlier I have a bike fit planned for this Friday in Hertford (Fit-Me-Up.com). I have not had one before and thought a big challenge like this was a perfect time to get fitted out properly. I am interested by the Retul system, especially the fact they give you a print out of the measurements so you can apply it to other bikes. It is a 3 hour session with a bit of a drive each way so means losing so training time on Friday but should hopefully pay back in benefit for the long run.

I will take some notes whilst I am there and will hopefully have a write up of the full fitting process over the next couple of weeks.

That’s me done for week 1. If you’re interested in any of the previous diaries you can find them here.

Happy Cycling 🙂


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