Last weekend I went on a 4 hour ride in the hills in Surrey. In the ride we purposely looked for the biggest hills and climbed one after the other. I have to admit I bonked. It was a tough ride home. My coach then set me another 4 hour ride in two days time and then time trials around Richmond Park. All this before heading to Portugal and riding 4 days of hills.
I was worried my body would tighten up with extreme increases in training and after bonking. I rode to box hill for my 4 hour ride and could feel my legs tired at the end. They did not have great energy to push hard and in fact they ached as I was coming home.
Today I attacked Richmond Park and I was determined to beat my best time of 19.53mins for 1 lap. I did not know if my legs would cope with only two days rest. I accelerated out of my seat and set the stop watch going. I did not look at the watch until I crossed the finish line and just thought about pushing hard. I am learning to pace myself and at times when it was painful I think if I go faster this is when I actually make up time at the end.
I rode anti clockwise and the wind was almost neutral if not slightly a head wind. I stayed low on the handle bars and controlled the gear changes while in this position. I could feel my legs were tiring at the tops of hills but on the flats I recovered fast and my heart rate was easily maintained. On the flats I accelerated and was staying above 40 km/h on them. In the final straight a rider was pushing hard in front of me and I picked him out to catch. In the last 10 meters I passed him. My time 19.10mins. I was definitely stronger today and that was after doing two 4 hour rides in the space of 6 days.
My legs are adapting to the training and in Portugal I hope to get the climbing muscles working and learn how to pace myself for the long accents. My next goal is to get to 18 mins around Richmond Park. I will then officially be faster than my coach.
In the next blog I will talk about my training and what I learnt about hill climbing on the bike.