Over the last few weeks I have noticed that since I took Simon's (Total Cycling Performance) advice to change my training regime and just as importantly the composition of my nutritional intake, I have seen a very real increase in on the road cycling performance.
To recap on previous posts my training programme is now much more structured and is focusing on developing muscle strength, core strength, cycling stamina and developing my lactate threshold through very focused training sessions that are regulated by heart rate rather than "how I feel"
It's early days as yet but after the first couple of weeks I noticed that on my regular training routes my average speed increased by 2 mph and that not only had the average speed increased but I didn't feel like I was working as hard as I used to. Riding using my heart rate monitor has undoubtedly help with the feeling of not working so hard, as I am largely staying within my optimum heart rate band and avoiding allowing my heart rate to go above my lactate threshold.
Whilst I was pleased with the 2 mph increase in average speed that I had been consistently achieving, last Sunday I didn't feel like going out for a long ride so I set out on a straight forward out and back run of a little under 25 miles. The added dimension to this run was that it was early morning, the roads were empty and I wanted to see just how fast I could average over the distance.
By the time I arrived back at home, I had increased my average speed by a further 3 mph over the 2 mph increase I had achieved previously. To say I was pleased with a total increase of 5 mph in average speed over a two to three week period would be an understatement. I have even wondered whether I could have a go at Vets Time Trialing, such was the joy which that 25 mile ride brought!
The other thing I have noticed is that hills that i have previously found to be hard work are actually getting easier and again through making the effort to manage my heart rate I'm not "blowing up" on hills or wasting energy early in the ride.
Stamina is definitely improving and where as a novice cyclist of a little over two months, previously anything more than two straight hours in the saddle was a real struggle, two hours is now a breeze and three to four hours is comfortable with a couple of short breaks to throw some peanuts in my mouth and get out of the saddle.
As a novice cyclist, who until two months ago hadn't been on a bike in around thirty plus years, I'm quite pleased with the progress I'm making and feel more confident now that I will achieve my goal of completing a hundred mile ride before the end of October.
It's still early days with getting the nutrition consistently right every day, some days I just don't eat foods that are high in volume of the right type of carbs. Largely this will be due to me not planning what I am going to eat when I am away from the office or when I find myself at a meeting where a buffet lunch has been provided (these could be called "beige lunch") The effect this has on energy reserves is quite pronounced if I it happens two or three days in a row. When I do get it right, the positive effect on energy levels is really quite pronounced.
I'm sure there will be days in the coming weeks where my average speed isn't quite as consistently high and maybe the rate of progress will slow up a bit, but all the signs are there to indicate that my on the bike performance is moving in the right direction.
As always, thanks for taking the time to visit the blog and read the random thoughts of the Pixie, hope you can find the time to visit again in the future.