Monday, 6 August 2012

July Training Update

Well July is over, although it felt like October at times due to rain and the cooler temperatures we got during the month, and as I am off on holiday in a couple of weeks I thought I'd try and get July's training update done before the end of August.

I guess one of the highlights of this months progress is the fact that I reached the personal weight loss goal that I set myself in January. As of the last week in July I had lost 5 stone and 2 pounds since the middle of January 2012 and now weigh a little under 12 stone. Yes, I'm actually quite pleased with that result - Its surprising what little things reinforce the change this has had on me, such as finding that I now need to check that a large size shirt isn't actually to big for me (I was a "snug" XXL in January)      

If you have read other posts on the blog you will know that I am working with Simon from Total Cycling Performance in respect of my training programme and that first impressions are that Simon's "Smarter Not Longer" philosophy in respect of the amount of time spent training is paying dividends. I can safely say since I have been working to to the training programme that Simon developed for me that I am stronger and have more endurance on the bike. Climbing is easier, average speed is going up and stamina is definitely improving.

Towards the end of the month I changed my working hours to facilitate being able to utilise Monday mornings solely for training and specifically longer rides on the bike. This in combination with the other changes to my training programme has seen me going up to 3-4 hours in the saddle, with only quick "water the flowers" stops and this type of time in the saddle is now fairly comfortable.      

The introduction of High Intensity Interval training into the programme has been both amusing and excruciatingly sickening. This element of my training programme is probably the one that I look forward to completing each week, quick fire sessions at maximum possible performance, followed by short "recovery periods" (trust me this phrase is an outright misrepresentation of what happens - "contemplation period" would be more accurate as all I seem to be doing is thinking about the next maximum performance session) completed over a 20 minute period can only be described as being hell on earth.

Why are the interval sessions amusing? without fail I always find it amusing that as a 50 year old man with a fairly responsible job, capable of making my own choices in life, that I choose to do this to myself at least twice a week. It's also amusing for the neighbours, because I always have the garage door open with the bike facing onto the drive and twice a week the neighbours can stand on the road or in their front rooms and watch a pixie on a bike torture himself to within 30 seconds of falling off in a heap of vomit and sweat.

So what was the month like in numbers?

  • 32 training sessions completed during the month
  • Total training time was a little under 32 hours (so a little over an hour a day   on average)
  • Average heart rate during all training sessions was 129 beats per minute
  • Average maximum heart during all sessions was 154 beats per minute
  • 13,300 calories burnt as a direct result of training sessions (so just under 4 pounds lost due to exercise completed)
  • Total weight loss 6.8 pounds
  • 425 miles covered on the bike

  • As predicted in Junes training update, the amount of weight lost is now slowing up as my nutritional focus switches to a more carbohydrate focused diet to provide much needed energy for training. The bulk of this months weight loss was actually achieved early in July and it took most of the month to lose the last 2 pounds to sneak in under the 12 stone target.

    What is interesting is that my body shape is continuing to change and whilst my weight is stabilising at around the 166-167 pound mark I am continuing to inches off of my waist and chest, Simon predicted this would happen - Maybe he knows what he is talking about! :) 

    What am I looking forward to this month? Most of all I am looking forward to sitting in an airline seat and not feeling as though somebody allocated me a child's seat.

    As always thanks for taking the time to read the Pixies ramblings and hopefully you will be able to find the time to visit the blog again in the future.

    Dha weles diwettha


    (Didn't think you were going to learn some Cornish today did you! - it says "see you later" )




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