September proved to be a pretty good month weather wise and I was able to get out on the roads pretty frequently and gradually push the length of my rides out a bit further with weekend rides on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays regularly being of 50 mile plus duration. What a change from when I started cycling back in May, when to be honest I was struggling to complete a ride of 15 miles.
Following Augusts disrupted training month, I was fairly determined to put in a good months work during September to try and catch up the two weeks of my Total Cycling Performance training programme I had missed whilst on holiday. During September I made a conscious effort to really push myself when I was in the gym doing strength and cardio training and I am sure that this has had a very positive effect on my performances out on the road, in respect of climbing ability and increased average speed over the duration of a journey.
During September we also took delivery of the Watt Bike that I am hiring over the winter. Watt Bikes are used by Team Sky and Team GB cycling teams as an indoor training tool and if they are good enough for Mr Brailsford, Wiggo, Froome dog and Miss Trott, I'm sure the Watt Bike will be just fine for me!
One of the features of the Watt Bike is the facility to measure peak power in Watts (hence the name) both as an average during any session and also the peak power attained during the session. Lets compare a random figure achieved by me during one of my early Watt Bike sessions with the figure achieved by Mark Cavendish whilst sprinting during a race. I achieved an average power output of around 160 watts with a peak power output of just over 400 watts. Mark Cavendish reputedly pushes out 1400 watts when sprinting for the line. So I think its fair to say Cav' hasn't got to worry about the Pixie catching him up just yet!
Having the Watt bike available at home has definitely added a real focus to sessions that would have previously been completed on the Turbo due to being able to monitor performance in real time via the bikes "on board" computer. It's surprising how much of an incentive it is to keep pushing harder when you can see your average power output going up or you can see that you have averaged 35 kph over an hour's session. Another useful function that the bike has is the ability to monitor pedalling efficiency in real time, to help achieve a more efficient and powerful pedalling action. This is a copy of one of my early pedalling efficiency print outs.
So how did September look in numbers?
All in all September has proven to be a good training month and is probably the month where I have made the most significant progress so far in respect of my performance on the bike and with my fitness levels more generally. I think it is fair to say that if I wasn't working with Simon Vincent over at Total Cycling Performance and working to his "Smarter Not Longer" training methodologies, the levels of performance increases I am achieving would not have been possible. As I have said before, maybe, just maybe, the boy knows what he is talking about?! Check out Simons web site here
For those people who are interested in my weight loss progress, I am now just a fraction under 11 stone 7 pounds. Total weight loss since January is now 85 pounds or just a little over 6 stone. I am fairly sure that my weight will now remain fairly static and changes in relation to weight and fat loss are most likely to manifest themeselves as a reduction in overall % of body fat rather than outright weight.
So what does the loss of 6 stones look like in the real world? The jacket I am wearing in the following photograph is a jacket that I was regulalrly wearing for work up until mid January and it was a pretty snug fit.
Yes that jacket really was on the tight side and it is fair to say both Mrs Pixie and I were quite shocked when I tried it on recently.
In other news relating to Septembers activities I have taken part in my first Cycling Sportive event, but that story deserves it's own blog post.......
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
|Pixies not afraid of this hill anymore! - Thanks Simon|