Sorry Blog, I’ve been ignoring you………

Must blow the dust off my blog and start updating it again!

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Indoor Rollers – 3 x 15 Min Sweet Spot

I had intended to go out for about 40 miles or so today, and although it wasn’t snowing when I got out of bed, it was very cold, so I just decided not to bother! Instead I did a session on the rollers focused on hitting my Sweet Spot. For me the top end of my Sweet Spot zone is 286 Watts, and so that’s the average wattage I aimed for during the session. I Haven’t been on the rollers for a few weeks, and so I did lose a bit of concentration at one point, trying to switch screens on my Garmin and wipe my runny nose at the same time, but a quick stop has no real impact on the numbers in any case. And I was back on at target almost immediately. But it reminded me how focused you need to be on Rollers compared to a Turbo Trainer. I had a little flourish on the last interval to take my average up to 290 watts for the last 15 mins. Slightly over my target, but I felt like I wanted to “beat” it, and the music in my ears was encouraging me on! So there!!!

A good session, although a decent amount of HR drift over the three Intervals. Some stats below highlighting Average HR for the session, you can see how each interval increased my average HR, I have a max of 187 bpm.

Sweet Spot Roller Session

Sweet Spot Roller Session

(Click the image for full size)

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23 Mile Endurance Pace Ride

It was another cold and windy morning, but while staying in bed was an attractive option, I knew I’d be angry with myself if I was that lazy. So on the basis that any exercise is obviously better than none, I forced myself out the door and down the road, even if it would only be for 5 miles. And of course the minute I was on the bike, I was very pleased to be setting off. The wind was very strong again, what we lack in long hills in this part of the world we make up for in headwinds. I went the other way around on my route this morning, and had some nice sections on the return leg where the tailwind propels you along with ease at around 22 mph, way above my normal capabilities. Overall, feeling good!

I think I frightened this Duck, is it a Duck? I’m not sure, but I did get a bit concerned that he was flying on the wrong side of the road, and was hoping no cars would come around the bend at the same time. Fortunately he found his escape with a gap into the field :-)

Duck from Dexradio on Vimeo.

Stats for this mornings ride, Average Power 228 Watts, NP 257 Watts, TSS 97, IF .84, Average HR 151 BPM which is more in line with what I think it usually is, so pleased with this. Average Speed 16.8 mph reflecting a windy ride.

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29 Mile Endurance Pace Ride

I’ve got a few days off work now, so took the chance to get out on the bike this morning. It’s a bit damp and muddy around the country lanes here, but more challenging is the wind. It makes for a good workout though, I just keep an eye on my Power and don’t worry about speed or HR, they can just settle where they like. So the target today was around 230 watts, the high-end of my Endurance Pace zone. The weather looks like its going to hold out this week, cold and windy but no rain. Although there is talk of more snow apparently. I hope not!!!

Stats for this mornings ride, Average Power 232 Watts, NP 261 Watts, TSS 128, IF .86, Average HR 160 bpm and Average Speed 16.7 mph which is good considering the wind.

This mornings ride………

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28 Mile Endurance Pace Ride

Another nice morning for a bike ride, it was cold, but also dry and clear, just the sort of morning I enjoy riding my bike. Thankfully, after a couple of rides of trying to sort out a “dodgy” Power Meter, I took it apart yesterday and cleaned the seals, replaced the batteries (although I had only recently replaced them) and took the same route this morning where it failed in more or less the same location the previous two rides. Spooky or what! So it was with some anticipation that I rode through the village of Woodchurch with my eyes glued to the Garmin to see if there would be any drop out. Thankfully, everything is operating as it should, at least on a technical front anyway, not sure the same could be said about me ;-)

Another decent ride this morning despite my recent lack of miles on the bike, Average Power 221 Watts, NP 246 Watts, TSS 108, IF .80 Average Speed 17.2 mph and Average HR 158 bpm. I’m feeling a bit tired now, no real surprise after a few weeks of doing very little. So a rest day tomorrow, and since next week is Half-Term I’m taking Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off, so hopefully I’ll get a few decent rides in this week.

This mornings ride……….

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40 Mile Endurance Pace Ride

It’s been another “light” week of training, and to be honest I was so pissed off with last weeks “bonk” (see previous blog post) during my ride, it left me with a lack of motivation this week. Of course what it should have done is motivated me to sort my training out and get out more. Anyway, my annoyance with myself is out-of-the-way now, and so this morning I decided to do a nice Endurance Pace ride for around 40 miles. A bit shorter than last week, and a bit of a “see how it goes” ride. But I was determined not to put myself under any pressure this morning and just ride my own pace. If I needed to cut it short, I allowed myself the ability to do that, so whatever I decided would be fine.

I actually felt quite good, a lot better than last weeks nightmare ride anyway. I could feel myself wanting to push along at pace in the first few miles, and had to restrain myself and apply a bit of self-discipline to stop myself from doing that. I knew it would bite me in the butt later on. But I was feeling good. My HR was a bit higher than I might normally expect, but again, no real surprise there given the lack of regularity in terms of training. All was going according to plan and I was just beginning to feel quite pleased with myself. I was approaching the point at which I fell last week, there was no danger of that happening today as the snow and ice has cleared, and its feeling Spring like at the moment. I looked down at my Garmin to check my Power output and as I looked at the screen, the Power numbers went blank! Spookily, in more or less the same place that it happened last week!

As you can imagine, much grumbling and swearing as I conveyed myself through the Kent countryside, and trying to figure out the problem as I went. In the end I just gave up and concentrated on HR as a guide for effort. But underneath my helmet and several layers of lycra, was a seething, angry and frustrated cyclist! Having completed my ride and got home, I just parked it up in the Garage, went for a shower and had breakfast. Caught up with the highlights of the Tour or Oman, and Algarve, before turning my attention back to the Power Meter. It just won’t pair with the Garmin! It’s recently had new batteries installed, it couldn’t be that could it? I got my multimeter out and checked the batteries and sure enough there was something no quite right with one of them (it takes two batteries), so I installed a new set, and its sprung back into life again. Lets hope it continues to do so, as I’m manually updating my TSS scores with numbers estimated by previous rides. Should be accurate enough, but it’s very annoying when your expensive toy decides not to work. Hopefully the new batteries will sort it out for me, if not, it will have to be sent off for proper investigation I suppose.

No real numbers to report as a result of the Power Meter failure, but average speed a decent 17.3 mph considering my lack of fitness, HR was high at 163 bpm, but assuming I can get out more regularly I would expect that to reduce fairly quickly.

This mornings ride……..

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52 Mile Nightmare Ride

I’m a bit late with this update for last Saturdays ride. Suffice to say, it’s not really one I want to dwell on!

Since Christmas I’ve only had a “splattering” of rides as the weeks have gone past, and I certainly haven’t been training consistently by any means! So following a message from Chris, I decided to join him last Saturday morning for a ride over a 52 mile route he had organised. We agreed to meet at 7am, and since it was the first ride outside for a while I was looking forward to it. It was forecast to be cold but dry, however with the cold weather the previous few days of wet weather had not really cleared from the road, so it was wet, sub-zero temperatures and icy frost covered the roads. They say bad things come in threes, so a few miles in the first of the bad things that were going to haunt me that day occurred!

Ouch! from Dexradio on Vimeo.

That fall left me with a lot of pain in my left hip and ribs, I didn’t even get a chance to get my hand down and fell with full force onto my left side. It happened so fast I never got a chance to put a hand out even as a natural reaction you would typically expect to a fall. That said, if I had it might have been a collar-bone, and on my left side I’ve done my collar-bone in a few years ago falling off a motor cycle. Still, I managed to get up fairly quickly, a natural reaction to reduce the embarrassment in case there were people around watching me, but at 7.30am in the morning I needn’t have worried!

So on we went, and after about 10 minute or so, I noticed my Power Meter was not communicating with my Garmin head unit. I started fiddling with the head unit, trying to re-pair the until with the hub while on the move, and turning it off and back on again. No Joy! I started thinking that this is going to be expensive to fix! A quick stop to see if I could figure out what was going on, and I noticed I had a buckled rear wheel, presumably done when I fell. Not bad, but enough to make me leave it in to the shop, to get properly “true’d” up (I fancy learning to do that myself actually). At the time of writing its in the shop and will be ready tomorrow for me. With all the messing around I forgot to turn the GPS on and screwed up my ride by missing over 10 miles of the GPS track, recording only 42 of the 52 mile route that day. Hence the reason I have not add my usual embedded Strava map, or Power Stats this time! I’m had to make some manual adjustments to “guesstimate” the numbers based on previous rides.

Part of the route takes us up a steep section of road with a gradient of about 14% or so, as usual Chris pulled ahead and once I got over the top I started to push along to catch him up. A bird decided to fly out of the bushes and went straight into my rear wheel, and a small explosion of feathers left me thinking, he’s had it! I had to clean the feathers off the frame when I got home later! The rest of the ride happened without incident, more or less, except that the last 10 miles or so I totally bonked! I was just empty and had no energy at all. I had to tell Chris to go on and not to wait for me as I was just going to cruise home and would hold him up with my slow pace. Not training consistently for the last month, combined with an early morning (no food) ride, as well as my fall and everything else was all just too much for me!

So, the plan over the next few weeks is to take it easy and build up again with lots of Endurance work, or as much as the weather allows anyway. My rear wheel is away getting “true’d ” up and should be sorted in the next day or so. My Power Meter seems to be working well again, but will need to keep an eye on it. And although I’m still a bit stiff and sore down my left hand side today (Monday), that shouldn’t impede my cycling!

Lets hope that’s the end of the bad luck for 2013!

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