Training – Week 2 – Backing Up A Big Week
After riding 406.9km the week before I was keen to continue the big kilometres – but my quads had other ideas.
I needed to take it easy and was still finding my groove in the new training program. I mixed the week up with road riding on Sara and dirt commuting on Emma; this seemed to work and by mid week I was finding my rhythm and spending some much needed time in saddle.
Although I was still in a base-building phase in my training (basically just riding as much as I could handle) I decided to inject some heart-rate zone training into my program. This proved to be beneficial as I was starting to understand and put into practice the basic ideas of endurance training; something that I will need as second nature during the 24 hour solo.
By the time I washed my bikes ready for the next week of riding I had chalked up 402.6km – another 400km week.
Training – Week 3 – A Heatwave Hits Canberra
The weather forecast was not looking promising for a big week on the bike. Sure I could have just gotten on with it, but was riding in 40’C really worth it this early in my training program; no!
So I got up early and rode to work the long way before the heat kicked in. Having ridden over 800km in the previous two weeks I was finding it harder to ride for long distances. My knees were aching and my quads were sore to the touch. So I backed off a bit and finished up with 302.5km for the week.
Training – Week 4 – #Winning
The week started off with the aim of riding more on Kate the XTC. I intentionally kept within my ideal heart-rate zone in order to build endurance on the mountain bike. Surprisingly, riding at a slower pace with a consistent cadence and heart-rate you are are actually faster over longer distances. There is less recovery time needed as the higher intensity intervals are no longer there so you can just keep pedalling for as long as you want.
I kept to the bike paths early in the week to get my cadence and heart-rate dialled in before switching to dirt and putting the same principles into action. I quickly found my rhythm and was finding my new riding style a lot easier to manage and exactly what I would need in a few months time.
I took Friday off work and headed out to Mt Stromlo for a training ride with the focus on climbing and endurance. My aim of 50km was cut short at 35km after it started hailing and the trails became a mixture of mud and ball-bearing like grip.
On Saturday I returned to Mt Stromlo and set off for a high intensity ride with a focus on climbing up the mountain with a red-zone heart-rate. The ride was going extremely well and I was enjoying the heavy sweating and throwing my bike around the trails with renewed confidence.
On my second lap of the course I was riding up Blackberry Climb when I met a Red Belly Black snake on the trail.
Long story short: I was bitten but not envenomated by the little snake. It did however mean an enforced but not unwanted rest day off the bike.
At the end of my fourth week of training for the Easter 24 Hour Solo’s I rode 224.5km. While it is a smaller amount than previous weeks I achieved a lot of goals and learnt some valuable lessons on and off the bike.