Sunday, 7 November 2010

In the Zone

Going backwards to go forwards, that's what it feels like when you are heart rate zone training. As I ambled along the leafy Cheshire lanes on The Unicorn today, I had plenty of time to think about the outcomes I wanted from my Winter training plan. One of them was riding straight up Mow Cop on the Cheshire Cat sportive in the Spring, the other was to get my weight down to around 14 stone (196 pounds), I currently sit around 210 Ibs.

Knocking out fifty base miles, in the aerobic zone, meant I averaged around 12.5mph all said and done. It's funny, I had my eyes fixed on my Garmin 705 screen, where I'd set the screen up to prominently show me my heart rate zone and an audible alarm when I went into Heart Rate Zone 3. I found myself going up and down the gears, every time it went too low or too high. Anytime I crept into heart rate zone 3, it was slow down, spin and get the old ticker under control.

Checking my stats out when I got back vs. a previous ride of a similar distance, my average speed is around 20-25% slower than I would usually ride. Calorie wise it was around 20% less burned, however, the difference being that I didn't need to fuel with carbohydrates on the ride to replace any defecit that I would normally get, by riding harder and faster. Arriving home, my legs felt fresh and I guzzled down a bottle of Rego, just as a precaution (don't want any more viruses or colds).

At one point, three guys whizzed past me and I was really tempted to just up the ante and get on the back of their group, they were doing about 20mph. I didn't. Opting to just gently spin the pedals whilst I watched them disappear in the distance.

After my second base mile ride, it's starting to sink in. I've firmly got my eye on the bigger picture. Lot's of steady miles, with minimal effort, building up to higher levels of effort as the winter progresses. Main objective is weight loss, before anything else, so I can improve my climbing in 2011. To do that, it's diet, training in the aerobic zone all mixed up with a little dash of commitment.


  1. Nice day today Phil, are you following a training plan, is so which one?

  2. Hi Phil,

    So is the idea that by keeping low heart rate you'll have more chance of losing weight?

    I'm continuing with my general weight loss programme, it consists of watching cals in and out. I have found I have to keep to 1k cals per day and 1 hr of exercise per day to lose 1lb per week. My system is inefficient.

    Maybe I should do more training in the aerobic zone.

    Are you taking this info from Friel's cycle training book?

  3. Ooooooh, temptation, temptation...Congrats for sticking to your plan and not getting into that group! Watching them disappear into distant must have been hard(ego is talking!!)but in the long run, you're gonna achieve your goal!
    A man with a plan. I like that, hihi!
    Mari-jo (@marijolamarche)

  4. There's a school of thought that suggests that if you already have your base mileage laid down over the summer then doing more of the same over the winter won't help much, and you should be doing intervals, speed work and fitness training. But I always say that it's what works for you that is important so great job for sticking to your plan.

  5. I live very close to Mow cop and i'm very glad that there are several ways to 'the top' that don't involve taking in the killer mile. Imagine commuting up that every day!

  6. I did a similar ride on Sun and wasn't goaded by other cyclists overtaking. I'm doing the Cheshire cat also and really need to improve to tackle mow cop in one go. Apparrently you get a medal and kiss off the local beauty queen at the top......I think the medal is a lie!

  7. I can confirm you do get a medal (albeit really cheap for getting up Mow Cop in one go), the missing bit is the kiss from the beauty queen!