Sunday, 3 March 2013

Marching into March

You can tell when your fitness is beginning to improve.   Hills seem a little easier, you ride quicker on the flats whilst your heart rate doesn't spike quite so much, and rides don't feel quite so hard as when your unfit and breathing through your ears!

Over the last two weekends, things seem to be clicking back into shape for me after a harrowing start to the year with my fitness in need of a total re-build.  After putting in around 500 base miles, my aerobic engine is coming back into shape, demonstrated by a couple of rides this weekend. 

Saturday I did a 55 miler up into Parbold and Rufford, taking in around 1.6k of ascent, returning home with an average speed just over 16mph (25.8km/h).  Today, despite a late night, I put in a 42 mile flat ride coming home with an average speed of 17mph (27.2km/h).

Contrast those two rides with January, where at 75% of MAE (maximum aerobic effort) I was coming home with around 14.5mph from every ride.  February has seen a steady increase as I've picked up the mileage, coming into this weekend where I've managed just shy of 100 miles over the weekend.  Ride speed average across the two rides was 16.5mph (26.4 km/h).

The bit I'm particularly pleased about is that my ascending speed is improving - bit by bit.  This was demonstrated by the average speed on yesterday's ride to Parbold.  There's still a long way to go, by a long shot however the green shoots of progress are showing themselves.

I feel confident that I can cruise along at 20mph (32 km/h) on the flat, so I need to focus my efforts over the coming months on getting back into the hills and work in the gym on strength and core training. 

A summary of the two rides can be seen below: -

Ride One
Distance - 55miles
Ascent - 1,850ft
Avg. Speed - 16.1mph (25.8km/h)
Ride Ascent Ratio (Ascent/Distance) - 33.6 (medium/undulating)

Ride Two

Distance - 43miles
Ascent - 695ft
Avg. Speed - 17mph (27.2km/h)
Ride Ascent Ratio (Ascent/Distance) - 16.2 (easy/flat)

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