Sunday, 16 June 2013
London to Paris minus 4 days.....
It's been a hell of a couple of weeks. Catching a nasty cold about nine weeks ago, it's meant a missed weekend of important training in readiness for the London to Paris ride which departs on Thursday next week.
Whilst not fully free of the cold yet, I opted to do two three hour blocks of riding this weekend to ensure my fitness doesn't drop off a cliff. Fitness is hard won and easily lost, I've learned that since I've got back into riding, so the trick is not to go too bonkers with the intensity.
A heart rate monitor is an essential tool on these sort of rides to ensure you keep things well controlled, ignoring speed totally in favour of ensuring the load on your heart is not too much. I chose flat routes of around 45 miles (72km), so that I could just sit and spin at a good cadence.
Returning home, I'm glad I went out, I felt better today (Sunday) and pushed my heart rate up a little more. Adding in those 90 miles (144km) will make a big difference I think between now and the depart in topping up the fitness. Ascent wise 2.8K feet, average speed across the two rides - 15.8mph (25km/h) indicating the lower intensity.
Next item on the agenda is rest, to try and shake off the final remnants of this cold. In a way, I'm glad it happened when it did, as riding a multi-stage event when you are not well is a real challenge. At least I'm on the end of it, rather than the beginning.
Focus will also be on ensuring plenty of fluids for good hydration and carbohydrate intense meals, combined with a couple of early nights. When I last had a nasty cold, I was given some great advice by a well in the know cycling coach who recommended Echinacea, Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin C supplements which I've been necking religiously to bolster up your system. You can read the post that he previously wrote for me offering 10 tips for coming back from a cold here.
So, it's all hapenning in four days time. I'm well prepared, bike has had a new chain, new tyres and a full service in readiness, all my kit and nutrition is planned out, now I just need the legs!