Sunday, 14 July 2013

Turning 18!

This has been my fastest weekend ever on the bike.  Coming off the June mileage, fitness seems to have really begun to click in and over the weekend, mileage has clicked in at 126 miles (I actually did around 140 miles but forgot to start my Garmin after the cafe stop) with average speed hitting 18.2mph (28.8km/h).

This weekend I've discovered that my heart rate maximum has gone up by 2bpm, to 186bpm (see below) indicating higher fitness.  I hit that whilst doing a very fast segment into a headwind with a really fast rider I'd met on my way home.  Thought it would be good to share the load but quickly realised he was super strong and this was the pace all the way home!

I burned all my matches over about four miles at an average speed of 26mph (41km/h), which felt exhilarating but alas not a speed I could keep up for the 15 mile journey back, maybe in the future!

Ride data for this weekend

Riding with Stronger Riders

After returning from London to Paris, I'd resolved to spend more time riding with faster riders and today was a great opportunity.  Meeting up with a group of around 10, we did a fast, flat loop of around 60 miles returning with an average speed of 19mph (30km/h).  It just goes to show what you can do with a good group.

It wasn't a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination.  Whistling along in the group around 23mph, my heart rate was at 150bpm.  When it was time to go on the front, with the wind, it went up to around 175bpm.  Lucky for me, there were some good strong guys on the front doing prolonged turns, so my overall average came in at 147bpm which is at the top of my zone three, a couple of beats away from zone four, so a good workout.

Reflecting on the weekends riding, things felt different.  Things feel faster, I feel stronger, maybe the new carbon wheels I'm testing might have added a little shizzle to proceedings.  Either way, I want this post to demonstrate to new riders that you can get fitter and faster with the right training.  Having a good quality base is where it all starts.

One of my ride partners today - Andrew - who is a very good rider and has raced a lot in the past and present, said something really interesting today passed on to him by a former coach "make sure you train in all the heart rate zones to be a good all round rider." 

That I think is the key to why I am feeling real improvement on the bike.  I'm keen to build from here for the rest of the Summer, let's see how things go with holidays and other commitments.  For now, it's great to turn in with an 18mph average for a big weekend on the roads.

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