Insight into my Training

Not much has happened since my last post. I knuckled down and concentrated on my rides and consequently, I did not take any pictures. The weather where I live is fairly turbulent, infrequently there is nice weather but very often there are days where it continues to pour down with rain. Even though this has impacted on my rides, I have managed to go out.

How is my training going?

Each time I ride it is always with purpose and with the sponsored ride in mind. That said, my rides reflect my philosophy in training. I have noticed that there is heavy emphasis on attaching power meters to bikes and monitor heart rate on rides. I haven’t really bought into the technical approach to improving performance, who knows in the future I might but for now I don’t feel it serves a purpose.

As far as data to improve performance goes, I refer to previous attempts recorded by Strava. Therefore, I thought I would share how I have approached my training which has been influenced from how I previously trained, many years ago.

I downloaded the route of the charity ride from Manchester to Blackpool to find out the severity of the escalation and how challenging it will be:

To train for such rides, it is accepted that you closely match the ride that you are working towards, it makes sense to replicate the characteristics of route. However, I want to ensure that I can definitely achieve this and the way I train is to train in excess of the required demands.

i therefore identify my weaknesses and that is ascending, My significant rides therefore exceed the 559 meters on the above image. details of a recent ride is below.

The distance of this route is just over 50% of the expected distance, the escalation is significantly higher at 847 meters. This means that I have ridden higher in a shorter distance compared to the Manchester to Blackpool ride. Because I comfortably completed this ride gives me the confidence in knowing that the demands will be lower on the actually day.

The longer rides are building the speed and power in my legs but if I am not measuring this by a power meter, how can I be sure that my training is effective? I have a baseline route of roughly 10.5 miles. Along this route, I also have milestones that I focus on that demonstrates whether I have increased my power and speed. A picture of the baseline route is below:

I have significantly improved my times on this route since last year and the data that Strava provide show that the efforts on the longer and more challenging rides have have massively improved my efforts on this baseline route. As an example my overall previous attempt was 54 minutes and 17 seconds whereas, the data above shows that I completed this in 51 minutes and 34 seconds. Also, there was terrible headwind on the recent attempt and I felt that my time would have been worse.

I like training in this way because I really get a feel of how my body reacts to the added pressures and the feedback I receive is important information. Would I lose this connection with my body once I begin using power meters? If any anyone has had experience of power meters and physiological feedback perhaps you would like to share your comments below?

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