This week I have a plan! Well I have been given a plan and now I need to stick to it. An old friend and acquaintance of mine and Bob’s, Adam, got in touch to suggest he helped me draw up a training plan for the challenge. Now I must admit that when anyone had asked previously what my training plan was I would glibly reply that I ‘planned to train’. I had hoped that if I just threw myself on the bike often enough and for long enough it would do. Now I have a whole new host of cycle training terms to contemplate and put into practice.
I won’t publish the whole plan here (I will let you know how I am getting on along the way) but the basic idea is this:
Three rides a week;
1. Hill Ride with Sets of Jumps – now i was a little worried by this to start with as I can get a horse to jump but don’t have the same success with bikes. However it turns out that jumps are sprints with rests. So it is a case of doing one or two hills quickly during the ride and also incorporating two blocks of five minutes where I wil sprint for ten seconds every minute. Are you following this?!
2. Intervals – Go out for a ride and have periods where you ride flat out with ten to fiteen minutes gap in between. The intervals start fairly reasonably in the first week; 1 min/3 mins/2mins but work up to being a bit brutal by the last week; 3mins/7mins/4mins. Now you may scoff at seven minutes but when you are putting your absolute all into something seven minutes can feel like an eternity.
3. Long Ride with Tempo – The long rides vary betweeen 50 and 90 miles but can end up as more depending on how I feel. Tempo; I like that word it has a lovely gentle feel to it…well it did! Now I know it means pain. Tempo is basically riding swiftly for a certain period, having a good gap and then riding swiftly again. The first week it is only 10 miinutes switft followed by 5 minutes swift. But, again, by the last week it will be 80 minutes swift followed by 40 mins swift.
Every third week I have an easy week. I can go out and ride but also need to let my body rest, recover and grow stronger so I will not be doing any of the hard riding. Adam has stressed that this plan is adaptable and that I need to listen to my body and still enjoy my riding. I will let you all know how I am getting on.
Today I am relaxing a little as I took the mountain bike out yesterday and have some rather sore and stiff muscles. I have never been the best mountain bike rider…I really don’t like going downhill (this also impedes my skiing attempts)! But I am stubborn and evidently have a poor memory for my distress. So again I found myself walking down a very rocky path beside my bike whilst muttering ‘I hate this’. The bike was clearly unimpressed at not being ridden down the path, I could almost hear it yelling at me “Hey, this is what I was made for!” whilst bashing the back of my calves with its peddles.
I went because a friend wanted to try mountain biking and I know the Peak district well. Bob and I so often jumped into the motorhome and spent the weekend in the Peaks that it started to feel like a second home. We would walk, run, cycle and climb. We even went gorge walking and caving. I realised when I was there yesterday just why I kept mountain biking so long…he loved it. I think now it may be time to retire from the sport for good.
Because there are times when a cycle of your life ends and you have to move on. Your life needs to be allowed to keep revolving, sometimes letting go just creates a bigger circle. This came to me yesterday as the person I was cycling with was an ex boyfriend. We were together for four years before I met Bob and when we split up we had the inevitable upsets and accusations. The painful time when you realise that you don’t have a life together anymore but you don’t want the other person to have a life apart either. We were not in touch for a while and then things started to heal. We both realised that we could be friends because we no longer wanted any more from each other. We were able to be happy for each others successes and new relationships. we allowed our lives to revolve away from each other and so the circle kept going. We have now come back around the circle but we are changed. We can laugh together with no agenda and we can chat about shared friends and memories. I will always regret that I cannot have that with Bob. My circle with him seems broken and I can share nothing more with him.
Perhaps if I just keep cycling and allow my life to keep revolving it will all make sense one day.
Be more relentless.
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