Reasons to be cheerful, week 4



Sacré bleu!  Would running up the steps count as a hill rep?

My apologies to Ian Dury and the Blockheads – I know it should be ‘part 3’ but it feels close enough.

It was clear that failing to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary properly could severely prejudice the chances of making it to the 31st, so having got back from Paris on Thursday night it was out on the bike on Friday for the first time for 5 days.

I decided to attempt the 18 reps I’d set as the week’s single session target but it felt like it was going to be really poor. The first climb was terrible but by the time I’d done 3 I knew I could do 6, and by the time I’d done 6 I knew I could do 9 – and so on.

In the end it turned out well and I was able to push myself beyond the intended 18 and actually did 20 reps. I even managed to make the 20th the fastest – so major reasons to be cheerful.

Another good result was that when I came to put the bike away, it had a completely flat rear tyre. Punctures are a pain but at least this one must have happened as I got home.

Not reasons to get carried away, of course. It’s the first time I’ve gone over 2000m of climbing in a day since the alps last summer – but it’s still under 23% of an everesting.

A gentle ride today (Sunday) leading the club’s ‘dust off your bike’ ride (for families and social riders) was topped and tailed by a few hill reps to meet the week’s climbing target – and that rounded off the week.

Week Single session hill reps Longest ride (km) Total km Total metres climbed


1 10 64 139 2178
2 12 79 162 2504
3 15 52 143 3038
4 20 62 138 3045

Next week’s target – 22 reps of Dragon Hill in one session and 3250m of climbing in all.

I’m constantly reminded that the mental side of this is key. I’ve not yet stopped doing a rep session because I can’t go on physically – but I can imagine talking myself out of carrying on at some stage.

Perhaps the toughest thing to come to terms with is not knowing how much of what type of training is necessary. I’ve read blogs and reports of other attempts but there’s no consensus I can see and, even if there were, it would be hard to know where others had started from in terms of fitness. I swing from optimism to concern that I’ve bitten off much more than I can chew.

It’s the uncertainty that gets you – I’m certain of that.

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