Week 6 of everesting training – am I having fun yet?


Poor man’s bike porn

I’m (sort of) enjoying my training. I don’t suppose I’m doing enough but am very pleased that I didn’t set out on a 12 week schedule.

I am missing a bit of cycling variety. It’s hard not to keep with the bike I’ll use for the attempt, but I thought I’d remind myself that there is more to life than carbon fibre, so fitted in a quick play with some other bikes. I’m ashamed to say I have over 20, including some sexy, classic Italian steel, but I especially like these four.

Left to right: a 1955 Elswick (rod brakes and 3 speed Sturmey Archer – used for a couple of 35 mile sportives and one that attracts more attention than bikes worth many, many times as much); a Dayton Hawk that I built up from a bare 1946 frame and used for L’Eroica in 2015; a late 1980s Daccordi Griffe (build almost completed); and an early 1980s bike badged Jean Stablinski (World Road Champion 1962) but possibly a Dangre Starnord (the first bike I stripped and rebuilt).

Anyway, back to carbon and everesting training ….

I’ve not done a 100k ride for some time but managed a fairly flat, windy 103km on Thursday at 28.6kph. I left just before noon, having had nothing except coffee all morning – it’s supposed to help train the body to burn fat more efficiently but probably doesn’t help with that particular ride.

Until now, no aches or pains worth mentioning, but this time I had left knee pain. Probably ‘Iliotibial Band Syndrome’ (he says as if he hadn’t just looked it up) so I’ll stretch and hope for the best.

After resting (and stretching) on Friday I went back to reps of Dragon Hill Road this morning. The target was 22 and it started as badly as usual – but then settled down and I ploughed out 25 reps (and had enough left to make the last the fastest again). So, a quarter of an everest in 3hr 38min, with no real repeat of the knee pain. Is that good; is that enough? I have no idea. I could have done more reps … but 74 more?

So far:

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


1 10 64 139 2178
2 12 79 162 2504
3 15 52 143 3038
4 20 62 138 3045
5* 15 53 105 2212
6 25 103 164 2823

* +2 hours turbo trainer

There is a danger that I’m getting bored with the hill reps (I’ve climbed Dragon Hill 172 times in 2017) so I’m not sure what to do next week. Perhaps time in the saddle – two 100km rides with some hills and at least one other ride if I can’t face the reps again?

Friday morning I was under 65kg. At nearly 177cm (5’10”) I’m not too far from the 2lb per inch of height for specialist mountain climbers. After today’s ride (so rather artificial circumstances, even after some rehydration) I weighed 63.4kg. That’s a spit under 10 stone in real money, so just about at the 2lb per inch.

Sadly, the specialist climbers are rarely over 60 years old.

As an aside, five friends climbed Mont Ventoux this week (all using the route from Bédoin but none daft enough to follow my lead and do the Cinglés). Chapeau Philip, Steve, Gav, Pat and Mick. It’s been great to relive climbing Ventoux again (vicariously) – it’s a very special mountain. Whisper it, but if the everesting works out ok I’ll be tempted by the Bicinglette. More madness.

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