Turbo torture and towel trickery

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Clanfield – the motorcyclists were on a treasure hunt, luckily I could give them one of the answers

OK, perhaps my two days off the bike should have been rest days – instead I ran on both Monday and Tuesday, even if it was only for a total of 16km (10 miles). The result was that my legs still ached on Wednesday morning when I was due to start my fourth three day training block – it was also cool and breezy so yet again I deferred to the late afternoon and the turbo.

It’s a bit worrying, the way I’m going more for the turbo than the road. I don’t really understand it as the turbo is boring and very intense and it’s hard to get in the bigger milage I need. Whatever it is I’d better snap out of it – but at least I did some gardening and tidying as a penance.

It may be nothing more than laziness in that it’s easier to get changed and onto the turbo and it takes less time to clock up the distances (mainly because the turbo reads so generously). On the other hand, I push hard, without any breaks, on the turbo and finish bathed in sweat so perhaps ‘laziness’ isn’t quite the right word.

I do worry that I might kill some of the joy of cycling with so much on the turbo – but at least it seems to be character forming and a real test of determination.

The turbo session late in the afternoon was as hard as usual and a bit further than normal – 82km in 1:54 @ 43.1kph (51 miles @ 26.7mph).

Looking at the trip computer can be dispiriting when it seems to be going particularly slowly. Today, on the ‘watched pot never boils’ principle, I put a towel over the screen and tried to forget about it. I’d done over 59km by the first time I looked at the distance, which felt much more motivational. I’d just be happier if my legs would stop aching and my nasal system would clear.

On Thursday I was happier as the legs were, at least, aching less. The achilles tendon aches must have been due to the running and the quads and hamstrings were recovering despite Wednesday’s efforts.

Domestic obligations meant – yet again – it was the turbo in the late afternoon, 85km in 1:57:20 @ 43.4kph (53 miles @ 27mph). The towel trick worked well again – 72km first time I looked!

The third of the block was … you’d never guess … on the turbo. A lovely day but too busy to get out. This retirement lark is not all sitting around drinking coffee.

It was harder than ever, hot, intense and relentless. I really wanted to stop at 50km but talked myself into going to 60km. As it was, it improved a bit and I got to 82km in 1:51:35 @ 44.1kph (51 miles @ 27.4mph).

So, the fourth 3 day training block for the 500 mile ride out to the alps was 55% up on last week’s (reduced) number and back to the level of the week before that. Fairly happy and legs not aching (though still blowing pleasing amounts of muck out of my nose).

Saturday was great – excellent weather, a rest day from the cycling, and Mrs O went over to a friend’s to watch the wedding while I maintained a Royal Wedding free zone.

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Clanfield again

On Sunday I got out on the bike – on the road – the antidote to the turbo trainer … and it restored much of my faith in cycling. Fuelled by a cup of coffee before I went out and a small banana half way round I meandered along a nowhere sort of route for 100.4km in 3:39 @ 27.5kph (62 miles @ 17mph). I took the Giant that I’m planning to ride out to the alps but am wondering if I should take the Rose anyway …. decisions, decisions.

I stopped to help a German cyclist who had a cut in his rear tyre. I had a Savlon wipe in a small foil sachet with me and he used the foil wrapper to go between tube and tyre as a ‘get me home’ fix. I hope it got him home.

The riding without carbs seems to be helping with the weight – now around 65kg (143lbs).

3 day training block Distance Week Distance
1 150km (93m) 1 271km (168m)
2 246km (153m) 2 341km (212m)
3 160km (100m) 3 349km (217m)
4  249km (155m)

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