A new week of lockdown started with a new approach to the turbo trainer. I’ve been stuck in the ’45 minute session’ rut for a while now so it seemed time to try something a bit different.
Although I would always push myself pretty hard, there wasn’t any reward for working harder. I’ve now decided to shake it up a bit and sometimes go for distance rather than time. I’ll increase the distance bit by bit but the big carrot is going to be the thought that I can shorten the session by going faster. A proper and tangible benefit for increased effort, and a way of breaking out of the 45 minute rut.
I realised that in the last 12 turbo sessions of 45 minutes, I’d only got to 22km 3 times and to 22.5km only once, so that was the distance I set myself to start with.
On Monday I cycled faster than all but one of those previous 12 sessions and the 22.5km took 45m 50s. I suppose that makes it a good idea in as far as pushing me to work harder is concerned – but a bad idea if I wanted an easy life.
The spell of really good weather broke on Tuesday – cool and pretty wet. The croquet was postponed (which fitted neatly with just about all the other sport around the globe) and the major project of tackling the driveway was put on hold. It’s a block paved drive which, over more than 25 years, has acquired some weeds in the joints and moss on the shaded bits, which are now getting addressed with wire brushes, brooms, weed killer and a large amount of elbow grease.
I almost wimped out of the turbo Tuesday evening as I was feeling very tired but I forced myself and managed the 22.5km in 45 minutes and 1 second, which was surprising as I was struggling before I’d done 10km.
Wednesday started out dry which enabled resumption of the driveway clearance – luckily it did rain later which put a stop to it. After three consecutive days of running and then two with turbo sessions I took a rest day.
Thursday was back to the drive and the turbo. I’d decided that I was going to go easy on the turbo but it felt OK once I started so I pushed on and got to the 22.5km target in 44m 09s – 1m 41s faster than Monday.
Forgetting that the whole idea was to have a bit of a shorter session if I hit the 22.5km early, I carried on to complete the 45 minutes for just over 23km (at 30.7kph – 19mph). The biggest problem is working out how this fits in with my previous decision to reduce the length and intensity of my exercise sessions.
Drive and turbo yet again on Friday. The aim was to run but the hailstones put paid to that. I really did not want to use the turbo again and it made me realise how much I miss the gym – if only for some welcome variety. A gentle recovery spin – 47 minutes for only 20km, but it felt so much harder.
I ran laps around Badbury Clump on Saturday – a bit over 9km (5.6 miles). It was lovely, but not being the turbo by itself would have been enough to have made it really enjoyable.
Sunday was back to the driveway – after a few more hours on hands and knees, it’s over half done and have completely worn away two wire brushes. To celebrate I went for a gentle ride later in the afternoon, just over 40km.
A week with nearly 130km (80 miles) on static and proper bikes and just the one run. If last week told me my knee doesn’t want the running overdone (remember that for next year’s postponed ultra marathon), this week told me that 4 turbo sessions is plenty.
The rooks in the loft space have suddenly gone very quiet. Any eggs should have hatched by now so I’m wondering if there has been a ‘domestic’ dispute or some other failure of matrimonial bliss.
Interesting things this week
1. Sudanese proverb. ‘A snake that has a locust in its mouth does not bite.’
2. Argentina has banned ticket sales for commercial flights to, from, or within Argentina until 1 September.
With ‘only’ 4,000 confirmed infections and 192 deaths at the time, whether it’s right or wrong, that’s decisive government.
3. BBC News: ‘I returned my suits and spent £100 on joggers’
London based lawyer sends back her sober corporate gear back, and spends £100 on comfy loungewear instead. Now she admits she is pretty much living in casual clothes suitable for relaxing at home, be it hoodies, joggers or pyjamas. “I’ve found myself saying to my housemates if I’m going for a walk, ‘oh it doesn’t matter, does it? It’s lockdown.’
How on earth does this rank as ‘news’?
4. Most expensive tweet ever?
Tesla’s founder Elon Musk wiped $14bn off the carmaker’s value after tweeting that its share price was too high.
Now that, Mr President, is a real tweet!
Confirmed cases of Coronavirus for Oxfordshire: population c. 690,000
14/3 – 22
21/3 – 44 (x2 from previous week)
28/3 – 113 (x2.5)
4/4 – 356 (x3.2)
11/4 – 653 (x1.8)
18/4 – 1070 (x1.6)
25/4 – 1336 (x1.25)
2/5 – 1540 (x1.15)