Monday, 28 January 2008

Where did that week go?

Another Monday, another weigh in

Weight 103.4kg, minimal weight loss,but still loss.

Focus, Pinky, focus! Sticking to that eating plan this week, come hell or high water.

Miles last week 116
Longest ride 101

Thats the first 100 miler of the New Year done, and at exactly the same speed (given an adjustment for climbing) as was achieved at the end of October. I'll call that "maintenance of base fitness" and we'll build from there.

Back to the Turbo, with a feeling that the 'improvements' on it last week will be somewhat transitory (the tyre was going down).

Still, 2-3 serious sessions this week, and a ride out on Sunday (weather permitting).

Weather not permitting, it will have to be the Galibier on the Turbo. There's tasty!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

24 weeks to go.....

Weighed in this week

Weight : 103.5kg (1.7 down in two weeks)
Target : Lets not talk about that

Miles last week 107
Longest ride 67 miles

Things are at least heading in the right direction, though whether 20km into the 40kmh wind at the end of Sunday's Audax qualifies as 'right direction' I'm not sure.

There was one sign of progress however, as I spent a straight 10km 'pounding' out between 20-24kmh into the wind with other people being towed by me. Hopefully, this role reversal means that I'm getting better.

108km in cycling time of 4:45:00, although the elapsed time was somewhat longer owing to a brush with the local wildlife (The Fox at Great Barrington)

Planning is afoot for the Summer's new toy, watch this space.......

(In Homer Simpson voice) "Mmmm Trek Madone 4.5....Mmmm"

Friday, 18 January 2008


No weigh in this week, owing to getting up and going straight to work. It probably wouldn't have been too pretty anyway.

However, the Audax last weekend was completed in 15 minutes longer than last year, but included 17 minutes recovering from a puncture. Additionally, I wasn't dead on my feet this year.

Training has now properly recommenced after Christmas with two turbo sessions this week. Now that the New Year has passed I'm not concentrating solely on miles.

Wednesdays session was 'sort-of' intervals, being a repeating 4km course from the Real Life Video on the Tacx. 6 repetitions took 45:15, burned 700+ calories and had the heart rate peaking well into the red at 170 bpm on the last lap. Supposedly, that builds strength and stamina.

To put that to the test, tonight was theoretically a Zone 2 fat burning exercise, and a review of power vs heart rate etc.

The results are both pleasing and surprising. Previously, for the same time and distance, heart rate has peaked low 140's and averaged about 130.

40km in 1:16:00
31.6 kmh average
170.7 watts average output, not enough to survive an Etape in the time, but enough to get to the business end without already being shattered.
745 cals (almost 100 grams of body fat!)
Max Heart rate 128!
Average Heart Rate 119!!!!

a) I'm getting fitter
b) The equipment is on the blink

I favour the correct operation of the equipment, of course.

108km Audax this weekend, though if it rains much more it might be a 108km Triathlon.

Weigh in on Monday...........Mmmmm

Saturday, 12 January 2008


But not necessarily how you might think.

Planning was going well last week until I set out for the Derbyshire Peak District to do the Hopey New Year Audax from Hope near Castleton.

Unfortunately, things did not go at all to plan, as the exhaust fell off the car and rendered it incapable of getting me there.

Fallback plans would normally, under these circumstances, result in the borrowing of my wife's car, but that was off the road too.

Cancel excercise, cancel sunshine, spend all day waiting for car to be fixed (at great expense) just so I could get to work all week.

I could have exercised from home, but instead took stock, and decided to rid myself of the pesky four-wheeled beast, which was traded in yesterday, and subsequently spent the whole day looking for a new car.

Following that, Mondays weigh in was a formality - 105.2kg and much work needed, little of which occured until today.

Todays Audax was flooded, icy, snowy, windy and tiring, but 104km was completed, so I am again feeling exhausted, but this time in a better way.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Christmas Toys (Life's little ups and downs)

Santa duly arrived and delivered new boy's toy courtesy of little sister (aka Mrs Sloth).

I am sufficiently enamoured of Velimpex Sky-Mounti that I believe every hill cycling anorak should have one.

OK so its not electronic, doesn't make beeping noises etc, but it does lay to rest all those doubts about how slow I might be up hill.

Sunday saw a 55 mile ride out round rural Warwickshire and showed that any gentle gradient of up to 4 or 5% is little problem. 5 to 10% can be coped with, and above that its time to get into the granny gear and grind the way to the top.

Edge Hill proved this easily with a posted road sign saying 14% maximum. Sky-Mounti confirmed, posting 14% in 3 separate stretches, with 8 to 10% in between. It would be true to say that the 1.3km climb did seem to drag on, but I made the top without putting a foot down (something I would have been incapable of just 3 or 4 months ago)

Does it help to know how steep things are? I think "Yes" since it gives an indication whether you should really slow down, or whether you're just feeling lazy or tired. Certainly, it removes the tendency to push too hard on false flats where the road looks flat but is actually going up at 3 or 4%.

Thanks Mary.

Good progress on the Turbo trainer, not only have I managed the Col de Telegraphe (about 10k with 800m of climbing), but tonight I managed to finish Alpe D'Huez (abandoned yesterday after tripping the thermal cutout in the Turbo trainer, oops!).

13.5km, 1067m ascent at 8.2%, completed in 1:24:54 and burned 1073 of those nasty calorie thingys at an average of 9.6kmh. That might just do in the Summer with a little further improvement.

More post next week after this weekends Audax in the Peaks. 108km with 1750m of climbing coming right up............

Happy New Year and all that

Time for an update, if only to postpone further slothly nagging.

The last two full weeks have seen very little activity (except of the alimentary canal variety) as the planned fortnight off kicked in, coinciding with many Christmas Festivities.

Imagine my surprise, NOT!, when the scales kicked in at 104.2kg this Monday, an increase in the two weeks of 3.2kg meaning much effort will now be required to get back on track.

Having read up on various training forums, I took heed of the advice that a break of a couple of weeks in the winter is a good idea to let the body do some recovery and come back stronger.

It seems that this is good advice, but after 12 days of inactivity, the Turbo Trainer briefly came into play. I say briefly, since with the Col de Telegraphe DVD loaded, the portlier Datameister set off up the mountain with a vengeance, and promptly snapped a spoke after just 2 miles. Cancel training for remainder of day, and take wheel to friendly neighbourhood bike shop for repair.

Mr Sloth the wannabe personal trainer will be glad to hear that training is now back in full swing (see next post) and the diet is being gradually reinstated (subject to ultimate run-off of Christmas goodies).