Is back in training

Posted by Paul​ Walton on January 03, 2009 0 comments

Yay it's almost bloody Christmas and finally I get out for some much needed mountain bike training. It's been a long hard few months suffering with colds and the lack of sleep through not being able to get out and ride!

The air is cold and so is my riding gear, so thought's of a warm fire and the television runs through my mind, before I even start! Preparation is key and the hardest part to mountain biking. But I gathered up all that I needed for the ride, put on my 'focus' head and set off on my first training ride of the season.

The first 2-300 yards up the road I found to be very hard going as my legs felt stiff and heavy. My whole body was not relaxed, with the cold seeping in through my layers of clothing. The air was sharp as I inhaled, but this did not deter me. I just covered over my mouth with a Buff scarf and focused on the ride ahead!

As the end of the village drew ever closer, I started to plan my route taking my first left turn of the day. The road ahead was to take me to my first downhill. Knowing that this hill was a 12% gradient and the descent would be super cold, I made damn sure that my mouth, ears and crown jewels was covered up well.
Not wanting to roll fast downhill blinded by fog, I decided to put my glasses on my head.

The whole ride my entire body remained tensed so I was unable to find my rhythm and I got a nice stitch to boot! My first 15% climb approached, the road not as dry as before but not too wet either. Just a nice stream of water running fast down the hill on the grass verge! Still suffering with a stitch I parked my arse on the saddle, dropped down from the big ring to the middle one and peddled it out nice and steady.

As I got to the top of the hill the scenery changed. It looked quite grim! The sky had poor visibility, the grass verge was covered in wet brown leaves and the tree's completely bare. Passing a field full of staring sheep I start to pick up the pace, as the stitch starts to fade and my legs start to relax. I jump back into the big ring and tried to put some short lived watts into those pedals.

Although the ride was hard, I enjoyed it, just being out in the fresh air! ("Those damn sheep keeping staring at me" So I give them a wink and they continue chomping on grass, whatever makes them happy!.... I'm just happy in the knowledge that I won't need to be counting them tonight to get a good nights kip!!)
At this point I'm over half way round my route that's covered road the whole way. I kinda decided to do that anyway, as I was giving my "shiny new full susser" a run out.

Along came my next descent of about 12%, again I felt myself tense all the way down. As I entered the village at the bottom of the hill and started to slow, again my muscles began to relax. I wanted to get angry with myself because I should be averaging about 14 mile an hour. Even without my GPS clocking me, I knew that I'd be only clocking about 12 mile an hour.
I relaxed in the knowledge that my hill climbing efforts were not effected all that much. But time would tell on my next approaching climb, but although my intention was their, my will was not.

As I got to the top at a junction with a busy main road. A car pulled up behind me clearly letting me know to get out of the fu####g way. By means of revving his/her engine and forward movement. I decided to ignore this by means of waiting a little longer at the junction, whilst a car 3-400 yards down the main road passed. This must have got the hackles of the car driver behind me right up!

I set off again straight across the main road down another descent, I pretty much just coasted down! I had 1 more hill in my way before 1 final descent home. Taking it easy on the approach, sipping my way through a bottle of lemon & lime "GO" I did just that. Just 2 clicks off maximum gear ratio I straddled my bike and went hell for leather, slowing at the final 20 or so yards from the brow of the hill.
Pushing the pedals harder, my calf's and thighs burning! I rolled over the brow and dropped down to some easier gears picking up the pace for the final cold descent.

As I entered the house my wife had some "Rego" ready for me, as I am crap at mixing it! With that I got into a "Radox" bath and soaked the afternoon away, dozing in the armchair a couple of hours later.


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