I am now entering the final week of training before starting the Deloitte Ride Across Britain on 8 September. This weekend saw me do two rides of over 5 hours, although not on consecutive days as originally planned due to the appalling weather on Sunday. I know some of my fellow Deloitte RAB participants did brave the wind and rain – good for them. I chose the indoor option to avoid catching a head cold or even worse crashing the bike!
My ride on Saturday was meant to be “flat/rolling” and I still managed 1,931 m of climbing in about 86 miles of riding. The ride today was “three climbs” and I did 2,134m of climbing in 88 miles of riding but in a longer time, probably due to the length of the climbs.
The ride today can be seen on on Relive map here – lots of hairpins on the climbs and descents! The benefits of living in South Wales. I was lucky with the weather as there were a few spots of rain but I managed to miss all but one heavy rain shower. The rain did make some of the early descents a bit tricky and I certainly picked up more speed later on in the ride when the road dried out.
On the Saturday ride, I revisited some of my training loops round the Vale of Glamorgan and here is the latest “season” photo from Merthyr Mawr – all the rain in the last week has raised the river levels considerably since mid July when there was just a trickle. It is also amazing how much a little rain changes the grass from yellow to green!
The end of the serious training has also enabled me to take stock of how far I have come since I started training seriously for the ride last November. The biggest change is the weight loss, down from 94 kg (perhaps even more) to 85kg (13.5 stone in “old money”, a loss of around 1.5 stone). I’m sure the weight loss would have been greater if I’d been more disciplined with the diet, however, I’m now the lightest I’ve been since starting work in Cardiff 15 years ago. It has made a huge difference to the speed at which I go up the hills!
My fitness levels have also improved dramatically. The Training Peaks fitness level has increased from 60 to 108, my Functional Threshold Power (a test used by cyclists to measure their power output) has increased from 239 to 261 watts and my resting heart rate is now in the low 40s. I don’t think there is much more I could do to prepare physically for the challenge ahead. I have to thank my coach, Lawrence Cronk at Enduraprep, for the training plans and pushing me on in the training.
I think the most difficult part will be the mental side of getting up shortly after 5am each day and start cycling 110 miles a day for 9 consecutive days to complete the 980 mile distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats. I’m sure once I’ve got over the initial 10 miles I’ll be fine – this was the case today when there was a lot of procrastination before setting out. The thought of everyone who has very kindly sponsored me to support the work of Dementia UK will give me all the motivation I need – I will not want to let you down!
If you would like to sponsor me and raise money for Dementia UK you can reach my Virgin Money Giving page here Please do tick the Gift Aid box if you are eligible as the tax man will increase your donation by 25%. Please also remember that Virgin Money only charge a 2% fee compared to the 5% charged by a well know competitor! There’s still time to donate!