“There’s loads of time!” has become a bit of a joke phrase in our house. Since signing up for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, the weather hasn’t exactly been conducive to getting out and training. Yes, I know, it might be raining in September so being able to cope in wet weather is a good idea, but… it’s been cold and icy too, and snowy. In fact, Storm Doris is on her way as I write, and all day it’s been blowing a hoolie.
Up until now, not getting out on the bike much hasn’t really worried me. I’m not at my fittest, but I run nearly every day, and I’ve ridden some good distances in the past. Come September, 100 miles and a bit every day for nine days will be fine. I’ll have done LOADS of training by then. Most of my worries have been on more practical things, as I outlined in my previous blog.
And then I signed up for the RAB ‘training ride’ – the Dulux Trade London Revolution. In May. That’s just three months away. Countable in weeks. Weeks!
Okay, it’s only two days of riding, but it’s 185 miles in those two days. So far, my longest ride this year has been… 30-ish miles (26.2 plus the four or so I rode before remembering to turn my Garmin on). And they were quite hard going. (Apart from the stopping at Longleat bit.)
Suddenly it’s all become a bit real, the lack of mileage in the legs more of a concern. Every time I ride up the one major climb on my home commute – the cursed Hinton Hill at about mile six of my seven-mile journey – I’m asking myself how I’ll feel knowing there’s another, ooh, 100 miles to go…
It WILL get better. The weather will improve, and I’ll get out more. I keep looking at the RAB training plan that I’ve yet to put up on the wall and at some point I’ll be able to congratulate myself for sticking to the active days as well as just the rest days (and for actually sticking it up).
I started reading the Six weeks to fitness plan here on road.cc but I don’t have a heart rate monitor, have never measured my max heart rate, and anyway, I’ve got lots more time than that…
Am I kidding myself that I can prepare for this just by riding a lot? I love being out on my bike and I don’t want it to become a chore, but I do want to enjoy both the London Rev and the RAB itself, and really don’t want to be struggling.
Still, it could be more daunting – at least I haven’t signed up for the Dulux Trade London Revolution ULTRA – the non-stop version, 185 miles in one day! Entries for that are now open, if you fancy one of the 250 places. It’s running from Windsor to Windsor rather than starting at Lee Valley, and like the two-day ride it’s fully supported, with regular pit stops and mechanical and medical backup.
Working up to 90 in a day is going to be challenge enough for me and my hubby. For now, I’m relying on my almost-daily run with the dogs and my not-quite-every-day cycle commute (curse this being able to work at home for an internet-based company) to take care of my base fitness. The days are getting longer, Storm Doris will soon be gone, and we’ll be able to get out more on the bikes. We’ll have to. We’ve got muscles to build, weight to lose, all sorts of energy bars to try out…
Maybe six weeks before the London Revolution I’ll go and buy myself a heart rate monitor.
Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined road.cc in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.