I need to enter some races or something. I had four nights work last week and I’m supposed to have another five next week. This left me with this weekend to get everything done. I’ve done nothing.
The work thing is good, mind. Not the best money as it’s quite short shifts, starting at 1700 finish around 0200 hrs. Once you’ve taken off the 45 minute break that’s not a lot of hours. For a lorry driver. At Stobarts you were lucky to finish before 13 hours. However, it’s was the same run (to Aspitaria, in Cumbria) each time. Same company as before. Just run an empty trailer up there, drop it, pick up a full trailer and run back to Irlam (outskirts of Manchester.) Once I’d got over the trauma of the first night (blindly following the satnav off the motorway two junctions before the written notes, and consequently having to drive a 13 metre trailer-ed truck right across the Lake District on B roads!) I was OK. That first run was terrifying though. Pitch black B roads, twisty and hilly as buggery, so your headlights are not showing you where the road is going, no passing spaces, over a single track, right angled bridge… I was shaking by the time I got there.
Anyway, my point was; I should have seized the weekend off and made hay. Tons of cycling, sort the garden, more cycling, get to the gym and cancel my membership now it’s warm enough to train outside…
I went for one ride last week. Just a quick 28 miles, twice up Frodsham hill. I was thinking that that was somewhere I could really pick up the pace this year, maybe knock an hour off my time by putting some effort into it and not cruising. To this end I went out with my heart rate monitor on. For Winter training they recommend you keep your Beats Per Minute (BPM) at 60-75% of your maximum. As you move closer to the race you can up it to the peak band of 75-90% of maximum. (max for my age is 160 bpm.)
As I say, I thought I could pick the pace up this year, so I thought I’d try and keep it at about 140 bpm.
I set off up the gentle but insistent incline of Walton Drag and my bpm was in the 150’s. Oh. Going up Frodsham hill I peaked at 176 bpm. The only time I was not tempting a heart attack was when I was free-wheeling downhill, hanging off the brakes.
So the heart rate monitor was a bit of a waste of money. It tells me I’m about to die when I run and now the same when I’m riding. I thought I could use it as a clinical motivator; ‘only at 60% max bpm, shake the lead out lard-arse’.
Instead it just tells me I need to take up knitting.
On the bright side I have made some elementary discoveries about cycling; It seems that all cycling shorts are not equal. The cheapo pair I bought for £15 last year, with the glorified foam insert are, it transpires, a cheapo pair. The dear ones have multiple layer chamois inserts. These wick sweat away and cushion the undercarriage so you are not in intense misery the whole time. Who knew? Also, because you are not an idiot and have invested in a decent chamois insert pair of shorts you don’t wear undies as they chafe painfully and hold the sweat. And you apply a chamois cream, ie vaseline.
The word is, if you do these things you can ride all day without being in pain.
I did not know this. I was in such unutterable pain and discomfort I used to look forward to the stupid long runs afterwards just to get me off the saddle. Balls.
Anywho, I tried the greased up, no undies tactic with my cheapo shorts and after two hours wasn’t even wincing. With proper shorts I think it may be possible to get away with just the pain of the pedalling. That would be like all my birthdays and xmas’ in one.
If it is the case, and I endured all that misery last year through training and the race not knowing there was an option… *sobs*
Well, I’ve ordered some decent-ish shorts, now I just need to enter some races to motivate me to train.
Oops, Wendy’s going to sleep, have to stop typing.