Getting in the bike miles for the JOGLE
After last weekend's sunny weather the arrival of a cold snap has put paid to my road sessions so I have been back in the gym on the static bike.
This is not quite as bad as it sounds, as I am using a Wattbike to train on which, according to the company website, has been designed with British Cycling's coaches and scientists to replicate the sensation of 'real' cycling. So while it is a static bike, it gives very accurate and consistent performance data and technical feedback.
It is used by World and Olympic Champions and the fact that Mr Wiggins and Mr Cavendish can be found waxing lyrical about the Wattbike surely means I am in safe hands.
All these good recommendations however, don't help you get the pedals round any faster and I have to admit to having a bit of a love - hate relationship with this machine.
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The trainers at the small gym I use in Bath, are experts at analysing the stats on the monitor at the end of a ride.
The cadence, rpm and balance between right and left foot, where you are currently losing power and how to ensure you get the most from each stroke of the pedal sounds technical but it is really an excellent way to understand how you cycle and the areas you need to focus on in order to improve.
Over the last two weeks my 20k stats have improved down from 34:24s to 33:59s, which hopefully indicates I am going in the right direction.
I am currently concentrating on pulling as well as pushing the pedals round which means my quads are not taking all the pressure and my hamstrings are suffering a bit.
I am also working on my upper body using the TRX suspension training system as well as good old fashioned press-ups on the power plate.
Core work is also a focus so hopefully all this strength training should help me endure the ride. However, according to two of my fellow Velo Walcot Cycling Club compatriots nothing beats road miles and I really do need to get out on my bike pretty much every day.
I have to say I agree and with the days are getting longer, cold or not, I am going to have to find the time to squeeze it inCommuting by bike may just be the answer.
On the 8th of June I will be cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End in aid of the Bath Rugby Foundation.
This ride will involve cycling more than 100 miles per day for nine days. If you are able I would be grateful for any donations http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/LindaDonaldson1