19th April 2013

My cold has receded to an irritating tickly hack cough, very annoying and very unsatisfying!

Unfortunately I don’t think I could handle 300K with it…I suspect the cold would come back and wipe me out! So I have opted out of tomorrows 300K Audax ๐Ÿ™

So on my way home I started scheming up replacement cycling activities that I could do that would not be to strenuous and would be fun! so I called up Rafe, to see if I could drag him out for a ride…The answer was NO…but he did say a few interesting things…

1) He has been reading my blog for years and he is waiting for me to write something profound…..

So here is a profound statement for you Rafe….

It never gets easier, you just go faster.
Greg LeMond on cycling

2) People keep asking him about how to train for 100 mile bike ride, and he has written this guide…

I completely agree…I personally do not use energy drinks, gels or any other sports supplements, Graham Obree in his Training Manual says Sport Energy products are made for one reason alone..To make the manufacturers money…in his view the best sports food is Pilchards on Toast.

I would go as far as to say there are 3 ways to ride a century, based on your current comfortable distance…

1) Ride 25 miles to a tea shop – stop for tea and cake. repeat a further 3 times

2) Ride 33 miles to a tea shop- stop for tea and cake. repeat a further 2 times

3) Ride 50 miles to a tea shop – stop for tea and cake – ride home

Most of my rides fall into category 3… Any body can ride for 50 miles ๐Ÿ™‚

When I got home I changed into cycle gear and headed out for a nice slow leisurely ride….Well that’s the way it started anyway, then I started spinning along at a nice high cadence and my speed picked up, then I was racing myself!

Every time I relaxed and took it easy I started coughing, when I was working hard I was ok!

The Garmin had the ride as 21.23 miles in 1 hour 6 minutes with an average speed of 19.3 mph, route here…

I am now contemplating where to cycle to tomorrow…

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7 Responses to 19th April 2013

  1. Rafe says:

    Sorry I couldn’t make tomorrow – got to teach people how to fall off their bikes safer.

    Profound enough for me ๐Ÿ™‚

    I like your 3 ways to ride a century, all work for me.

  2. Jam sandwiches, wrap them loosely in cling film (or brown paper which was what my Dad did when he was pedalling in the 1940s & 50s), they slip nicely into your cycle top pocket. Ok they might get a bit crushed, but hey, who cares, we ainโ€™t doing Masterchef where we need presentation points!

    When I did my Centuries a couple of years ago I just pedalled to work everyday, did a 50 miler once, went MTBing regularly and went for it.

    If youโ€™re not out to break records then youโ€™ll do it. I averaged 14.5 mph on the 2 Centuries (which were a fortnight apart) and didnโ€™t kill myself. Just remember to stretch off afterwards and go for a spinny recovery ride of about 10 miles the next day to keep your legs usable!

  3. Toby Field says:

    Your three ways to ride a century are awesome John. No nonsense approach.

  4. Alex says:

    Hi John,

    I like your ideas for splitting up the ride…

    I am thinking of doing a ride from London to Scotland, the problem is I have never done anything like this before.I never ridden longer distance but believe the body can do amazing things.

    How much training is suggested or should I just get out there and do it.

    What is a realistic time frame to complete the ride?

    I want to do something that’s meaning full and I think this is it, do you have any suggestions? I’m not trying to break records it’s more for self fulfillment. This is a serious post, so any info would be great.

  5. John says:

    Hiya Alex…

    I am always amazed at what can be achieved, in my opinion the best way of getting bike fit is to ride a bike ๐Ÿ™‚ The last time I did John ‘O Groats to Lands End, I reached Carlisle in 3 days, that’s 370 miles – I was doing 130-150 mile days, so how long from London to Scotland (The ‘normal’ journey being London to Edinburgh) around 400 miles, it could be comfortably done in 4 days or less, but you have to have the required physical fitness to achieve it comfortably!

    I cycle 4 days a week, run 2 days a week and have 1 rest day, my runs are not marathon level, but are generally 5k or more, I try and do between 200 and 250 miles per week on the bike, with normally 1 or more century ride a week (unless its the depth of winter!).

    My motivation is to keep fit, AND to see the world at a more friendly pace ๐Ÿ™‚ Cycling has taken me to places of the UK and Europe that I would NEVER have contemplated before cycling, I was at a point of seeing what my limits were, but every time I tried I found that the level raised!

    My advise is…Ride your bike, have a routine and stick to it, always push yourself harder – but don’t forget to recover, ride your bike because you enjoy it NOT because you think you have to! never believe that what you are planning or doing is unachievable, believe in yourself!

    If somebody would have told me 10 years ago that I was capable of cycling the entire Pyrenees from coast to coast, or cycle UK end to end, or cycle the Belgium and French spring classics or cycle over 300km in a day I would have thought they were mad….but it is all achievable, just set a routine, train, enjoy it and believe in yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

    As you have found my blog, read the first few months, I started from nothing and was riding back to back centuries within 5 months ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Rafe says:

    Good advice from John.

    You can achieve amazing things if you just put your mind to it.

    I’ve been involved in helping with a lot of charity rides and seen a lot of people go from nothing to doing 80-100 miles a day for days in a row. Plus I made that same journey a few years ago, as did John.

    Enjoy it!

  7. Alex says:

    Thank you John and Rafe, they are some very encouraging words.

    I will be sure to to do just that, I will get on the bike and enjoy. I will also take a look at you early blogs.

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