So I’ve finally finished my training for the LEJOG. It’s been 20 weeks and I’ve been keeping track of all that I’ve done.
I started when the weather was freezing cold at the end of January, when getting out of bed in the dark on a Sunday morning at 6-30am was a real struggle. I’ve been freezing cold (a lot), soaking wet (surprisingly not that much), hot and sweaty. It’s been icy, windy, rainy, sunny and cloudy (a lot).
I’ve ridden around Greater Manchester, Cheshire (a lot), Lancashire, Yorkshire, Wales and flirted with Derbyshire.
I’ve been up hills and down dales, on mountainsides, in valleys, through villages, towns and cities. I’ve seen wonderful scenery and beautiful countryside.
I’ve done long and lonely hours on my own and I’ve made some great new friends and ridden with great people, and some inspirational people. I’ve enjoyed my own company and I’ve enjoyed their company.
I’ve fallen off, I’ve hurt my knee and I’ve seen countless idiotic drivers. My knee has been sore, my fingers have bled and my legs have ached (a lot.)
I’ve absolutely loved it.
Here’s what I’ve done:
- 2,153 training miles (plus another 530 miles commuting making 2683 miles in total)
- over 142 hours of riding (nearly 6 days solid)
- 78,400ft of climbing. That’s equivalent to 2.7 Mount Everests.
- I’ve averaged 15.6mph across those 2,153 miles
- 116,706 kcalories of energy burned.
- Gone from 189lbs to 172lbs and 24% bodyfat to just under 18%. That’s at least a stone of unwanted fat gone
The graph above shows the build up in mileage that I’ve tried to achieve to peak 3 weeks before the start, and then taper down.
Similarly you can see above the amount of climbing I’ve tried to build in on a weekly basis, and the following graph is my average heart-rate – which I think demonstrates that my fitness has improved over the time I’ve been training.
Is it enough? I’ll tell you in a fortnight! I was advised that 2000 miles of training would be the required amount and I’ve pleased that I’ve achieved that. Although I have a slight cold at the moment I feel very strong and fit, so I’m hoping that what I’ve done will stand me in good stead.
Here are some five things I’ve learned
- Having a goal is really important – in this case the LEJOG provided all the motivation
- Structure works. Planning what you want to achieve, and how, means you can track your progress and build your confidence
- Shake it up – the same routes and the same things get boring. Put effort into making things fresh
- Accept that some days will be hard for no reason, physically and/or mentally. For every 2 steps forward you may well take 1 back. As long as you are moving forward it’s okay
- JOIN A CLUB – there really is no substitute for joining a cycling club and riding with others – it makes things a lot easier and more fun
One final thing. A very big thank-you to my family, who have put up with me disappearing most weekends for hours at a time without a single word of complaint. They have been behind me every step of the way, coaxing, cajoling and encouraging. Fantastic support, without which I wouldn’t have been able to do my training.
I’m ready. Wish me luck. Better still, sponsor me.