January often feels like the month that never ends. The post-Christmas blues, dark and miserable, cold and wet. Not the most inspiring month in the calendar so it is easy to lose focus. Add in the poor weather that leads to a couple of weekends stuck indoors on the turbo going stir crazy. However, on the positive side, the days start to get a little bit longer and the number of weeks until racing begins drops into single figures – so there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Towards the end of the month I had a nice lunch at the M&DTTA annual luncheon and prize presentation and also picked up a few medals and team trophies as a result of last season’s endeavours. On a personal basis I came 2nd in the M&DTTA BAR, 12hr and Middle Distance Championship (1st veteran on standard) and 3rd in the 50 and 100 mile championships. As part of Seamons teams we won the 25 mile Tom White trophy, the 100 mile South Lancs shield and the LH Brooks cup for the 12hr (pictured above and below). Events like these provide further motivation, if needed, to continue with the hard work, and to catch up with people you haven’t seen since the end of the race season.
In terms of my training, at the end of December I came out of my base phase and started speed and power work. VO2Max and supra-threshold intervals came as quite a shock to the system. I found them really hard. Harder than I remember, but then I hadn’t done a proper one since the end of last season. I’m still finding them really hard and that I need the recovery day after completing a session. Whereas in previous years I would have ignored a recovery and done back-to-back sessions, this year I have resolved not to be as stupid! I’m hoping that will pay off but as with all training, only time will tell, and it’s fair to say I’m having a bit of a training wobble at the moment. There is an old saying that races are not won in the summer, they are won in the winter – winter miles, summer smiles! Hope so – things are going well with power edging upwards and I’m a lot lighter than this time last year. The big question is whether I can transfer the gains from the turbo to the bike – something which proved difficult last year – so no complacency here.
As an aside to training I watched the final evening in the Revolution series at the Manchester Velodrome. I was interested but didn’t have particularly high expectations because track racing is not really my “thing” but I have to say it was absolutely brilliant.
The young riders were especially impressive, but it was good to see great Olympic and World Class riders like Jason Kenny, Katie Archibald, Dani Rowe and Elinor Barker. I really enjoyed it and will probably go again the next time it comes around.
Finally, Project 1849 looks like it may stall before it even starts! Highways England are looking to ban all cyclists from the V718, which is realistically the only course where I was likely to even get close to a sub 19 minute 10. It will be a shame if that happens, but we live in a car-centric society where the answer to cycling safety is to ban the victims rather than address the actual issue at hand. I will write more on this subject as it unfolds.
In January I managed 345 miles outdoors with 20,292ft ascent at around 14.9mph average, which used up around 13,357kcals. I spent 35 hours and 2 minutes on the turbo using a further 25,521kcals. Total for the month was 3,088TSS