As 2018 draws to a close here’s a quick look at what I’ve been up to in the last couple of months. Happy New Year!
Ramp Tests Galore
I spent a week or so in early November helping out with a scientific study at the University of Chester. It required me to perform a ramp test followed by a period of recovery and then another test. The period of recovery varied in duration. I did six of these in total. It was good fun and I discovered that my recovery after 30 seconds is pretty good. In fact it is as good as several minutes – in theory I should be a decent crit racer, go figure!
VTTA Manchester & NW Luncheon
At the end of November it was the VTTA Manchester & NW annual luncheon. It’s a nice event (first Christmas dinner of the year!) and I picked up the 25 mile Championship Cup, the ES Ward Memorial Championship Cup, the Stan Livingston Memorial Trophy, the Local Courses 3 Distance Shield and the FTA Trophy.
Turn up the Base
I don’t know if it is the same for everybody but during the racing season my FTP drifts downwards unless I specifically aim to build it up. I think it is because the intensity of racing chips away at your physiology due to the needs of balancing intensity with adequate recovery. It’s only a few percent but frankly when you are in your fifties that matters, because it is very hard to get it back, and even harder to add some more on. So I thought I’d try a different approach this winter and go somewhat old school. I took a week off training and then started doing fairly easy long rides – either outside or on the turbo. Once a week I threw in a VO2 Max session as recommened by Joe Friel in his book Fast after Fifty. Also, for the first time in a long time, I did some strength training.
Anyway, my base phase culminated this week. I had time off work and the weather was mild so I got outside and did some big miles – which coincidentally allowed me to complete the Rapha #Festive500 for the first time in a few years. It was a big week (975TSS) and I was knackered at the end but a good way to sign off base miles. Instead of a natty woven badge, this time Rapha donated an equivalent amount to World Bicycle Relief, a charity that mobilises people through The Power of Bicycles. They are committed to helping people conquer the challenge of distance, achieve independence and thrive. Click on the image to the left to see their website. Anyway, a week of recovery and then it’s into the build phase in January – things get a bit more serious and I will start to outline my goals for 2019 and develop my training plan and race plan around it.
Ade’s Pancake Ratings
I’ve had a few pancakes recently. They’re my favourite brunch item. Here’s the Ade Pancake Ratings in order of preference
- Top right – Moose Coffee – filled with blueberries, large and tasty and great value
- Bottom right – Cafe North – very, very close second
- Bottom left – homemade (Kingsmill!) – my own creation with greek yoghurt and fresh summer berries
- Top left – The Ivy – great setting and nice enough but small and expensive
My road mileage increased a fair bit in 2018 – I did around 6,600 miles and that included around 341,000 feet of climbing. In addition I spent over 323 hours (24×7 just about twice) on the turbo. That little lot used about 460,000 kcals of energy. Anyway, within that lot my top highlights were
- Club record 272.21 miles in the Combined Associations 12 hour race
- Breaking 50 minutes and 30mph average for a 25 mile TT (just!) – 49:57
- A win in the VTTA M&NW 10 in April
I hope you look back on 2018 happy in what you achieved and I wish you all the very best for 2019. Happy New Year all.