The weather is still awful, however I had a some good session indoors and on Thursday last week it was a real grind.
Steve had me doing some what he calls sweet-spot training. This is where I have sustained periods just under my threshold. When I say threshold this a measured amount of power I can sustain over a given set period of time.
From what I can make out and understand is that you keep riding just under you threshold so not to finish you off and then have a little 2 minutes recovery ride and off you go again. It’s all about training your legs to cope with these long heavy loads.
So you can see my threshold on the red and then the work I did in the blue. It was a heavy session and I certainly knew about it afterwards.
I have been planing a ride for Saturday, thought I would give myself a little test but this is where it all ended up in pain and agony.
I have been wanting to get a decent ride over the peak to show just how much I have come on in the last three months. I decided I would undertake a round route starting at home, climbing up to Fox House, up to Surprise View, down to Hathersage, over on the flat to Edale and then up an extremely steep climb to Mam Tor and then down back to Castleton, past the Edale road and back home in reverse.
Ok for those that dont know the peak district there is a good long climb up to surprise and a very quick long down hill section into Hathersage and plenty of moderate flat with undulations to Edale and then the hill to Mam Tor is one of the steepest you will find in the peaks. Then back home in reverse via holmesfield
The original 55 mile route planned using Strava looks like the following.
The only section of this route I have not ridden before was the Edale section, so I knew what was coming. As you can see plenty of hills to tackle in the elevation profile of the route.
I set off and I must say I felt a little tired in the legs from Thursday but soon got spinning, I got to surprise (first peak on the elevations profile) a lot easier than I thought and I could tell I have made real progress and smashed my time on this section and rode it in a much higher gear.
The run into Hathersage is always fast and I enjoy keeping up with cars adn wanting to overtake lorries whilst dodging the pot holes in the road, good ride to Edale. This is where I stopped checked my blood glucose and had a little snack after completing my first 20+ miles and anticipating the massive ride up the 16% incline.
I was passed at speed just before I hit the hill by a lady rider and I looked at the hill and within 50 yards she was out of the saddle and gone. It looked daunting and no pictures would do it justice. Within 400 metres I had done it and had to get off, I was not out of breath but my legs just went. I walked for 50 metres and got back on again which is difficult pointing up such a steep hill and the trying to get both feet clipped in. Another 400-500 metres and the same again this continued to the top. I could hear cars struggling to the top too and dropping down the box. Little cars with small engines crunching into 1st in the race to get to the top !
I did eventually got to the top 3 times slower than many other riders do it in according to Strava, as I say I was not out of breath it was purely my legs that just did not work.
Normally you would get a spectacular view from the top but it was extremely cold, dank, grey with reduced visibility and damn miserable up there.
Once again I was not out of breath but my legs had gone..
I then decided to descend down Winnats pass which is around 35% and I can tell you it is the most scary descent I have done. It’s quite narrow but the steepness means you have to be in full control with the brakes on at all times. Not taking your hands off. It’s one of those roads that are difficult in a car when the weather is not at its best never mind a bike !
Its beautiful in the summer and sinister in winter, take a look at Wikipedia for more details. it really is a great part of the world for the weekend, you see so many people from the city carrying out their outdoor activities.
Off I went on the flat in reverse to Hathersage to tackle my last major climb, it is one I have done when I first started cycling and I was scared of it (not now). I had a little break again and off I went and then stopped within 200 yards my legs just would not go anywhere, they were not in pain just no energy whatsoever.
I went back to Hathersage and then waited 30 mins in the freezing cold and got a train to Dore station and rode up to Dore to see Jo and then home.
So as I say an investigation is required to why this happened ? Did Thursday training take it out on me ? Did I go too hard up the Edale mountain to Mam Tor ?? Who knows it’s an investigation to be had with Steve to find out a viable reasons as to by the wheels have fallen off my wagon..
Will I ever complete the challenge to Paris after this major setback….
I only did 35 miles so I was 20 short on my challenge.