The dreaded lurgy has kept me off my bike now for three weeks, it feels like it could go on for another week, I hope not but its looking likely. The occasional virus is unavoidable and at some time during the year we all generally cop one, so it looks like its my time. I’m a little down as nobody wants to be sick at anytime but this one isn’t helping as its starting to drag on a bit. I’m trying to remain upbeat though, November is as good a time as any to be sick. For the old school November is generally seen as being part of the off season. It does make me think maybe I didn’t give my immune system sufficient time to fully recover after the TCR. Anyway, I have to be patient and be truthful to myself that its finally out the way before I climb back on the bike.
Time to start planning
Time off my bike has allowed me to take a look at my approach to next years Transcontinental in terms of preparation. I know I haven’t been accepted just yet but even if I wasn’t I’d probably still follow this track anyway. For next years attempt I want to step the training up a notch, so I’ve mapped what I feel will help me get to the start line better prepared than this year.
As I did this year I’ll stick to riding Audax’s, throughout the winter months focusing mainly on the 200kms then as the weather picks up and we roll into spring building up to the 300kms, 400km and 600kms. That gets me to June/July. I’m very lucky, Windsor is in an area where there are plenty of Audax’s and at the same time are a reasonable distance to ride out to, so I have choices and riding out means I can easily extend the distances. From April onwards the distances progressively increase, I’m looking forward to getting into the longer ones already.
Stepping it up
As I indicated in my previous post I want to do 70% of my riding at weekends so I’ll be looking to double up and riding both Saturday and Sunday. I like to think I can build up to 200-250 miles on the Saturday then get through 100-150 miles on the Sunday on alternate weekends. It might not work out that way but I’m going to give it a shot. As long as I build up slowly, stay injury and illness free it should be manageable. Mixing in the Audax’s should break up the monotony of riding the same routes. Saying that most of the Audax’s I’m planning to ride I did last year so riding these again at least gives me something to benchmark against.
Bank holidays don’t escape!
I’ll also be looking to make use of the bank holiday weekends (of course dependent on what pops up). Where I can I’ll be looking to daisy chain a few days together on the bike, perhaps sleeping out under the stars too. So the Easter weekend and the May Bank Holiday gives me an opportunity to do just that. I do have a couple of ideas on European excursions for those but it all depends on how things pan out.
So this is how things are looking, all the local ones I’ll be riding out and back…
2nd Jan – Poor Student , Oxford (206km)
16th Jan – The Willy Warmer, Chalfont St Peter (209km)
20th Feb – The Chiltern Grit, Aylesbury (200km)
5th Mar – The Kennet Valley Run, South of Reading (207km)
13th Mar – London/Oxford/London, Ruislip (200km)
19th Mar – The Dean, Oxford (307km)
Easter bank holiday – (Fri 25th – Mon 28th March)
2nd Apr – 3 Down, Chalfont St Peter (300km)
16th Apr – University Challenge, Ruislip (300km)
30th Apr – Severn Across, Chalfont St Peter (407km)
Early May bank holiday – (Sat 30th Apr – Mon 2nd May)
14th May – Bryan Chapman, Chepstow (600km)
Spring bank holiday – (Sat 28th – Mon 30th May)
11th Jun – Tan Hill, Padiham, Lancashire (603kms)
1st Jul – Mille Pennines, Bispham, Lancashire (1,006km)
Others to long and to near!
There were one or two other options for longer rides in June/July. There’s a couple in Ireland which I considered but at over 2,200kms, which is pretty much half the TCR distance, I just think it might take too much out of me, spending more time recovering rather than tapering. So I’ve decided those are for another time. The Mille Pennines at a 1,000kms fits better and should be a good final test. I rode the Andy Corless Pendle 600km last year so I know it will be a toughie. It still gives me plenty of time for recovery and a bit of a taper period before I depart for Belgium towards the end of that month. Last year I did start to feel a little flat in the lead up to the race possibly after easing back a little to early. I think the timing of this one fits really well and should prevent that.
Lets get riding
All I have to do now is get shut of the last of this sickness and get back out on the bike again, all starts soon. If your out and about on one of these Audax’s come and say hello, just look for the Bowman!
See you around.
* The featured image is a view back down the valley from Hotel Furka Blick. The hotel lies on top of the Furka Pass at 2,436 meters above sea level in the Swiss Alps. Photo taken in August 2014.