Cycling report

My legs are aching right now from the ride I went on this morning. I’ve ridden the last three days in a row, which is part of the problem; I ride that frequently quite often, but not when the series of days begins with a race, which happened on Tuesday. I also rode hard today. I didn’t plan on it — this is one of those days I thought I would take it easy — but my legs had other ideas. They just took off up the hills, and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

I don’t really know if the kind of riding I’m doing — the types of rides, the frequency, the intensity — is what I need to be doing; I’ve got The Cyclist’s Training Bible and I sort of follow it, but its training plans are so super-complicated, it just isn’t realistic, and I don’t stick with it. I could do it if I had all the time in the world and the weather were always great. As that’s not the case, I try to follow its general principles and kind of make it up from there.

What I need — but probably won’t have unless I’m willing to pay for it, which right now I’m not — is a personal coach, someone who could help me figure out how to train most efficiently given the time and terrain and weather I deal with. Someone who could help me figure out what my strengths and weaknesses are and how to train to maximize or overcome them.

Anyway, something’s going right, because I had another good race on Tuesday. This one was faster than last week, about 24.5 mph, and longer, about 52 minutes. And again, I stayed with the pack the whole time, climbing up the last hill with everybody else. What was different this week was that the pack was bigger and the riding wasn’t as smooth. I’m not used to riding in a really large pack (for me, that would be anything over 50 people), and I got a little freaked out by the crowd and the closeness of the other riders. This meant I rode toward the back of the pack a little more than I should have — it’s much harder to ride in the back where there’s a lot of slowing down and speeding up instead of a steady pace, and where the squirrely riders hang out. Next week I will try to ride near the front a little more.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Cycling report

  1. Sounds like things are going well even if you aren’t sure what kind of training you should be doing.

  2. The best shape I was ever in was the couple of years when I went to the gym every morning, set one of the exercise bikes for a mountain profile for an hour, and just hammered as hard as I could the whole time.
    My legs got strong and my cardio ability was great. I’ve never been able to train that effectively on my bike out on the road, especially when you live downtown in a big city and have to travel a LONG way to find any open roads.

  3. Yeah, I guess I’m not messing it up too badly :)

    Tuco, yeah, being in a big city makes it hard. I used to live in the Bronx, and I rode from there, but it wasn’t too hard to find my way out to the suburbs where the riding was a bit easier. It wasn’t ideal though.

  4. Wow–just reading this post makes my legs ache! LOL. It sounds like you are on the right track. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the time and money for a personal coach!! Does the Hobgoblin give you tips, or do you train together?

  5. Congratulations on your good race. I just read in a nutrition book called Your Body Knows Best that an ideal form of exercise for me would be slow bicycle riding. This thrilled me, because to try to do what you do, I know, would mean abandonment after a week or so. I’d probbly have murderous thoughts if I ever had a personal trainer. Once again, I’m in awe.

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