London To Brighton

The incredible work Sue Ryder do

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The fantastic work Sue Ryder does for people with incurable conditions. This is why I’m proud to be part of #TeamIncredible at the 2014 RideLondon-Surrey100.
Help me help others at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilWheeler5

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Still time, but how fast will I be?

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As the sun starts to shine and more riding can be done in daylight without the need to wear extra layers, again my thoughts turn to how fast could I complete Ride London 100 in this summer?

The first goal however is to finish and the second raise loads of money for Sue Ryder. You can help by visiting my page here. However being the type of person I am and from reading peoples accounts of last years event I have started to think about the time.

When I found I had a place I thought if I could complete the course around 6.5 hours then this would be a good time. Also something I could achieve with an average speed of just under 25kph (24.7). This is well within the 8.5 hours allowed to complete the course even with a few rest stops thrown in. However my training has got me up to around 28kph which would give me a time around 5 hours 45 mins. I have even calculated 5 hours but this is a stretching 32.2kph and outside my reach. But you have to dream.

Well I suppose I have now set myself another challenge, to complete this in sub 6 hours. I have a history of this as last year I set a target of sub 4 hours for London to Brighton only to be hampered by light failure, but I am sure this will be achieved soon. However this challenge is different. The last hill comes at 109.4km which then leaves a final 50k to get the power down for a grandstand finish on the Mall being cheered on by the large crowd which will no doubt push me on. London to Brighton has the big hill at the end which drains your energy and then you have no time to recover before the finish.

Well it looks like the training will continue to be hard to ensure I build the power, strength and aerobic ability to allow me to travel faster and further for the same amount of input. Time to update the training plan.

When you have been cycling for about 3 months then you will have the basic strength to build upon to complete your sportive or event ride. I have built this up with commuting to and from work plus the weekend longer rides. Now it is time to step up the training to improve my ability. I have found some longer routes to commute to increase the distance cycled each week, which will help, but I am going to start using the normal commute to work as shorter time trial rides and for interval training. In theory this will improve my overall moving time (average speed) to allow me to achieve the magic sub 6 hours. Then the weekend rides are for the social aspect as well as getting the time in the saddle completed. I will target certain segments on Strava and use these as markers on my progress. Hopefully come the end of June I will have seen some improvement in my general average speeds on rides and then the plan would be to keep these up on the longer rides come the weekend.

Let’s see how I get on.

Training update and allowing my mind to drift into the future…. The possibilities?????

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It’s going well, very well so far. I might only be in the second week of my training plan but cycling to and from work with a ride on a Sunday is allowing me to hit the numbers for the early weeks. I am also starting to feel the strength come back to my legs I had last year so all is good, especially as the weight is finally starting to fall off as my body adjusts to its new regime.

I have to say I am enjoying the training too. I think this is a vital way to ensure I maintain the levels I will be required to do for August. It Is easy to training when you enjoy putting in the hours. I have to say using the bike as part of the commute to work really helps as the training for these days is complete with me just getting to work and then home again later in the day.

I still need to work on some items and I will share one of these with you. Whilst I fuel my body before a ride in the form of breakfast, but more importantly the food the previous day, I still send to work out what it the best food to eat whilst on the bike. I am a fan of the high 5 gels as they taste nice and come with the caffeine option of your wish, which from what I read are very useful towards the end of a ride.

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I also love the high 5 tabs which you drop into your water bidons as these have the electrolytes which need to be replaced when cycling.

The reason I still need to practice which fuel works do me is last year I think I might have overdone the gel consumption during the London to Brighton night ride. Let’s say I was more than wide awake for the ride and the whole day following the ride and only started to feel slightly tired when I finally got home that evening. I also don’t like fig rolls which are a good source of fuel when cycling. Looks like it’s jelly babies or Haribo for the sugar content or Jaffa Cakes, but it’s the other eagerly types I need to practice with. Well I am going to have plenty of opportunities to get the right mix of fuels for me. We are all individual but I will post what works for me if and when I find out.

I think I could be even more hooked by the bike and cycling is starting to be the main choice of transport, at least in the head, even though it might not be the best option. An example of this is not wanting to reserve something in the well known catalog store here in the UK (the red and blue one) as I can’t collect in store as I want to cycle to work. The item will just have to wait until the day when I use the car again. It was only a bed anyway, it can wait.

If I am going to be regularly cycling 150-250km per month when the training ramps up in the near future, what happens when the events are completed? All this work for 2014 and ride London gets me in hopefully fantastic shape but then what? This has got my mind working, well drifting again. I may need some time off from the charity bike rides, and focus a bit more on the personal challenge. I like the idea of cycling over a number of days from locations within the UK to start, but then entering Europe. The latter will certainly be 2015 at the earliest due to the planning involved for such a journey.

I suppose I should look at completing one of the London to (enter a European capital here) events before I turn 40, which means I have three years left to plan and then execute my plan, however lose they are at the time of writing this post. Whatever the far fetched ideas I have for 2015 and beyond I suppose I better return to the matter of 2104 and very much the present plan and ensuring I am ready for RideLondon come August. Right in that case it’s off to bed to get the legs ready for the cycle to work in the morning.

Thank you for reading.

Ready for 100 miles. In eight weeks I will be!

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From the previous post you will know I now have a Garmin Edge 200 to assist with the training rides for #RideLondon. One of the benefits of having a Garmin Account for recording workouts is you have access to a wealth of training assistance. The plan below was created by Robby Ketchell who knows his stuff from is work with Team Garmin-Sharp, yes the pro team of David Millar!

ROBBY KETCHELL

Robby Ketchell is the Director of Sport Science for Team Garmin-Sharp. He is responsible for aerodynamics, equipment, technology, nutrition, biomechanics, data analytics and human performance. Told you he knows his stuff!

Well this is the plan I will be following for the next eight weeks to ensure I am ready for the big one come August. Yes I am starting early but If I can get into shape come May, then I can complete a few sportive’s to ensure I am fully ready for August!

Robby states “The purpose of this training program is to gradually increase your mileage over 8 weeks to achieve completing a Century ride. By increasing the distance gradually, you will build the fitness needed, avoid injury, and prevent over-training.

To start, count back from the date of your Century 8 weeks and use the following program as a guideline for managing your mileage and efforts. This program assumes that you are starting with the ability and fitness to complete a 25 mile ride. If you are not beginning at this level, consider reducing your goal to a half century”.

The training plan is outlines below on a weekly basis.

Week 1: The total amount of miles to complete this week is 60 miles with the furthest ride being 25 miles long. This week, you should complete 4 total rides, giving you 3 days of recovery. The first two rides should be 12 miles long, the third 25 miles, and the fourth 11 miles. You can use the recovery days for this week and any other week moving forward to spread out the rides appropriately given your schedule. The intensity this week should be very low (at the level that you can still carry out a conversation while riding) and you should avoid big climbs.

Week 2: The total amount of miles to complete in week 2 is 75 while doing a maximum distance ride of 35 miles in one day. The mileage for each of the 4 days of riding is: 10, 20, 35, and 10 miles respectively. Again, use your rest days wisely to make sure you don’t push yourself too hard during the second week of this program. The intensity should be similar to week 1 but allowing you to increase your intensity above week 1’s on any hills that you encounter.

Week 3: The total mileage for week 3 is 95 miles with a big ride of 40 miles. Rides for this week are: 20, 25, 40, and 10 miles. Intensity should not increase from week 3 and you should pace yourself on this week’s long ride. It is important to make sure you are eating food regularly now that your distance is increasing.

Week 4: This week’s mileage increases to 105 miles with the biggest ride at 50 miles. Again, this week you will ride for 4 days including 15, 20, 50, and 20 mile rides. Once again, keep the intensity low and especially manage your pace on the longest day of the week.

Week 5: Now the distance is starting to increase beyond a half century, you should be considering the weather and time of day that you are leaving for your rides. Make sure to carry the right clothing with you if it looks like it is going to get cooler as the ride goes on or if rain is likely. Also, if the sun is setting early, make sure you are wearing the appropriate reflective clothing. The maximum one-day distance ride for this week is 60 miles, making a total of 125 miles for the week. These rides should be 20, 30, 60 and 15 miles long. Intensity this week can increase as you feel comfortable, but remember that the main goal is to complete the distances, not to do them fast.

Week 6: This is both the longest total distance week and the furthest single day ride that you will do to prepare for a Century. The longest ride is 70 miles long, and the total distance for the week is 135 miles. These rides are 20, 30, 70, and 15 miles long. Remember to use your rest days to help recover from each workout. Once this week is completed, you should feel confident that after a week of tapering you can complete a Century.

Week 7: This week has less miles than last week for a reason – you are giving your body some rest before you complete your Century. The longest ride should not exceed 55 miles and you should not complete any more than 70 miles for the week.

Week 8: Century! For me I will either complete the London to Brighton Night Ride aiming sub 4 hours for the 60 miles or the Dunwich Dynamo which again at night is double the distance at 120 miles. Yet to be decided!

If at any time during this program you have an injury or feel over fatigued, you should back the mileage off to your needs. Never push through a training program just to complete it and make sure that your general health is the main priority.

So as you can see this will be my riding plan for the next eight weeks. I plan to complete the distances with riding to/from work again which is what I have done in the past with the Sunday ride being the long ride. I will also use the gym to ensure the miles are completed as this has to be the main goal here.

Right less blogging and more cycling!

2014 a clash what should I do part 2

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A few months ago I blogged about a clash with the Dunwich Dynamo and the third London to Brighton night ride, both happening of the weekend of 12/13 July this year. This is of course 4 weeks before I will be cycling in the second RideLondon-Surrey 100.

In the first blog I suggested the more sensible plan would be to complete the “dun run” as this would be the longest ride I have ever completed and therefore would put me in tip top condition for the August ride of my life.

Well I am still undecided and have now started to think a stab at getting the #l2b ride close to 4 hours as possible would be a good test of how the training has gone. I know I can complete the distance, having done the ride twice before but this year with better lights, spare batteries and the target of posting a sub four hour time could just be the ticket for getting me through the 100 miles the following month. After all 60 miles will come at the right time in the training and would be ideal preparation I am starting to think. Another thing is if I can ride 60 miles in 4 hours I have a good chance of riding 100 in about 6 hours 27 minutes which on last years times would put me nicely in the middle of the pack, well in the top 70% and I’d take that!

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As you can see from the info graphic last year the average time for men was about 6 hours. This is a good pace and certainly a goal to work towards. Completing #l2b in under four will give me an outside chance of hitting the average from 2013. As previously mentioned first time out the goal has to be to complete, raise the required target for Sue Ryder and then a good time if possible would be the priority.

Whatever the final decisions, which need to be made, the fact is it all has to be about what would be best for the final prepeations fior August. I now have some idea of what the pro teams have to do to get their riders in form for the grand tours and other events throughout the season. The training plan leans towards #l2b as the shorter ride which will act as a final conditioning ride for the big one come August. However lets see!  Any advice is greatfully recieved. What are other #RideLondon cyclist planning on doing?