The Occasional Athlete

A cyclist trying to be fast(-ish) again

Back home

Fred Whitton, here I come!

When I started this blog I said my initial aim was the Fred Whitton Challenge - 184 brutal kilometres around the Lake District. Well, I got a place!

Training has been going well. I’m in week 11 of The Plan, which has been my most consistent period in years. I’ve been smashing the hard sessions. In fact I keep having to raise the intensity! Yesterday evening was the hardest session so far - seven rounds of three minutes at 122% of functional threshold power (FTP). It was brutal. I almost didn’t finish it. But I did. I even have a chart to prove it!

The down side is I’ve not really lost any weight. I’m still hovering around 87kg. My diet has definitely improved, largely due to “friendly” competition with a couple of colleagues, but I’m probably eating too much. I’ll need to raise my game and cut back a bit, and probably spend a week or so tracking calories. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, or something!

So what do I have coming up? Well, I’m coming to the end of my base period. This week is the last hard before a recovery week, which my legs and I are very much looking forward to! Then it’s onto the build phase where the hard efforts get harder and the easy rides longer. I’ve also entered a couple of local events - the Rawlinson Bracket in February and the Cotswold Cyclo in March. I’m hoping the weather improves soon so I can get in some outdoor riding before these events, but I’m not holding out much hope!

Finally, after more than a decade I finally realised what I like most about cycling. It’s not the great outdoors or cafe rides with mates, although those are definitely fun. No, what I truly enjoy is hitting big numbers and being fit enough to smash myself up a climb! I’m unsure whether or not that makes me weird…