Howard's Way

Team Cycling Plus' Howie is struggling to shift his weight, but he's not struggling to get down hill!

A holiday in Paris was exhausting, thanks to all the walking and seeing the sights, and then shopping. Trust me three hours in one shop looking for jeans is very tiring. What French additions to my cycling kit did I get, two water bottles from Decathlon!...

With work pulling me left right and centre to both Ireland and Scotland, times for training in the evening have not been as plentiful as I would have liked, and my weight is still an issue.  It's just not coming down, plateau at 120kgs. This is really getting to me because I am trying with the lower food intake, but when your pounding the miles out, and the weight remains the same, it’s a killer. Especially when you still have to haul those 120kgs up the hills.

The benefit is descending, which is now becoming my forte, especially on the Medio Fondo where in one descent, I was coming up behind a camper van very quickly, so decided to overtake. In order to make sure the driver had seen me, I tapped on her window. The poor lady was in a bit of shock, as we were doing 40mph at the time. I waved her to stay behind me, as I descended the final part of the twisting road and hit a max of 48 mph. It took her 10 minutes to catch me up.

The Medio was a great event for me, until the second feed station. First of all, I have been climbing hills to a point where my HR goes over 165BPM, I then stop, wait and rest until it drops to about 125bpm, before climbing again. If I try and climb the hill in one go, I just can’t do it, so best to have small chunks. I got to 61 miles of the 90 mile event before I did have to climb off and walk a hill. Second feed had lots of sausage butties, so I had to uplift my carbs!. Then it was back on the road, where with my new found power, I snapped a spoke in the back wheel whilst climbing a long drag of a hill. This put paid to my ride, which was a blessing as the road conditions were terrible for the final 30 miles.

Training and riding in Zone 1 is getting tougher. Not because riding in Zone 1 is hard, but riding to the top limit of it often means some real hard riding. I am also now riding some of the loops I have in the big ring all the way around, which 3 months ago would have been impossible. It’s often strange that less training is often more for performance.

The chats with coach Joe Beer  are still the highlight of the week, and the programme of training is more than often maintained. The goal has been set for a 5kg weight loss before mid July, and I really do want to get there.

Coming up next is the Roses Round, I am only riding the 50-mile event, but this will be hilly enough for me. And then the week after is the London to Brighton. This will be a breeze for me, as it is only 54 miles, but I am looking after my teammates from work, who are riding a selection of mountain bikes etc, so it should be fun. Especially the final couple of miles when I will be wearing our Busy Bee costume. I will supply photos of the event!.

Planned ride for tonight should be a pleasure now we have some sun and longer nights, so must now go and prepare the bike and gels.

Team Cycling Plus is supported by Saddleback  and  Jim Walker

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