Yesterday was a rest day.
Today I was fresh, and fully recovered.
I did my regular mid-week eastern ride to the lake and back. It’s only 35 km, and relatively flat although there is a 1/2 km climb mid-ride that averages about 5%. But, and this is a big but, there was wind. The normal wind for these parts. A north westerly. Which means it was helping on the way out, and hurting on the way back.
I started slowly, spinning easily for the first 8-10 km, and then picked up the pace averaging 25-35 kph depending the grade and wind. After the mid-ride climb, I felt strong. So strong that I hammered the whole way home into the hurting 20 kph headwind, averaging a 90-100 cadence.
When I unsaddled and sat down for a post-ride drink, I was surprised to see that I had spent over 30% of my ride above Zone 1. Who said I need hills to train effectively. I just need to work harder.
It’s funny. I got into this mind set that because it is relatively flat in these parts, It is easy cycling. It can be for sure. But if I challenge the wind, and hills, like I did today, and push hard, I can get into and maintain an effective training zone without long, steep hills.
Intellectually, I knew this. It’s just that where I live, there are no flat rides. There are always hills not matter which direction I head. It’s just that some are longer and steeper than others. I know it takes considerable effort to average 40 kph on the flats into a hurting wind. Even without the wind, it is hard work. That’s all I have to do while at Camp PedalWORKS.
So, as a result of today’s ride, I have modified my training schedule. One day a week, I am going to do this eastern ride all out, regardless of the wind. Warmup on the way out, and flat out all the way back.
Sounds like a plan.
Yes even a 12mph wind can stop you in your tracks,and even make flats feel like a 7% grade.
Here we’ve recently had weeks of 8-15mph variable wind conditions,but this week the winds have abated to around 4mph what a difference it makes.
I’m having this week of the bike to do some hill walking in our glorious Lake District
Do a search, it’s a wonderful part of the U.K.well worth visiting.
Strangely, for me the descending is much harder than the climbs, my joints are like an old creaking gate.
I’d love to see the Lake District. I understand it is beautiful. Like you I have more trouble descending sand now use sticks.
Living by the coast, there is always an afternoon sea breeze. This means afternoon rides typically involve riding in the wind. Some days, I get more of a workout than I’d like on my homeward bound work commute 🙂
I have begun to think of the wind as a friend. Difficult as it may be to ride into, it makes you a better, stronger cyclist not unlike the hills. I find when I am here, I ride on the drops more frequently to make me more aerodynamic. I much prefer the wind at my back but have learned how to better ride into it.
. After 4wks of windy weather rides I kind of got used to it. Just means you ride more slowly.
As you say it does improve strength,and then a ride on a quiet day is a real bonus.
We’ve had a glorious day here today, 22c and not a cloud in the sky.