As I’m becoming an bit of an avid cyclist (can you tell?) I felt compelled to watch a bit of the Tour de France this year. Something was said during the TV commentary for the “prologue” (the time-trial around London to establish the leader before they properly set off) that sounded a bit weird. They said that the cyclists were doing a two-hour warm-up on a turbo trainer before doing the time trial to get their heart rate up to optimal levels.
This sounded weird because my heart rate shoots up pretty quickly when I start exercising so why it would take those guys 2 hours was a bit baffling. And wouldn’t they be knackered after 2 hours?
Well, today I did my longest cycle ride to date, to the village of Cholsey near Didcot, clocking 34.4 miles in just under 2 hours – a more than half-decent average of 17.7mph over the whole 2 hours!). And what was weird was that I kinda got used to working hard and going fast. After about an hour, I felt great – not tired as I thought I would be, and was able to sustain some pretty high speeds (for me) on the flat. It was like, after warming up for some time some extra strength and energy kicked in.
Now, I’m a novice sportsman and I don’t know what phenomenon caused this, but I certainly see how a long warm up period can really set you up for a longer ride.
I’m pretty chuffed today. I set out expecting to average about 15mph. My goal was to get there, not to get there quickly. So do do under 2 hours was great – even with a tail wind and with it being more downhill than up.
I might even be up to getting to Bath in a couple of weeks time?
For those that care, the route is here. Great weather, great scenery. Oh, and I chickened out and got the train home. Not ready for 70 milers just yet!