Back To The Grindstone

I guess not every ride can be a century or a journey in a foreign land, so in that spirit it was “back to basics” for me yesterday.  I need to figure out a way to improve my speed in order to do my best in next month’s US Air Force Crystal Ride.  Most of my training (such as it is) has previously focused on improving my endurance so I could manage a 100 mile ride.  Now I need to actually achieve a time standard on a 66-mile course.  Survival alone will not suffice in this event, so improving my pace is important.

Yesterday’s plan was to simply go as fast as I could for 38 miles.  In so doing, I averaged 17.2 mph – a new personal best for a ride of that length.  I think the faster pace of the century and on my ride with Brian gave me some new “muscle memory,” meaning my legs now understand better that a faster pace is possible.  Then again, maybe I’m just more fit.  Or my biorhythms were in line.  Or I was lucky.  These things are hard to figure some times.

I didn’t take any pictures because (as astute readers would have already learned) my camera suffered major damages in England and I have not yet bought a replacement.  Besides, it’s a bit difficult to snap photos when you are pedalling as fast as you can for an entire event.

My recent adventures were memories for a lifetime, but it was also quite nice to ease back onto roads that I know on equipment I have used for hundreds of hours.  The sense of familiarity was like sitting down in your favorite living room chair, except there was more sweating involved and the chair doesn’t move as much.  But you get the idea.

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5 thoughts on “Back To The Grindstone

  1. Now there’s the thing, reality always rears up and bites you on the arse after a great time was had.

    How to get around that little conundrum is the key. Let me know if you have any bright ideas!

  2. I think you are quite right about the effect a faster ride has on your legs. You can almost always go faster than you think. If you want to improve your speed, try some repetitions. I once knew a marathon champion who trained by sprinting 200m and trotting 200m. He did a lot of them but he never just plodded round a training run because he reckoned that that was just conditioning his body to run slowly. If you want to ride fast, practise faster.

    These are words of wisdom from someone who has never ridden fast in his whole life.

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