September consisted of getting my cast removed, and training!
I got my cast removed in early September. After the guy cut through the cast with a spinning chainsaw-like pizza-cutter tool, my arm and wrist were free. I was free. My arm felt heavy, and was kind of thinner and whiter than the other one. It took a bit of time for my arm and wrist to retain it’s full strength, but it has done so. The first week of training in September was a big one, largely down to the fact that I missed riding my bike so much, especially when the weather was good, and so I got on it as soon as I could. The first week was ridden with a cast on.
A pic from a ride around Laughton Forest with my dad – I saw a lizard 🙂 The weather did vary quite a lot during this week. Luckily the best of the weather came towards the end 🙂
I also went out for a spin with Dad and Mike! We rode across the Humber and chilled over the other side for a bit 😉 I also took a KOM too on that ride – Averaged just over 30 mph 🙂
Mileage: 210.1 miles
Elevation gain: 8686 ft
Time ridden: 12 hrs 22 mins
Accumulative mileage (as of 1st September): 210.1 miles
Accumulative elevation (as of 1st September): 8686 ft
Accumulative time ridden (as of 1st September): 12 hrs 22 mins
Week 2 comprised of quite a few anaerobic efforts, varying in length from 10 seconds to 1.5 minutes. I took two more KOMs too during this week, which is always a bonus! I also had a fantastic spin with my dad down to Cleethorpes and back: 80km in total. Averaging close to 21 mph, I felt good and comfortable on the way out, and on the way back. A sunny, warm morning summer spin – can’t beat that I’m afraid 🙂
Mileage: 160.9 miles
Elevation gain: 4792 ft
Time ridden: 8 hrs 15 mins
Accumulative mileage (as of 1st September): 371 miles
Accumulative elevation (as of 1st September): 13478 ft
Accumulative time ridden (as of 1st September): 20 hrs 37 mins
Week 3 comprised of sprints, weighted workouts, an exploration and an FTP test! A lot for one week.
Sunset – Approaching Messingham 🙂
We rode over the Humber, and explore the hills on the other side 🙂River Humber looking blue as it will ever be 😀It was a really good ride – 53 miles and 2500 ft of fun 🙂
The following day, I decided to do an FTP Test. An FTP (Functional Threshold Power) Test is fundamentally, a measure of fitness. FTP represents the power (measured in watts) that you could theoretically maintain for about an hour. Performing FTP Tests 3 or 4 times a month, for a few months allows myself to see the improvement I am making, and the rate of improvement too. So, I did my FTP Test out on the road – Testing myself out on the road should give a higher reading than on the turbo trainer, as I am able to use all the muscles in my body, to generate as many watts as I can.
I did an FTP Test, and I managed to hold 232 watts for 1 hour – A good wattage for my weight. However, a measure that is even more comparable than wattage, is watts per kilogram.
What is watts per kilogram?
Watts per kilogram, or watts/kilo, is a measurement that factors weight as well as power, and provides a more comparable figure of performance than simply wattage. Power-to-weight ratio matters because it’s a great predictor of performance. Take two cyclists: Cyclist A can sustain a maximum power output of 250W while Cyclist B can only manage 225W. On a perfectly flat, smooth indoor track (where gravity is not an issue) we can confidently predict that A will be faster than B. On an undulating road, however, power-to-weight begins to matter more. If both cyclists weigh 80kg, A will still be faster. But if A weighs 80kg and B weighs 68kg, cyclist A’s power-to-weight ratio is 3.13W/kg, while B’s is 3.31W/kg. On a flat road, there might not be much in it, but head into the hills and it is cyclist B who will be pulling away.
Dividing my wattage by my weight, I came away from this FTP Test being able to sustain 4.14 w/kg for an hour – Pretty good. I increased my FTP by 25 watts – That’s an increase of 10.77%! It might not sound like much, but it is a huge amount, trust me.
Furthermore, whilst riding, I had to pause at roundabouts, junctions, and during downhill sections, I struggled to put out any power, simply because the gear I was riding was not big enough! Although I wouldn’t be able to use all the muscles in my body to generate wattage, doing an FTP Test on the turbo would allow myself to ride to my very limit, without any problems I guess, for an hour.
Mileage: 186.5 miles
Elevation gain: 7175 ft
Time ridden: 9 hrs 58 mins
Accumulative mileage (as of 1st September): 557.5 miles
Accumulative elevation (as of 1st September): 20653 ft
Accumulative time ridden (as of 1st September): 30 hrs 35 mins
Week 4 + the few days to end September
Week 4 was a solid week of training – I rode in pretty bad weather at times, but enjoyed it. My first ride comprised of hill reps up-and-down Worlaby Hill. I ascended the 1 km hill, averaging 6%, a total of 11 times. I skidded around corners too at 30+ mph, dodging runners running up and around the bend! The weather was pretty stormy, and I could see the strands of rain falling from the clouds. It was pretty intimidating to be honest, and as I ascended the Hill, I spotted what looked like a supercell:
Mileage: 223.9 miles
Elevation gain: 11619 ft
Time ridden: 12 hrs 14 mins
Accumulative mileage (as of 1st September): 781.4 miles – A little more than London to Marseille!
Accumulative elevation (as of 1st September): 32272 ft – Height of Mount Everest is 29,029 ft!
Accumulative time ridden (as of 1st September): 42 hrs 50 mins