The only sport I like is cycling. And luckily this year due to the school closures i’ve got lots of time. Or at least 1:30 hours a day. This time i wanted to ride up the wilson hill.
I am a good sprinter so this time i decided to work on my endurance and climbing and overall performance. This meant I had to plan specific training for endurance related riding and later went on to attempt a climb as a test of sorts. There aren’t any hills nearby in about a hundred kms so I could only get this done once. I did okayish on the climb but that’s because i focussed on the avg speed over the entire 14km climb and not the difficult 2km part which is very very steep. I came 8th on the 14km 9th on the 13km version and tenth on the steep part. This shows that my endurance progress was visible.
The most challenging part for me was staying in the saddle for long periods of time and not holding the endurance. I overcame this one by going for medium duration endurance rides on wednesday of <2 hours and long rides of 4hours or more on saturdays which meant at least a distance of a metric century. Another problem was of wanting to take KOMs by going all out and sprinting which ruins my training because they are unscheduled high efforts. This can lead to overtraining. I overcame this by being organized by making one day for getting KOMs and easy rides.
Planning is the most important part here. I associate planning with scheduling proper training and sticking to it.
|tuesday||Longer Intervals of ten minutes, 3 sets|
|wednesday||Endurance ride, 2 hours at least, or >sixty km|
|thursday||Easy rides and trying to get KOMs|
|friday||Easy ride again|
|saturday||Longer endurance rides, 3 to 4 hours. Eighty to hundred km.|
|sunday||Short intervals, thirty seconds.|
I just love cycling. Perseverance wasn’t a problem. However waking up early was. So I just kept on waking up early multiple times and got into the habit. However I won’t lie, but it’s very difficult to wake up in the winters so i just get up and switch off the alarm and sleep again. So sometimes i go take a spin in the afternoon.
Before I really started waking up early I used to go take a spin in the evening or afternoon. One evening I met a stranger cyclist and made him a friend. That’s it, I take him with me on easy rides now. Also for intervals i lose motivation after a set or mid of 2nd set so i made another friend to go out on intervals with me. I had to approach the unkils house which was very very much out of my comfort zone. But glad that I did, because I enjoy intervals now. This is mutual growth.
Due to the lockdowns I was not getting exercise or fun. I used to get very grumpy. I restarted cycling. And my mental health has become much better. In fact so much better that now cycling is like a drug so i need some amount of endorphin released to start my day. Both health and mental health are important issues today and will remain so.
I’ll be honest, cycling isn’t the most environmentally responsible sport, 2nd to only motorsports which require both insane amounts of resources to make the cars and vehicles but also to race them. Well cycling is just a little before it because it does require some resources to make a road bike. Sports which don’t require much resources are running and swimming.
This experience has helped me stay a little more happy, get some exercise, make 2 frends and have lots of fun. And that’s enough.
I check my data after each ride for about 15 mins. Analyse my sprints and much more metrics which i don’t think are necessary to list here. I clearly remember the key to improving my time on a difficult bridge segment was to analyse the segment well and find that the key to it was not gassing myself out on the climb but rather going fast on the flat part.
On group rides or small pacelines or pelotons it’s essential to communicate both verbally and non verbally well. Because the riders behind cannot see what’s ahead, it’s necessary to indicate bumps, potholes, barricades, etc. in fact the riders behind also communicate overtaking vehicles to the front. Besides this, I communicated with my friends or rather riding partners to plan rides.
Changing lanes is risky and a little scary many times. But I gotta take the risk to change or else how can I go fast. And going fast is the ultimate goal in a sprint. Mid fifties and low sixties are where it feels very fun and almost a little different than normal riding. I can hear the drivetrain making drivetrain sounds, the air displacing by and the road to tire contact noise. It’s kind of fun to listen to it… And that noise truly gives an idea of the risk I face. It’s a little difficult to express in words.