I can’t blame my slow start entirely on the weather as I have had a bit of a right knee injury. Pretty frightening at one point as I simply could not ride at all and I thought my time in the saddle was over. Much of my training comes from a 30 mile commute each way and to have the knee fail half-way to work caused some panic and distress. Try ordering a taxi at 0600 from Cranborne that will take you and your bike. Needless to say I was late and £50 worse off (the latter being the cause of the panic and distress). The positive is that it has forced me to spend some time, a lot of time in fact on me and maintaining me. When it comes to my bike, I am pretty disciplined, washing polishing and degreaseing before regreasing for optimum efficiency, never letting the chain turn black, however I have knowingly neglected me, always getting away with it until now.
My injury was caused by overuse and under stretching. With the help of massage, stretching, more massage and a lot of foam rollering it’s gone. As simple as that and I’m improved – 2019 my powermetre gave me a consistent 55-45 power balance which I put down to the calibration. When injured I was at 68-32, however I’m now 51-49, 50-50 on hills. Happy with that! I’m still a little nervous if I’m honest, waiting for that pain to suddenly kick in but the fact that I’m spending at least 15 to 20 minutes each day stretching not only helps physically but also helps mentally, knowing that the muscles are supple and firing as they should, when they should.
So, sunshine out, some dry roads and New Year Resolutions off pause, now to get going and make ground. For me the commute is essential and also unavoidable but I still have some specific training within it all. These are 4 key sessions I hit every week without fail:
1 x long ride usually 4 hrs
1 x long interval session (2 x 20 mins or 4 x 10 mins with around 10 mins recovery)
1 x building sprint session (10 efforts of around a minute that end with the last 15 secs at max), 5 mins recovery for these.
Finally 1 x ride with someone.. Anyone! A week of lone commuting can be… Well, lonely.
Try and get these rides on the same day each week and you will feel the benefit and have a measurable effort to mark your performance.
And if it rains just one more time, I can’t promise that I won’t lose my Zwift virginity –
I think we all will one day.