Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

West Norwood commute

Here’s my new commute route:

View West Norwood – work in a larger map

So – 8.35 miles, 40 minutes each way on average. It’s a tougher ride in than my former one – not just because it’s 3 miles longer, but because there’s more traffic, more traffic lights, more exhaust, and more other cyclists on the road. There are more tricky bits where you need to be in the right lane, or you need to take a particular bike path – or you’re toast, basically. There’s no final stretch up Dartmouth Park Hill to finish you off, but on the way home the route between Acre Lane and Thornlaw Road does gradually climb and it can be as hard as you want it to be. 4 days of 80 mins per day can deaden your legs at this stage in the season as well, especially on 6-7 hours of sleep per night.

Day off tomorrow.

Recovery notes

A couple of notes to self on recovery. Since the Burgess Hill Classic a fortnight ago, I haven’t felt above 80% on the bike – in terms of my energy levels and leg strength – and I’m trying to figure out why.

There are some things I already know about, like last Saturday’s late night / hangover combo. But this weekend I would have expected to feel recovered, so after a good sleep Thursday night, I headed out on Friday, aiming for 4hrs minimum. I went 2.5hrs. The hailstorms that at one point forced me off the road were a factor, but basically I still felt tired, I didn’t even particularly want to ride that day, and once in the saddle my legs had no zing.

Looking back at my training plan, I had 3 ‘build’ weeks up to the Puncheur on 1st March. Then I had a kind of plateau week, then I did a week, albeit with 2 rest days, that culminated in Burgess Hill on 15th. In retrospect I probably ought to have had a light week straight afterwards i.e. no more than 5 hrs in the saddle. In fact, by last Friday I’d only had 1 day completely off the bike since the sportive.

I’ve now had 3 days off the bike and some good sleeps, even if I did climb Snowdon on Saturday and my legs are wrecked. My plan is now to repeat last week’s 4 days of commuting, before doing 100 miles on Saturday, and another 100 the following Friday.

Zing update: I rode Archway to Brixton last night, and powered it. 2 full days off the bike, and the zing is back.

Big-ride prep: what not to do

Last Friday, for the first time this year, I prepared really badly for my big weekend ride. Normally I’m really careful and focussed on my important training blocks, but maybe I was a little focussed-out after the Puncheur and Burgess Hill Classic both within a fortnight, and needed more rest. In any case, here’s my run-down of how it all went wrong.

Sleep: I had about 6 hours sleep on Thursday and Friday night. Not cool, I need at least 8 for 2-3 nights before a big ride to be in optimum shape.

Food: It was my Mum’s 60th last week, so on Friday my family and I went to Claridge’s for a celebratory tea. 

Tea at Claridge's: posh carbo-loading.

Tea at Claridge's: posh carbo-loading.

I consumed:

  • 10-12 small sandwiches, no crusts, mixed fillings.
  • 1 scone with jam.
  • A glazed fruit tart.
  • Half a chocolate cake.
  • 6 cups of tea.
  • 1 glass pink champagne.

Alcohol: after Claridge’s, and prolonging the posh party vibe, we went for a few drinks at the Park Lane Hilton. Later, I caught the tube to Brick Lane to meet some people in a bar.

I drank:

  • 5 double rum and cokes.
  • A bottle of lager.
  • A Jager-bomb (for the uninitiated, this is a shot of Jagermeister dropped into a glass of Red Bull, and downed).

My plan for Saturday was a 5-6 hour easy ride with Millsy, but the combination of poor sleep and a hangover found me tired, weak and confused at 7am Saturday. The weather was stunning, but I had a headache and dry mouth for much of the ride. It could have been the ride of the year, but instead it was an ordeal. 

Note to self: this is not to be repeated before July 4th!