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I am writing this blog as I have just finished my fifth ride of the week on the turbo. I hadn’t planned on spending the week training indoors, but here’s how I got here….
Almost the end of January and I am very much stuck into winter training and looking forward to what is shaping up to be an exciting season of racing. This kicked off in December with a trip to Lanzarote for a couple of weeks of warm weather training before Christmas! As with any camp I’ve done this time of year, as well as enjoying the sunshine, this was an opportunity to get some solid bike miles in. Camp stats as follows…
Time in the saddle: 31 hrs
Distance cycled: 825.4 km
Meters climbed: 12833 m
Longest ride: 121 km
Time swimming and running (I am a triathlete after all): 13 hrs
As well as building endurance and strength, the winter is also an opportunity to work on skills. Home from Lanzarote and back to a typical British winter it was back onto my mountain bike. Having only been mountain biking for about a year now, the area I can make the biggest improvements are in my technical skills. This means constantly pushing myself to ride more difficult / technical sections of trail. No longer convinced that every rock has been put in the way with the sole purpose of killing me, I am very much enjoying this challenge. The only downside being that I am stubborn, and if I don’t get something right I will go back and do it again until I do… or I fall off and hurt myself. But hey, if you don’t convince yourself you can do something you will never try and never improve.
So whilst I was being stubborn two weeks ago, I had a little tumble. I was trying to ride a tough section of a climb with quite a few roots that I had never even attempted before. I nearly had it on my first go so back down I went to try it again. Unfortunately more speed didn’t solve the problem. My knee took a bit of a bash but I didn’t think anything of it. I carried on riding and thought all was fine. Unfortunately throughout the week the pain in my knee got worse and by the following weekend I wasn’t able to ride my bike. A quick trip to the doctor and I came back with a lovely picture of a small surface fracture in my patella. (*buys second set of kneepads so I don’t have an excuse to forget them!)
Now for the good news. Good news number 1 was that I could still carry on training. I would need to cycle with no resistance at first and stop if it was too painful, but I could still ride. Good news number 2, I can still run without any pain. Good news number 3, a couple of extra swim and gym sessions a week while I back off the cycling a little are going to a. improve swimming and b. improve my strength for when I do get back into the swing of cycling. Good news number 4, my body is pretty well practised at repairing fractures and I reckon I can get that 5 week healing time down to 3.
Here I am, the end of week two. Turbo number 5 complete. 90 minutes with a couple of solid tempo blocks and that 3 week recovery time is looking pretty realistic.