They say that time waits for no man, and the weeks leading up to a big event can seem to get away from you very quickly! Before you know it, the day is rapidly approaching! The Tour of England (South East) is less than two weeks away so it's time for another update on my preparation.
For the past few weeks (after I recovered fully from illness) I have been focussing on extending my time in the saddle. Long endurance miles haven't made up a huge part of my riding. Ever. Truth be told, most of my winter training was aimed at short, sharp speed work in order improve my 10 mile Time Trial personal bests!
It's safe to say that to be able to survive the Tour, I needed to get some much further distance rides in the bag before the event. Most of my training rides tend to be within the 40 to 60 miles range, whereas the Tour of the South East is two consecutive days in the saddle, the first at 90 miles and the second slightly shorter at 80 miles.
In order to better prepare for the Tour I started upping my distances, both solo and club runs, towards the 70-80 mile mark and adding in a few more climbs. A typical training ride now comprised of many hours riding through the Surrey Hills!
I've actually enjoyed this more than I thought. It's given me time to enjoy the scenery without the added pressure of smashing around at “full gas” all the time. Sure, it may not have done a lot for my threshold power output, but there's a lot to be said for simply cycling for the sake of cycling.
Here's a typical Sunday ride in the lead-up to the event. 85 miles / 16mph. The four Cat 4 climbs are Newlands Corner, Box Hill, Leith Hill and Combe Lane.
There are nine other guys from my cycling club joining me for the event and we've been seeded in the "14-15mph group." At first I thought this a little on the slow side, but it will enable us to kick back and appreciate the "pro peloton" experience that this event has to offer!
Wish me luck! :-)
The Tour of England, South East is a multi-day sportive raising money for the NSPCC charity, it takes place on the 7th and 8th of June 2014.
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