I am now six weeks into my 12 week training plan. Training has been going well and I’ve been particularly trying to up my training efforts over the past couple of weeks. I had my first experience of cycling to work a couple of weeks ago which resulting in me having a meltdown over how the training was going.
I drove into work the Thursday before last and cycled home fine, no problem. It was also national running day on Thursday so I also did 10k at lunch which I thought might have made my legs a bit tired but they seemed fine. The next day I woke up at 6am and it was one of those mornings where I wasn’t wanting to get out of bed at all. But as my car was at work and I had no other way of getting there it made it difficult for me to stay in bed for much longer, probably a good thing. I set out on the way to work and it felt like so much effort way before even half way in. I knew there was a pretty big hill close to the office and my legs were knackered already. Half way up this hill I had to stop and walked the rest of the way.
As I did the walk of shame up the hill I was so frustrated. Feeling sorry for myself I was thinking this doesn’t feel like it’s getting any easier, it’s been weeks I surely should be capable of cycling up a steep hill by now (looking at Strava after the bike ride I discovered the way in was way more hilly in general without my realising – way home 100ft elevation gain, way in 600ft). Then I cycled along the canal for the last couple of miles, to avoid another hill, and I had to stop every now and then to avoid some low bridges which I unclipped one foot to scoot under. I unclipped to go under one bridge though and went over onto the other side while I was still clipped in, luckily not the side the canal was on. Although I fell onto a grass verge and didn’t hurt myself at all, I lay there for a second with my bike on top of me feeling very sorry for myself.
After this terrible day of cycling I decided that I needed to get a grip. I have ran two marathons! Marathon runners are made out of tougher stuff than this. Until now I had been comparing my cycling training to London marathon training in the spring but as that was my second marathon it was definitely a lot easier because I knew I could do it because I’ve done it before. With the bike ride this is unknown territory. It’s difficult for me to remember but according to my Mum I had a similar break down stage during Manchester marathon training. All I seem to remember is the glory of the marathon.
So at this point I remembered a crucial part of training, a positive mental attitude. Anyone I speak to who says they want to do a marathon the first thing I say is “you’ll be able to do it if you put your mind to it” and all of the other things I’ve said to people “if I can run a marathon you can do whatever”. I know it all too well that to achieve something like this you have to believe you can do it and I know I will be able to do this.
The last week of training has been going well. I’ve pushed myself a bit harder, rather than just going out for a gentle bike ride I’ve been treating it as a work out. My average speed has moved up from 12mph to 14mph which I’m really pleased with as that is visible progress. I also had a personal training session with my trainer and I asked him to tell me what to do to help me complete the bike ride so that is another layer of mental reassurance to add to my mental training plan.
Currently looking to buy a new bike as I think mine is too small which should help. Cycling to and from work tomorrow, I will have to remember what I’ve posted in this blog to get me up the hill tomorrow, as Dave Grohl would say where is your PMA?
Thoughts from this week:
- I’ve been enjoying cycling in the warm weather as there’s a nice breeze whilst your moving unlike when running
- The key to successful training is definitely being organised
- Doing weights for the first time in weeks was a killer
- Would love to live by the sea one day
- I can feel a list of tips on how to train for stuff brewing