Best laid plans

The last you heard from me I was bragging about the fact that I'd got extremely organised and had planned exactly what I was going to write each day. However I've had an extremely busy week, haven't organised my time properly, so therefore haven't been able to update you with with what's been going on. Part of the reason I haven't been able to update the blog is due to the fact that I've had a lot of work on, which has been good for the Trihard coffers but not good for those who eagerly anticipate the next entry of my adventures. So a big apology to my mum and sister.

Anyway I mentioned on Monday that this week was the start of base training and I therefore had quite a gruelling week ahead of me. This has been met with mixed success and guess what? The biggest casualty has been my running! Unfortunately I have managed a grand total of just 2km on the treadmill. On the positive side a large section of that was having the treadmill at a steep incline to improve my hill running. In retrospect I think I should have steadily increased the incline instead of whacking up to one of the highest points and lasted longer. Perhaps next time.

I did make it to the turbo training session though. When doing this at home I had just been concentrating at keeping my heart rate above a certain level with the use of my heart rate monitor. This wasn't quite how the training session was conducted but wasn't too far off.

As well as doing some drills to improve cycling technique (cycling one footed so you are pushing throughout the cycle of the pedalling motion) rather than just up and down) the aim was to keep cycling at intervals of 90 rpm and 120 rpm cadence (the number of times the wheel goes round in a minute to me and you) and using the gears to increase intensity. The idea is that you are then aiming to work at different percentages of your maximum heart  rate. Unfortunately there were a few setbacks to this. Firstly I didn't have a cadence sensor on my bike, so was trying to guess by continually staring at the coaches legs to ensure mine were moving at roughly the same pace as his, and secondly I don't know what my maximum heart rate is.

To rectify the first issue on my return home I immediately set about finding a decent cadence sensor on the internet.

Unfortunately my heart rate monitor is not compatible with this cadence sensor (or any other) so I then set about finding a new heart rate monitor that was compatible. I'd forgotten how expensive my heart rate monitor was and this is one that isn't compatible with a cadence sensor. It was a good job I wasn't wearing one when trying to find a new monitor that is compatible because it would have properly exploded. If I was balking at the price there was no way I was going to get clearance from Mrs Trihard. Luckily after some searching I found one that was massively reduced. After some careful negotiations, which involved me not divulging  how much it was but justifying it by saying it was a mere fraction of the money I'd earned from this weeks working endeavours I got the all clear.

So now all I need to do to get the most out of my turbo training (and other sessions) is work out my maximum heart rate. One very simple way of doing this, according to the heart rate monitor manual, is with the equation 210-(0.65 x AGE). However this is very much an estimate and the manual recommends that you speak to a coach (athletic not National Express) to work out how to safely determine this. For example I am the same age as Smug Running Guy but I suspect that I'd be having cardiac arrest before he reached 70 per cent of his maximum. And this weekend perhaps we'll find out. Anyway there was a turbo training session in October where the purpose was to work out your maximum heart rate. Put simply this involves a warm up followed by cycling at 90rpm at the highest intensity you can for 20 minutes. Unfortunately I missed it so can either go with the estimate or attempt to do it at home. I have spoken to the head coach who said it is possible to do at home but said you are less likely to work as hard as you would when doing it with fellow club members.

So in summary. I have bought some more expensive equipment to get the most out of my training. It looks like I'll need some sort of PHD to work out how to use it properly but I'm sure some of my more cerebally gifted club members will be able to assist. I am going to attempt the maximum heart rate test but am waiting for a new skewer (the bit that attaches the wheel to the bike and to the turbo trainer) to arrive as mine broke when getting the bike out of the car on my return home on Tuesday night. My god this is an expensive hobby.


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