A brief spell good weather meant I could get back to some mid-week hill training. I was starting to feel quite comfortable with the training and felt that I was falling into a comfort zone and in some way ‘out growing the hill’. I suppose, depending on how you look at it, this was a good thing, it meant I was progressing with my training.
Maybe, but I needed to find a new way to make my legs burn and heart rate race, once again. Without traveling even further for another suitable training hill, I decided to stick with the normal hill, but increase the reps to 10 sets. Also, so I could keep my HR high at all times, I raced to the bottom as quickly as possible before heading back to reduce the time I had to recover.
The good weather stayed for the weekend, so I decided, for my Saturday run, to cycle to Preston and back as a ‘sprint’ run. I knew this was around 70 miles and just about right for timescales. It ended up being 73 miles which I managed at an average pace of 19.4 mph. Apart from some hills at the start, it’s pretty flat so it meant I could keep my average high.
And that was the end of the good weather!
There’s no hiding it anymore, Winter in upon us (It lasted about as long as our Summer!) and whether I like it or not the dreaded ‘Indoor Trainer’ may have to be taken out of the loft and into the spare room. I’m hoping to keep cycling as much as possible throughout winter, even if its just a few miles to keep the legs turning, but it is difficult to force yourself on the bike when it’s so cold. But, as Ben Rockett said:
“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do… don’t let the weather stop your training. Let yourself enjoy it!”
With this ‘ringing’ in my head, I forced myself out on Sunday (which is now more commonly known as my climbing day) and onto Kirkstone pass! Although it was freezing, I quite enjoyed cycling up into the mist. It’s a weird feeling, I’m used to walking up into the mist when out on the hills but cycling into the mist seems strange to me, don’t know why. It was quite good on this occasion because it hid the summit from me and before I knew it, it appeared and I was done and dusted. I had done Kirkstone Pass from 2 of the 3 three sides now (Ambleside – ‘The Struggle’ and Windermere), so it was nice to finish it off by climbing up and over from the Patterdale side. It also meant that I could have a very long decent into Windermere then on to Ambleside for a bite to eat and a walk around the town. ‘The Struggle’ is by far the toughest route up the pass, hitting 1/3 at more than one occasion. I would say the Patterdale side is next hardest followed by the Windermere route, only due to you getting more of a rest bite as it flattens around half way.
Bring on Winter!