Bad roads, wrong breathing and crazy hounds – what a good week!

I’m again sat on a train, this time heading up to the airport in London, where I’ll stay in a tiny hotel room only slightly bigger than the bed, to ensure I get my 7:40am flight to Alicante in the morning.

I am very happy with my short stay in the UK, not only did I manage to get everything sorted that I planned to sort, but I got some great training in as well. 

Top of my list was a lovely ride out into the countryside on Sunday last week. The route I took is full of the rolling hills that this part of southwest England is famous for, which really gives a good workout. The added bonus of riding through the village where I grew up and straight past the house I was born in, always puts a smile on my face! 

Box Cottage
The house where I was born and bred

Was early enough to avoid most of the traffic , which is just as well as the roads are terrible and, in my mind,  present serious dangers to roads users, especially cyclists. I despair of my country sometimes, the infrastructure is third rate and the attitude is arrogant! I’m not tempted to move back and I hate to think what will happen after Brexit, when we lose all the hard working Europeans doing the jobs the Brits refuse to do.

But I digress, the ride itself was beautiful, I left to early morning winter sunshine with the lovely green hues of the fields and pastures, welcoming the coming of spring. I was well wrapped up and kept a decent pace on the way out so didn’t suffer the cold. That changed on the way back though when the sun disappeared behind clouds and the wind picked up noticeabley, slowing my pace by a couple of KPH. Ended up with a good 73k of riding with 600m of climbing. I had focused on keeping pushing, even with a 30kpm wind in my face, the training effect was fantastic and I felt I made a leap forward.

Same thing happened in the pool the next day, and I saw some real improvements. I banged out 100m intervals, breathing mostly on my “wrong side” (left), which enabled me to cut about 20 seconds off my 100m pace time. I will try to keep developing this as I haven’t come close to that jump in pace no on my “ natural” right hand side, no matter how hard or long I try. It’s getting easier although I still sometimes panic, and I haven’t worked out how to sight properly (I think this maybe the reason I swim faster breathing on my left, as I don’t pull my head up so much, making me more streamlined, but harder to see where I’m going). 

Finally, apart from my first Park Run which I detailed in the previous post, I had a couple of easy runs, and a not wholely planned fast interval run today. I had set out at an ok pace, but on passing a “hoodie” guy walking down the narrow pavement, I heard him shouting about “stabbing in the back” and “knife at throat”. He didn’t seem to be talking to anyone in particular but I didn’t want to find out if he was serious, so I sped up.. then I thought maybe that’s like a hare to a hound and he’ll chase, so rather than let calm thoughts cool my paranoia, I ran faster and faster to put as much time between him and me as I could!

With the result of some damn good interval training! Maybe I have discovered the key to unlock my potential -now all I have to do is find a Boston qualifier with a crazy desire to hurt middle aged men in Lycra and set him off 1 minute after me, and the training effect of my runs will go through the roof.

Have a local 10k race on Sunday, will probably update again after that. I’m not sure how I’m going to structure this blog going forward, random thoughts, deep thinking, simple training logs or (most likely) a mix of all three. 

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