Friday, 16 October 2015

So, what next?

I have been asked quite a few times what I’ll do next and I normally answer that I’m not sure. I have a couple of ideas but they are dependent on maintaining or improving my level of fitness.  They are also more long term aims, two, three or four years away. People who know me and have been frustrated by my inability to plan ahead might be surprised by that, but they are more aims which can easily fall by the wayside.

Anyway, one aim is to be able to be able to go further in a day. That is both getting a faster average speed but also being able to cycle for longer periods of time (while taking shorter and less frequent breaks).

With that in mind, on my first Saturday back in Southampton I went for a long ride to see what my level of fitness was and whether my legs had recovered.

While training, the furthest that I had cycled was 138.5 miles (I hadn’t planned to go that far, I was aiming for about 130 miles but I was out for so long that the batteries in my Garmin ran out and I didn’t want to check my phone as the battery was running low, so I just rode until I thought that I’d be over 130 miles), after that I stopped going for distance as I didn’t want to damage my legs and just tried to regularly do over 100 miles. My aim on Saturday was therefore to go over 138.5 miles and see what happened.

To me it was quite successful in some respects but not in one major respect. I managed 161.5 miles and my average speed was higher than I had been managing on my 100 mile rides (it was higher than I managed in some of my evening 42 mile rides). I therefore knew that I do longer rides and my legs are getting faster when doing that. There are two reasons why I stopped at that distance; firstly is that I was running out of light (I was out for ten and a half hours) and secondly, I damaged my right leg.

When out cycling I quite often get niggles, slight pains here and there (in my right foot seems the most common) and so having a slight pain in my leg didn’t worry me. It felt muscular and so I thought that I could continue cycling and work away any tenseness, unfortunately I was wrong.

I’m not quite sure what it is that I’ve damaged, it’s at the top of my right calf, on the inside of the knee. There was slight pain when walking and more when going upstairs.  I’ve been rubbing Deep Heat in to help it and wearing a elasticated bandage around it.

By the next Saturday I thought that it was feeling better and so tried a short ride but it didn’t feel right. I tried again on Sunday (I’m missing cycling) in the hope that the exercising would help it, but it didn’t. So I’m back to wearing the bandage and massaging it. I’m away this weekend and next, so I might give it until the start of November to heal.

It’s really annoying, although it sometimes felt like a chore to go out every night after work, I had thought that I would still try to go out a couple of nights a week and I am missing it. It’s also annoying that I’m not going to be able to maintain the level of fitness that I had but it’s better to let it heal and regain the fitness than to overtrain, do more damage and never be able to get to that level again.

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