One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren't enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress - Viggo Mortensen.
I smashed out a 'fast' Devon 43 miler on Tuesday with the first 40 miles being great. Riding back into the Pinhoe side of Exeter was dreadful. Another new housing estate to add more traffic is being built and the road was split by temporary traffic lights. Pain. I ended up getting every red light coming home which again dropped the average speed, but I treated it as a nice warm down.
Interestingly I hit 40 rolling miles at 2.20 which is slower than normal, but it was fresh, overcast and damp. Picked up a solid PB from Exeter to Stoke Canon at 12 mins and had a solid reverse triangle of which I still sit at 5th fastest in Devon for my age group approaching 50. The question my co-rider Steve quite rightly asks is why do Strava not allow us to differentiate solo vs. group rides. Two is faster than one, three up faster than two and so on. Anyway, overall, despite not realising it on the bike, I cite a headwind coming back as I lost 4 minutes here and there. 2018's big goal for me is to go sub 2.05 for 40 on this loop. Is it doable ? We shall see. I can remember going sub 2 hours for 30 miles ten years ago approx on Strada shop rides in a group before Garmin was popular (first 705 bought 2009) so I feel that to attain this is Devon where NOWHERE is flat is great going but I cannot recall the data as it is not there.
However, this Tuesday, post ride, I felt f**ked ! A soreness in my quads I have not felt in a long time. So, I went into recovery mode and had some eggs on toast once in the door. In the evening I drove up to Tesco to buy some REGO recovery 'sauce' as my legs felt spent. I also decided to ride to work this week and spin the legs up riding in the small ring only and stay in zone 1 where at all possible. Classic Zone 1 recovery stuff. Slow to go fast. I assume that I went over the edge fatigue wise though I monitor my TSS / fatigue regularly, though it would seem accumulative fatigue has caught up. But, with some smart off the bike time, recovery and common sense the legs will recover in earnest to our late pilgrimage to Barnstaple (next week) which shakes down as the best part of 100 miles. It is the last hurrah before the clocks change and a lovely ride with a tea stop at the bike shed, a cool bike shop situated in Barney. The big shift in my riding in the last couple of years is opening up the tanks solo and burying myself on the bike for development rather than just riding around. Historically, before I moved I was a strong bike rider, good at riding a bike, that is all. I used to enjoy endurance zone 1 / 2 stuff but in all likely hood fell onto the trap of not developing. I admit I have no desire to race a bike what so ever, but I do have personal goals to manage and attain and that is great. As bike riders we live life and manage our time well. We are not drinkers, gamblers, abusive partners. We simply enjoy the raw brutality of a solid bike ride. Wonderful stuff.