I'd spent the week calling all my cycling buddies, desperately hoping just one of them would say "yes" to a Saturday morning bike ride. You see, secretly, deep down, I know that none of them would want to ride a century and we'd end up doing another tough but do-able sixty or so.
But everyone was otherwise engaged.
Which just left me.
And my bike.
So off I plodded and six wet, windswept and lonely hours later returned sore of knee to the warmth of a Saturday lunchtime bath, my first century ride under my belt. I found it tough, I'm not going to pretend otherwise. But mental toughness is as valid a part of IronMan training as is physical fitness. There were times around the 80 mile mark when I felt like heading in, especially as by then I was looping fairly close to home. But I knew I wouldn't. For, as my mate Tom Williams said to me... "Ironmen are made in winter" :-)
I was interested in the stats as last year my problem on the bike was nutrition. My ride took six hours for 101 miles (16.83 mph average) which I'm reasonably happy with considering weather, clothing, bike set up (mudguards etc) and my average heart rate was 74% of maximum. It burned over 7,500 calories (as calculated by my Garmin computer) and to complete it I consumed approximately 2,240 calories. (Large breakfast of porridge, toast and orange juice - approx 650 cals, 4 x Torq bars at 330 cals each and 1 x SIS Go Bar at 275 cals on the ride). Using accepted wisdom that we can take on board 500 calories per hour and that 650 of my calorie intake came before I started the bike, it seems I once again underfed myself on the bike to the tune of 1405 calories. I am determined to shovel that stuff into my mouth, whether I feel I'm going to be sick or not.
In addition I consumed approximately 2.7 litres of water and 300 ml of carbo drink, making a total of 3 litres or an average of 500 ml per hour, roughly in line with my targets.
Anyway... make of that what you will. Heres that week in full:
Monday - 60 minutes Swimming drills and training.
Tuesday - 45 minutes swimming 2.5k pyramids, 45 mins easy 10k run.
Wednesday - 60 mins swimming warm up, pyramids etc, 60 minutes bike (turbo - high cadence session), 75 minutes long slow 8 mile run at Tring Running Club (low heart rate).
Thursday - complete rest day
Friday - 45 minutes swim (1km timed at roughly IronMan pace plus warm up drills and short distance work). 1 hour bike - easy local ride.
Saturday - 6 hours 101 mile bike
Sunday - 1 mile, 6 minute run just to get some life back into the legs.
Total time training this week: 13 hours 36 minutes.
Feeling good. :-)