Resting heart rate (again)

I’ve talked before about monitoring resting heart rate and how it can help identify when you’re getting fitter (or the opposite). I try and keep an eye on mine, tracking it using my FitBit Blaze watch.

img_2407Trying for a smile at the top of a local Cat 2 climb.

After a period of shall we say, less than ideal physical activity and eating patterns, my resting heart rate crept up to 62bpm. My on-the-bike fitness was suffering and I was most certainly getting lazy! Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started to build the distance/intensity back up and it’s starting to take effect.

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Since doing so I’ve seen my resting heart rate come back down to a much more reasonable 57bpm. It shows that my cardiac fitness is slowly returning. I’m starting to feel like a cyclist again and less like the guy who ate all the pies!

A week of falling TT records

It’s been a month of falling records on the UK TT scene! First up the men’s 10-mile record was obliterated by Marcin Bialoblocki who clocked a mind blowing time of 16:35 averaging over 36mph to do so. He crushed the old record of 17:20 set by Alex Dowsett and is now the only man ever to go under the 17 minute barrier!

csasspzwyaa74leMarcin Bialoblocki looking 100% aero on his record breaking ride.

James Gullen of Pedal Heaven also went under Dowsett’s old record with a time of 17:09 an incredible ride overshadowed by Marcin’s superhuman effort.

Then a few days later the women’s 10-mile record was also smashed (again). This time Hayley Simmonds took the record back from Anna Turvey, posting a time of 18 minutes 36 seconds to become the only woman ever to have gone under 19 minutes!

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Checking off another of Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs

Before moving to Tassie I did a bit of research on the road cycling scene out here and came across a list of Hobart’s Top 10 Road Climbs on Marc Durdin’s website. It details ten of the best road cycling climbs in the Hobart surrounds, starting with a couple of Cat 4 lumps and moving right through to the numero uno, the big daddy 11-mile Hors Catégorie rated climb of Mount Wellington.

IMG_2392My post-ride face of exhaustion!

Today I rode over the bridge into Hobart to check another one off the list. I first spotted Nelson Road’s unmistakable hairpin bends on Google Earth, the snaking switchbacks marking it out as a must-ride road before I’d even hit Tasmanian soil.

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nelsonThe multiple hairpin corners of Nelson Road were worth the ride over.

It’s a fairly lumpy ride out to Hobart from my place so it’s important to take it  little easy, then once you’re through Hobart city it’s straight up the hill, turn around and roll back down for a quick cafe stop by the harbour, then hopefully have enough in the legs to get home. Today’s ride was a shade over 72 miles with 5120ft of climbing. A great way to kick off the new season and beat my lazy legs into submission!

Some days are just made for cycling

Clear deep blue skies, a gentle breeze and empty weekday roads. Some days are just perfect for wheeling the bike out of the house, pointing it in any direction you want and cruising around for some tan line inducing miles through the country. I put my Garmin on a screen with no ride stats – just time and temperature – and pedalled away without a care in the world for the spare hour or so I had.

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Life doesn’t get much sweeter sometimes! And to think it’s still technically winter here, bring on spring and summer. #chilledoutcycling

Back on the Rollers

In an attempt to increase my saddle time and get back up to flying fitness I splurged on a new set of rollers. Last month we smashed our target at work, so what better way to spend some of that bonus money than on bike tech? :-)

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Back in the UK I had a set of Elite Arion rollers that I loved. Unfortunately I couldn’t take them or my turbo with me. This time around I plumped for the upgraded version with built-in resistance levels (picture below is me on the old set a few years ago).

RELATED: Indoor Training – Turbo vs Rollers

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The Elite Arion has parabolic rollers, meaning they are taller at the edges to help keep you centred. It’s not a fail safe though and it is still possible to ride over and off, trust me on that one!

Two other great features of the Elite rollers are the lighter plastic frame and the ability to fold it in half for storage. I haven’t given the resistance levels a thorough testing yet, but I’m sure it’ll stop me from spinning madly when trying to put down some wattage! Not that I have much wattage now (okay, I never had much). It’s going to be a tough slog back to finding my form. #keepcycling

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Millimeters Matter!

Yesterday for the first time in a while, I took the TT bike for a spin. Less than five miles down the road my quads were protesting, I was shuffling around on the saddle and I just wasn’t feeling “right” on the bike. I pulled over for a quick roadside evaluation, resulting in me lifting the saddle by a mere 4mm. Might not sound like a lot, but oh the difference it can make!

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Back on the bike and I could immediately feel the change. Back to business! The bike and I were at one again! I smashed out the rest of my ride in comfort locked into the TT tuck, picking up a few PB’s along the way. I guess it pays to check your bike setup every now and then. My seat post must have slipped over a bump at some point.

When it comes to bike setup, millimeters matter!

(oh and excuse my American spelling of the word, just this once)