That evening of the blog I went out for a ride with the lads from Fordingbridge for a loop of the forest and what a great ride it was...it started badly when someone turned up with two flat tyres, I volunteered to stay behind and help but after 15 minutes, three tubes, a puncture repair kit and a lot of huffing and puffing, we concluded it was pointless as the tyres were knackered! So with a 15 minute deficit I set about catching the others up!
Luckily I was on my tri bike and well up for the chase, 13.5 miles later at 21.7mph average I caught them up - this included 2/3 hills and I was holding 25+ on the flats and a new 10 mile pb of 28.07 - If I had been warmed up and avoided the hills I reckon I could average 23mph over 10 miles - however I am not going to try, whats the point!
I was pretty knackered by this point and the rest of the ride was a good solid bit of fun with a very fast final 6 or 7 miles along the top of the forest in a train - its an awesome feeling when there is 4 or more of you hitting it hard in a big group!
Anyway I followed that up with a solid swim the next morning, 10 sets of 250m, alternating with the pull buoy - it wasn't particuarly fast but it was good and solid! That evening I got back on the tri bike for two loops (17.2 miles) of my local roads - legs were tired at first but got stronger and finished with an average of 19.6mph which was a genuine surprise as I wasn't checking as I went along!
Friday and Saturday were spent down at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage HQ near Lyme Regis - its an expensive but incredible experience and I would recomend it to anyone! Lots of wine and food left me feeling gooooood!!
After two days off, Sunday required something pretty big so I set off with a friend and we went off along one valley before crossing up and out of it, into another, then up in to another before eventually reaching the top of the hills above Shaftsbury - as Chris is showing below :-
It is stunning up there (apparently Madonna and Guy Ritchie lived in that valley below) and well worth the climbing - although I actually really enjoy the hills up to it - its only steep at the beginning, after that its a looooooong drag over about 4-5 miles I'd estimate - on a good day you can set a fine cadence and off you go!
Down off the top (past the sign in the top photo it goes straight down) and we made for home, we stopped at a pub about 8 miles from home for a coke and a bottle fill up which was needed - my legs were pretty tired by then but I had enough to set a good tempo over the last climb before home!
Lots of food and I went for walk with the girlfriend (sorry fiance...) for a few miles as it was a stunning afternoon and saw this taking off, right from beginning to end - which was pretty cool!
I then decided to go to the Swimwise+ which are the coached swimming sessions at the pool, I've only been to one before and really enjoyed it - unfortunately they are always on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday nights so not all that convenient! Basically they divide the pool in to 8 lanes (1 hardest, 8 easiest) with different plans for lanes 1+2, 3-6, 7+8 and you then crack on with them while a coach walks round and picks out pointers for you!
I hopped into lane 4 and started my warm up - however it started to get busy and so I was moved into lane 2 as I was quite quick apparently (flattering but I was not ready for it!) There were some young lads in there who race sprints and are pretty damn quick, however I was more than able to hold my own and led out 2 of the timed 400's which was good fun! Unfortunately my battererd legs from earlier came to haunt me and my feet were cramping towards the end - I did however complete the whole 2400m and a reasonable pace so was happy! Just for note a girl in lane 1 has a 400m pb of 4.41....gulp! Mine is 6.16!
I was buzzing after this session and a great day of training - not my longest ride or swim but definitely my best and hardest day of training yet!
So to this week - it is a rest week with only 4.5 hours required however I was feeling good so thought I would continue for the first half before a mini taper to Sundays TT...nope didn't happen - went for a brief spin with a friend on monday night that turned in to a 10 mile slow pace with a pub stop as I was exhausted - legs wouldn't go...hence hit by a brick! I didn't swim tuesday though had a good run around with the boys at rugby training (a rest week treat) in the evening - though it was tough and I was tired! Last night it was another 30 miles in the forest with lads - I didn't have much in the tank but still put in a good performance!
I am now empty though and looking forward to resting today, tonight and tomorrow (I may swim in the morning but unlikely) and then saturday will be servicing the bikes and then maybe a gentle spin before Sundays 80 mile TT (again its actually a sportive but I plan to go on my own and treat it as a TT)!!
So my 2nd and 3rd largest training weeks went fantastically and I can't wait for Sunday - hopefully I will be bursting to go and will hit my targets!
Wouldn't it be nice if it was always like this...!