When I started contemplating riding LEJOG in June I had the mind set that when I rode it last October I had done so with very little training.
For my JOGLE in 2009 I had completed an extensive training program which totaled 5,000 miles. Indeed, in my book about preparing for an end to end ride (the text of which is set out here) I advocate a training plan based on how far you want to cycle each day. The plan has a gradual increase in duration in the saddle and distance covered to bring you to a ride ready fitness peak.
My training in 2013 was quite different. I rode to work 3 times a week, a total of 66 miles, but other than that only rode 7 other rides. In order these were 300km, 400km, 200km, 600km, 170km, 810km and 180km. The first 5 were in preparation for London-Edinburgh-London, a ride I was fated to not complete (I was knocked off my bike by a lorry 10 days before the start and damaged my knee). The 810km ride is the failed attempt. The last ride of 180km was a local sportif over Dartmoor to test out the strength of my knee before embarking on LEJOG. So a completely different training approach brought about by lack of time.
In thinking about LEJOG this June I had in my mind that I had only done a few rides before LEJOG 2013 so I could get away with very little training this time as well. What I had forgotten was that each of those rides was longer than my shortest day on LEJOG, 4 of them were longer than my longest day and 2 of them were about half the total distance.
This year I had only completed one ride over 100 miles so yesterday I thought I had better try and put in another one. I managed it but have to report that today I feel battered: I have a stiff neck, sore shoulders and lower back and feel generally washed out.
I have 4 weekends left before the start. I do not want to do a long ride the weekend before I set off – I would rather conserve energy than gain an insignificant amount of fitness – so that leaves 3. One weekend is son 2’s birthday so nothing doing then. So that leaves 2 potential training opportunities to bring my fitness to a peak.
I think I am going to have to ride myself into fitness on the event. I’ve heard you can do that.