Worried About Fitness

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.

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