Saturday, February 21, 2015

V50 - the year of the big 50!!

This is the big 50 year and how many of us plan a comeback at 50?, or maybe not back but perhaps forward..  So I went out to club laSanta to train for 10 days in he sun. There gets a point where the UK winter just gets very very hard to take.. and the cold is too much. the weather in Lanzarote was between 19-24 degrees. the wind doesn't get easier out there, but to start preparing for "Sportives" it was a nice way to start.  so i'll be writing up the training approach, what has worked and what hasn't as well as equipment changes and the benefits or not that they bring.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So a nice few days with Team NetApp training in Mallorca , weather was good , around 16 deg breeze and holding my hand up to the sun you could feel the warmth. Riding along the beach road on Saturday, the feeling of the sun was welcome.

A bit of aching in the hip after 80 miles on Sunday was short lived and followed by 70 miles on Monday and 30 miles on Tuesday.

Mallorca is great for getting the miles in when the weather is good. In the hotel Team Katusha and team specialised womens team also liked the weather for the week too.  You can see the link top right to Katusha's new Canyon bikes link. A demonstration of big budget if I ever saw it. Clearly with the addition of new experienced German support, you should expect more impact this season.

There was a real David and Goliath feeling with our Team NetApp trucks and equipment parked next to Katusha, But I have a feeling Konig might let his legs do the talking at The Giro ditalia and great talent and hard work is something a big red truck won't help with.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'll be flying

WaitinG in airports.. Very boring, but it's what's after this bit that is good. I'm about to fly out to Mallorca to train with team Netapp as they have their second training camp and for me a great chance to get some warm miles in the sunshine and motivation. So since having the pin out of the hip in October I have been progressing steadily. I had to go back in for some scans and an MRI and that showed no interim fractures with a little issue on the ball joint to keep an eye on. You can still see the x ray image of where the pin was almost like a cork screw hole on the inside of the joint. I have had a few twinges after nothing for the first 10 weeks, but who knows why, as all the tissue re attaches and the scar tissue forms and stretches and the miles load back on I guess something's are bound to change. But overall much better with the pin out after 3 months I feel the left leg working more, I think your brain holds back sensing injury, but now changes. So hopefully I'll post some pics frOm Mallorca traing with the pro team and let's hope some normality returns Happy trails C

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pull the Pin

So tour of Britain TT complete. A great day out in London and my only race this year. I managed to hold 312 watts for the lap and finished 45 seconds behind the slowest pro. Not great but given all going on not bad and it kept me riding. It was also the first outing for the Walser, which handles very well despite feeling like it was made of granite. After the finish the full Pro experience being run through the crowds by Team NetApp's Sandra Schmitz back to the team area was very cool, A great day out. when did you last warm up on a closed TT circuit with Team High Road ;o)

The following week I rode the Stoke on Trent stage of the Tour of Britain with Dave, very lumpy, windy rain, cramp, 87 miles will do that if you don't train, but again good to get a ride in. Did it rain or what..

Onto the big event On Saturday 1st October I had surgery to have the Dynamic Hip screw removed. I got to the hospital early, which wasn't needed as Richard my surgeon is a rugby fan and the England game was on, so just after the final whistle he pulled the pin. I have attached some shots of it. I had read warnings of being careful not to create stress fractures round the whole where the pin is removed.

I had decided not to have any cement in the wholes in the hip ( Calcium phosphate with strands) as I had read evidence that it affected the thermal properties of the hip joint in cyclists etc. It won't be needed if your careful and the surgeon was happy about that direction too.

I was up walking the same day on crutches and by the next day I noticed that when I lent forward I didn't have the discomfort in the left leg that I did when the pin was in.. mmm.. I thought maybe t's the drugs.. but now 4 days later still good. My leg actually feels stronger.. So some suspense while I wait to ride again. I'm told I can turbo when comfortable, and that at 3 months the wholes will have filled.

So I'm feeling like I have a chance of a new start with a back as it should be leg for next season. I can't wait for my first ride.

fingers crossed for a mild winter

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A long time for a short time

Been a long time; since I have blogged, many reasons, but thought it was time to write an update and tell you how the recovery has gone and what I was able to do at points in time. Also what i have found along the way they may help if you find yourself in the same position..

So the last time I updated was mid April. The end of April was hot, Do you remember hot and sunny.. I had managed to get my Sunday rides to around 70 miles, with my triathlon long distance buddies. Getting back from the ride the left thigh was a combination of dull pain and weakness when I lent forward to take shoes off etc., but I was getting stronger on the bike and 70 miles 3 weeks in a row is a good measure. After moving house, I did some riding in Cyprus and then had a break, riding once a week until late august.  from here I have been riding 3 times a week.

so from the break of the hip on Jan the 9th to riding 70 miles by mid april.

The leg muscles have taken a long time to get strength back and are not there yet. Power wise the mid range has been achievable but the higher peak powers have not been accessible. But there could be many reasons.

I have been given the opportunity to ride the tour of britain TT. For a measure of "could I get my power back after an injury of this type?; this will be an interesting test. A live on TV in front of millions test, but a test none the less.

At the moment the Dynamic Hip Screw is still in place. at times I can feel the screws in the thigh ache after a ride, The surgeon says this could be referred pain from the hip. Well on the 1st of October the DHS and pins are coming out, so about 4 months after that I might know more about that. There are pro's and cons to keeping or removing the pin and screws.

If I was to fall again the bone could shatter into pieces around the pin, removing the pin (DHS) can leave stress points which can occur round the hole until it is healed and this phase of recovery demands great care. Falling or too much stress during the 18 weeks after removal carries risks. bit I think it's worth trying to get back to "sans pin" no metal.

But before that a 10k TT in london and then the following week a 140k sportive.  is the link to the charity page for my Tour TT , every one has a charity they feel deserves something, cancer ones are important to me and if you have a mo to pop some pennies in it all helps and thank you if you do.

more to follow, won't be so long next time. Happy riding

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Serious sports science

So I have been asked by some riders what they should eat or drink on a ride to ensure they maximise the session, performance and recovery for the next ride. With this in mind and with me rebuilding my legs and ability post accident I decided it was time to compare 2 approaches in a back to back double blind study using a control group.

While that was a good idea I couldn't be ass'd so I did the testing on me with no blinds..

So product 1 - GU energy    I used this product x 1 on a 50 mile ride which largely was a rolling route with some stiff climbs in the last qtr. I used the Vanilla flavour as i have vanilla in my coffee, mmm.. at about 2 hours into the ride. No other energy supplements were used in the ride.  I noted that watts and perceived excretion were positively effected  within the last quarter of the ride and that despite the sweet taste, that the GU energy gave a sustained burn aiding on the climbs and last 12 miles. Easy to carry and use, fits in the pocket easily

Product 2 - Fish and Chips

 Yes fish and chips... So long before science based gels and special phrases of  "isotonic' -  Riding a chipper' was a classic phrase for going racing having an easy win and then having fish and chips on the way home. In fact Graham in my last team, who could ride 16k in 19 mins also took money for the kebab van on the ride home, but for this study we will stick to fish and chips as this is serious science...

So what are the pro's and con's well... The packaging was a bit bulky and fitting it into your race jersey can be a squeeze. Also the fat that seeps through the paper and into your shirt is hard to get out and the smell of vinegar while great when your hungry kind of looses it appeal after you have eaten.

the upsides are, when it's cold the fish and chips keep you warm for at least 30 mins< i would recommend that you view this as post ride recovery food as trying to use a chip fork when ridding to save your nice white handle bar tape can be tricky if you ride over cobbles. This is why in Belgium they have mayo on the chips so they stick to the fork better.

So 2 different approaches to fuelling for performance. When you are actually riding and during training I can recommend GU energy, easy to carry, easy to digest and performs well.

And while your thinking - Fish and chips, I can't take that seriously - 2 nights before I won the maidenhead hilly 30 mile Open Time Trial by 1 second - yes nice big bag of chips from the maidenhead chippy, and my front mech' broke in the race, 28 seconds off the course record... Vinegar anyone.. ;o)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Something to do

Week ten post hip break and things are progressing. I am riding out on the road and today's ride was nice and sunny. Ridding at 200 watts you get quite a few riders pass you, although one guy sat in behind me saying nothing and after 10 mins at a set of traffic lights he sprinted off, probably thinking "he learned me good"

This is the kind of thing you put up with on your comeback... so too keep the motivation i have nearly finished building the TT bike. (pictures inserted) Although it will be some time before i ride it, trying to get it just right is a motivation to want to be good enough to ride it. Strange again to do your winter training in the spring, while you would normally be starting long level 3 blocks, but not as cold and that's  nice.  

So most of the discomfort with the metal work has eased, i did have some x rays at 8 weeks as they thought something wasn't right, but the results were normal ( remember when you screw something together - use araldite.. ) So now it's a long steady road of endless level 2. it's been a hard few weeks, but being a racing cyclist prepares you well for discomfort And you mister yellow shirt and white specialized in a few months "i'll learn you good too" ;0)