Where To Find Cycling Training Plan Information

cycling training plan
Credit: www.elite-it.com

There is only so much progress you can make in your quest for cycle fitness simply by riding further and for longer.

At a certain point, your training will need to become more structured and specific, if you want to maximise your performance at whatever cycling challenge you have set yourself (and by ‘your’, I of course mean ‘my’).

In this post I will identify the resources that you can use either to find a suitable training plan (be that prêt-à-porter or bespoke) or, alternatively, to learn the fundamentals of training, such that you can attempt to build your own.

Read moreWhere To Find Cycling Training Plan Information

Sportive review: Igloo Peak District Sportive

Cycling Peak District
Strade bianche… in the Peak District

This is the first of what will hopefully become a series of posts reviewing the sportives in which I have taken part (I say, ‘hopefully’, because it will rely on me pulling my finger out and doing more events!).

My aim is to give you a flavour of the event, so you can decide whether you’d like to do this event, or a similar one, in the future. The account is clearly based on my personal experience of the sportive, and is probably heavily coloured by my low level of experience and fitness. If you’re in the same boat, I do hope it will give you the confidence to enter a sportive. If you’re a super-fit, experienced rider, maybe it will provide some entertainment…

Read moreSportive review: Igloo Peak District Sportive

What road bike should I buy: the Grimpeur considers the options

Which road bike
My bike (in a compromising position)

I have a very warm regard for my bike. As a Yorkshireman, that’s about as close a declaration of undying love you’re going to get. But it’s time to consider an upgrade (it’s always time to consider an upgrade!).

My bike has been with me for more than 8 years, since I snap-purchased it whilst my then-girlfriend (now wife) sought a heavy hybrid on which to commute (she still has it, but does not seem to have developed an emotional attachment).

Despite not knowing a thing about bikes (beyond what i had learnt as the proud owner of a Raleigh Mini Burner in the 1980s – red and black, since you ask), I made a wise lucky choice.

Read moreWhat road bike should I buy: the Grimpeur considers the options

RideLondon Reconnaissance Ride (And How I Accidentally Rode my First Metric Century)

How steep is Leith Hill
Leith Hill – the RideLondon route comes down this side (I think…)

Grimpeur is in pain. My knee is killing me. I’ll explain why in a bit.

The purpose of this post is to provide a bit more intelligence on the RideLondon route, specifically the two main climbs up Leith Hill and Box Hill.

You may have seen that I already wrote a post on the RideLondon route (if you didn’t, then you can read it here).

Read moreRideLondon Reconnaissance Ride (And How I Accidentally Rode my First Metric Century)

Cycling to Lose Weight: How One Man Lost 6 Stone by Cycling (More Than a Third of His Bodyweight!)

In today’s post I am delighted to feature an interview with Mark Hammond.

Mark, writing as Velopixie, maintains a blog about his road cycling escapades, which you can find here.

Er, wait a minute, who is Mark exactly?

Well, like many of us, Mark is a keen cyclist and sportive rider.

Like probably fewer of us, this year he is signed up for the Etape du Tour, RideLondon and the 206km Dragon Ride Gran Fondo. Last year he turned 50.

So far, so within the normal spectrum of activities for a keen road cyclist.

But what makes Mark’s story worth reading is that over the course of 2012 he lost a whopping 6 stone, as a result of exercise (primarily road cycling) and changes to his diet.

Read moreCycling to Lose Weight: How One Man Lost 6 Stone by Cycling (More Than a Third of His Bodyweight!)

Best cycle app: Strava or MapMyRide?

I like to look at maps. I like to plan routes. I am quite obsessed with knowing where I have been.

Not all who wander are lost

JRR Tolkien

When I first moved to London, I used to walk excessive distances on a weekend, taking delight in piecing together seemingly disjointed sections of the tube map, beginning to understand how it all fitted together.

I also like data (to a degree – nothing against stats nerds, but I’m not one).

One of my first purchases after getting my road bike (to commute on, primarily), after the obligatory lights, locks and helmet, was a cycle computer. I wanted to know how far I’d been and how fast I’d travelled (or not, as the case may be).

When I upgraded to my next cycle computer (a Polar CS200), I fastidiously logged in to the Polar website at the conclusion of each commute, in order to record each data point it had captured during the pothole- and profanity-strewn ride.

I never logged cadence though, since this is a mythical piece of data that no human-built machine is capable of sensing or recording. I digress.

Cycling apps on a smartphone (in my case a labouring iPhone 3GS) were made for me.

Read moreBest cycle app: Strava or MapMyRide?

Grimpeur’s RideLondon Training Update: February – mid-March

Hill training (although this is Ecuador rather than Kent)
Hill training (although this is Ecuador rather than Kent)

Readers of my blog will know that I talk a good game. I’ve talked about the cycling event that I’m doing. I’ve analysed the route. I’ve talked a bit about how I’ve broken the challenge down into its constituent parts.

But where, you might ask, is the evidence that I’ve actually DONE anything?

Motivation this, crippling fears that. That’s all fine, but we all need to train for whatever cycling challenge we are undertaking (well I do at least).

What training have I done? Well, I’m going to tell you. In this post. Perhaps the title gave it away.

Read moreGrimpeur’s RideLondon Training Update: February – mid-March

A GUARANTEED way to make sure you commit to the bike in 2013

Credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/52408222@N08/
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/

It’s March and the weather is improving (supposedly).

You’re considering getting the bike out of the garage/shed/cupboard.

(What, you mean you haven’t spent the winter amassing base miles and doing interval sessions on the turbo trainer?)

Now that you’ve got the bike all ready to go, do you want a surefire way to avoid the ‘its slightly damp, I’ll stay inside’ attitude?

Of course you do.

And the good news is that it is can be achieved in 3 EASY STEPS:

Read moreA GUARANTEED way to make sure you commit to the bike in 2013

RideLondon: feel the fear and do it anyway

RideLondon fears concerns
Source: freeimages.co.uk

As I contemplate the RideLondon 100, I have some concerns. Some of these concerns verge on being full-blown fears.

Maybe you’re in the same boat, as you look forward to RideLondon or another long distance sportive ride (if you haven’t done so, read my analysis of the RideLondon 100 route).

In this post, I will try to turn this general sense of disquiet into a specific set of concerns, each of which I can confront and prepare for. In doing so, not only will I allay my fears, but I will also identify those factors that will contribute to a strong performance (and maximum enjoyment) on the day.

An aggregation of marginal gains you say? If it’s good enough for Sir Dave of Brailsford….

Read moreRideLondon: feel the fear and do it anyway

RideLondon 100 Route: Detailed Guide For Riders

RideLondon Guide button

*** UPDATE: You can read “The Ultimate Guide To RideLondon”, a collection of pretty much all the information I’ve written on the blog to help YOU make the most of your RideLondon experience – click here to read the post or finish reading this one and follow the link at the bottom ***

In this post we’ll take a detailed look at the route of the RideLondon-Surrey 100, which takes place on Sunday 4th August 2013. From my previous posts (such as this one and this one), you’ll know that I’ll be participating.

A route map for the ride was published earlier this month. Using that, I’ve plotted the course using bikehike.co.uk. I’ve included some screen grabs, including various sections of the course as well as elevation and gradient charts.

RideLondon-Surrey 100 route
The full RideLondon-Surrey 100 route

If people are interested (let me know in the comments box below), I will attempt to upload the TCX file to the site, which you should then be able to download and manipulate as you see fit.

Read moreRideLondon 100 Route: Detailed Guide For Riders