Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Wednesday, January 28

The Outcome

Today was pretty hard work. It was probably 4 degrees, and although there was no wind there was a persistent, really wetting rain. As far as the bike goes, great. But I've lost a lot of fitness over the Christmas season- I'm at "hibernation weight" and the squash and badminton just can't maintain leg strength and top-20% cardio fitness.

As you can see from this crude mashup of two heart-rate graphs. The red line is a September '08 commute. The green line is today. As you can see, the key features are aligned. But there are a couple of interesting features. First, recovery in the green line takes longer and the HR does not get as low. Second, for sections of consistent effort, today's rate is consistently ~10bpm high. This is not good news.

On the other hand it's not all bad. I'm riding a lower gear, which places lee strain on the joints. Arguably though, this moves effort from big muscle groups and relatively few reps to teh cardio domain and smaller loads / higher reps. With my physiology I'd expect this to raise the bpm a little. The mean cadence went up from 78rpm to more like 85rpm.

I may revisit these graphs in a few weeks and see how my cardio has got on, using this 55km circuit as a control.

PS > The red circle on the map below is a level crossing. Tonight I waited for over 8mins while 4 trains went by. This, and a killer calf cramp in Tempsford on teh way home, probably contribute to the slow time. Oh, and I was petrified because I had a "be seen" light in the pitch black countryside!!


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