Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Project Duo - Part Four (Oh Dear!)

Grumpy Bob feels duty-bound to respond to his team-mate's recent post updating Team Grumpy's stately progress to Duo Normand form.  Whereas 'Grumpy' Art seems to have been steadily building form through the summer, Grumpy Bob was consigned to residential school which (as colleagues recognise) leads to excessive consumption of inappropriate food coupled with excessive alcohol intake for a week.

Returning from that bout of system abuse, Grumpy Bob was relieved to record 58:15 for a '25' on the F1B/25.  The last weekend, he rode a 22:15 '10' on the F2A/10, albeit compromised by a late start penalty (you can read all about it at the linked article).  Unfortunately Grumpy Bob has since developed a bit of a cold.

Common cold virus (a bit like those being sneezed out by Grumpy Bob).  
Taking heed of Team Grumpy rule #5 ("Never train or race with a bad cough - it will destroy your entire season."), he declined an evening '10' and has remained aloof from training.

Not ideal preparation, but Grumpy Bob takes heart from the observation that there are over three weeks before the day of the Duo Normand...

Project Duo - Part Three - The Quickening

It seems as though it has been going on forever, but at last I am at the end of my hill climbing block of training. It officialy ends on Thursday evening (26 Aug) when I will compete in the club hill climb on my TT bike. The whole point has been to bring on that climbing form that should get Team Grumpy through the hillier parts of the Duo. Hence the TT bike for the hill climb.

During this block of training I seem to have brought on my form quite a lot and my 55m 10s ride in the Merthyr 25 mile TT was encouraging. This is, however, the cheaty course (though, not so cheaty for me because of my fear of death on fast descents), so needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, it is an improvement on recent form and I am convinced that I am going better now than I was at last year's Duo. So, that can't be bad.

The hill climbing has also gone well with me lowering my time on my favoured 'test' hill over the last couple of months from c. 5 mins to 4 mins 29 secs and eventually to 4 mins 9 secs. That's quite an improvement and even if I just ride up it now and take in the scenery I find that I am clocking about 4 mins 45 secs for it.

After Thursday's hill climb I will switch to speed training in the hope that I can hold Grumpy Bob's wheel for those first kilometres that always seem so fast and yet always catch me out (I think I'm a slow starter).

Finally, the proximity of the race itself becomes ever more obvious when Grumpy Bob starts panicking about UCI regulations. Sure enough, the race is soon upon us.