My plan today was to do a shorter run this week after my half-marathon last weekend - this is supposed to be a recovery week, although I’ve been ensuring I’ve kept up with swim training!
So I figured the easiest thing to do was get the bike out for a proper spin. I’d taken it as far as the gym before (my GPS reckoned I’d done 5km total), and even that caused my knee to ache. Looking at the cleats, the left one did look a bit wonky, so I straightened it out before today’s ride.
I was hoping for a sub 3 hour trip, on the basis that my route planning made it approx 10km there, a 10km run, then a 10km ride home. As I can do 10km run in less than an hour, I hoped my bike speeds would certainly beat that.
It took a while to get into the groove of cycling to Richmond Park, especially as I wanted to avoid the main roads, so took the backstreets of Barnes, which were pleasant enough, once you know where to turn off. The journey to the park was pretty quick after Barnes, after a trip up Priory Lane I was in at Roehampton Gate, and took the southern loop, passing Robin Hood Gate, Ladderstile Gate, Kingston Gate and Ham Gate, cycling up some monstrous hills (for me), before enjoying the downhill!
At Pembroke Lodge I took a really slow transition into my running gear. This involved removing lock and running shoes from my bag, and replacing it with cycling top, cycling gloves, cycling shoes, cycle computer and saddle bag (I didn’t want to leave anything on the bike for obvious reasons, but I did lock my helmet up with the bike!). I had a quick stretch, and then set off northbound along the Tamsin Trail, before stopping after 90m to take a SIS-Go Gel. It was a bit slimy, but I managed to take it down!
My first couple of kms on the Tamsin Trail, passing Richmond, Cambrian and Bog Gates in the process, were damn quick (5.00/km) for me, which should perhaps have been a warning sign to slow down. I have no idea how, after cycling 12km, when your legs are supposed to be jelly, how I managed to go so quick, but I was pleasantly surprised! After crossing the road again at Sheen Gate, I was quickly back at where I entered the park, at Roehampton Gate. From there on in, things started to slow down a little, I stopped for a quick drink break, and again later for a small hill, then for some more drink, it quickly became a run/walk. However, I was still doing 6.00/km, even with the stops, so it wasn’t too terminal. However, the walk up Broomfield Hill really slowed me down, but for some reason, once I got to the top, things started to pick up again, and there were few pauses after that. I really made the most of the downhills for a change (apparently there is little training benefit in downhills, but I still need to know how to use them to my advantage!), and they took me down to Kingston Gate, from there it was flat to Ham Gate, then uphill to Pembroke Lodge.
At Pembroke Lodge I again made the most of an untimed transition - I desperately wanted some water as I’d made my SIS energy drink a bit too concentrated, but the queue for refreshments was long. In the end I decided to change back ready to bike home, by which time the queue was much reduced, I poured most of the water into the energy drink bottle, and then headed home.
There were a few small uphills from Pembroke Lodge, and then from Richmond Gate, but I really enjoyed the downhills on the cycle ride home. Some of my speeds might not necessarily have been quite within the 20mph speed limit of Richmond Park. It was pretty much downhill all the way home from Roehampton Gate, and I was home in just 30mins from leaving Pembroke Lodge, a 10km ride.
After Swim n Spin on Friday, I guess this was my second brick. I can tell I did it, my elbows were aching the most from hanging on, but I’ll look to get my position correct and maybe put in a few more strength exercises to help that out!