Fowlmead 7th August 2010

It’s been kind of quiet round here for a while.  I had a couple of chilled weeks after the Marmotte – eating a lot of what I fancied and generally recuperating whilst I considered my strategy for the rest of the season. 


I’ve had very little joy going round in relatively small circles (ie crits and circuit races) and after a fractious but productive meeting with my some time coach Jo McRae I confirmed my plan to have a proper go at this type of riding.

I have a pet theory that I need to dispel; or at least confirm either way. I have a seemingly limitless capacity for endurance riding which makes me believe that I’m blessed in the Type I fibre department. Which would mean that I’m less well blessed in the Type II fibre department which is precisely what I need for shorter races.  However, I have not trained at intensities much beyond threshold – ever – so who knows?  Maybe I’m a brilliant all-rounder that just needs to adjust his training slightly. 

Planned Solution

So my plan is to do a bag load of HIT (high intensity training) specifically targeting my MAP (max aerobic power).  So I did an arse-kicking test and confirmed this to be about 420W or so.  Ever since then my training looks a little like this.


If I’m racing then so be it, if I’m not then I do blocks of HIT followed by rest.

Anyway, the race…

Fowlmead’s a nice little circuit.  Not much in the way of altitude changes but a good, long, well surfaced, fast lap.  And windy.  And you can see the sea.  After a bit of a tedious pre-amble; the race was delayed by about 30 minutes without warning, we were off.  My first ever 3rd cat only race.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect so I set off without too much hope although anything resembling a Cancellara-style solo break would have sufficed.  DaveC was also doing the race which was a bonus – “stay off the front was his advice”.  Two minutes later, who was engaged in a heroic solo effort off the front?  DaveC.

When Dave was caught another break went.  For some reason I went with it.  The pack bought us back in.  Then another, stronger break went immediately.  Still out of breath from the first effort I doggedly got involved in this one too.  And so we stayed; 3 of us for 30 minutes.  It seriously hurt – post-ride analysis showed that my heart rate averaged 180bpm for the duration of the break.  My max is meant to be 185bpm although after this race this has been revised to 189bpm.  But still.  Hard work.

And… all this was before Rach, Annabelle and an old (and wonderful) family friend turned up to spectate.  Eventually we were caught and absorbed back into the peloton. Great.  Half an hour killing myself for nothing and surely having compromised any hope I had of a decent finish.  And still 40 minutes of racing to go!

Still, best put on a show.


I then switched to my standard strategy of endlessly working  on the front of the bunch.  Unwittingly chasing down breaks and generally exhausting myself.

Naturally after all of this nonsense I didn’t place very well.  A successful break went at some point and I trailed in probably around about 15th or so – comfortably out of the points.


Consolations.  A very good workout.  And it was great to see DaveC – who had a good energetic race but with a similar result to me. 


In the end, as I routinely find in these races, I was strong but unable to translate this into a meaningful result.  But what I do know is that it’s easy to convince yourself you are strong when you’re pissing around for the first 95% of the race – strong people actually do well in the last 5%!

No Comments on “Fowlmead 7th August 2010”

  1. 1 Hugh G said at 12:26 pm on August 13th, 2010:

    Paul, you may recall I posted about someone at work I know who was attempting the London to Bath and back record. I’ve just learned that he didn’t make it – about 30 minutes outside the 9 hours 3 minutes record
    So, if your going round in small circles doesn’t work out you might want to turn your attention and talents to this still unbeaten record. You’d need to get divorced first though (see Alex’s training log).