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Graham’s 2016 Fred Whitton Challenge – January

Miles ridden- 633
Longest ride- 75.4 – Club ride to Carnfoth
Hrs ridden- 38 miles
Number of bike sessions- 25
FTP- 330w
Fred hills ridden- 0

I have decided to enter the Fred Whitton Challenge again this year, maybe a daft idea: as it can pay havoc trying to train for long distance and the shorter, faster stuff; but an itch needed scratching. After riding it twice I came under 8 hrs the first time (7:43) and beat that time at the second attempt (7:37). These are both ‘first class’ times according to the certificates. This has left one target to hit…get under 7 hrs. An elite time.

So, what does training for the Fred look like? Well, I have done some serious training with Mike Wilson (Better Cycling) for the past year and have seen my TT times tumble. In general he has made me a stronger, faster and more efficient cyclist. I tend to get 5 sessions a week in, 3 on the turbo and 2 on the road. The training has been fantastic and is great to have someone planning your week out. However, I was lacking the enthusiasm to get out for longer rides and thought entering the Fred would give me that impetus!

It has been an excellent start to the year for me getting in 38 hrs of training, compared with 28 in 2015. Maybe having 5 weekends had something to do with it, but I managed to get out for longer rides each weekend- ranging from 50 -75 miles. Through the week the turbo sessions have been focusing on upping my threshold by working for longer periods at the ‘sweet spot’. This has been mixed up with interval work above my threshold and cadence (both high and low) sessions. I do all my training with a power meter and finds it really focuses each session.

The negatives in January have been the usual early season moans: freezing cold hands on the longer rides and getting over a cold. I also suffered from a bit of knee pain but am hoping that is due to the increase in workload. Will keep on eye on that! I have also ridden in snow, high winds and driving rain. But I suppose that’s training in winter.

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