OK, so I’ve just finished up the most insane month of training ever. It has been a great month, though, and I’m very confident now that it is going to pay off with sustained fitness to carry through the racing season when the intensity goes up and the mileage (and climbing!) goes down. The key thing to keep me on track has been to make sure that I’m allowing plenty of recovery time. Back in college when I was overtrained with way too many miles, I always rode at about the same speed/effort (zone 3/4) and had very few rest days. So the grand total for this month was 1,673 miles with 175,559 feet of climbing. That works out to just over six bike rides to the top of Mount Everest. Of course, what goes up must go down, so it also includes approximately 175,559 feet of descending, which means this was easily the most exhilarating and exhausting month on the bike. I had three rest days completely off the bike, whereas in my college days I would frequently go several months in a row without a single day off the bike. I also had several rides at much slower Zone 1 and Zone 2 pace for the entire ride.
Today, I made it through one more epic ride (cold near freezing with rain) with over 10,000 feet of climbing to break 175,000 feet mark for the month. It was fitting that at the end of the ride, I would make it home just in time to escort my family the last couple hundred meters on their walk home from school – riding with my 4 year old son on the top tube down the street into our garage. That alone was kinda crazy because I hadn’t been planning on riding for nearly 3 and a half hours and had run out of food at about the 2 hour mark. So I was about ready to keel over anyway let alone adding a 35 pound child. We made it without crashing, and it was a nice reminder that this cycling thing is important, but it’s my family that will be there when the wheels just won’t turn anymore. And I need to be there for them.
So how hard was this month? The stats below tell the story starting with last week’s 404 miles and nearly 46,000 feet of climbing:
Last week – 404 miles and 46,000 feet of climbing. Weekly mileage annotated in red
January 2011 – 1673 miles and 175,559 feet of climbing. Monthly mileage in red
January 2011 with mileage, hours, and calories burned
Finally, here is a screenshot is a close-up of me struggling up a 17% gradient (Vestavia Forest) with nearly 25 miles still left to ride!
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