Sunday, 12 June 2011

Back to form - Edale

It was Edale Country Day today, which means Edale fell race. At 5 miles and about 1300 feet of ascent it's my kind of race - quite steep and nice and short.

I remember being pleased with my time last year, so I was very pleased today to take about 25 seconds off it. And the key to my success? Well, it's a number of things.

Firstly, I've now got enough weeks of decent mileage under my belt. It normally takes about 6 to 8 weeks of training before the full benefits come through.

But I reckon what also helped was the exercise bike in the hotel gym while I was away on business last week. It was one of those where there's a screen in front of the bike and you try to keep up with your virtual pacer. Check out their website: You can set how fit the pacer is, and there are loads of different courses. I did a few 10-12 mile "hilly" courses and a one reps session on a virtual track.

My pacer

It's funny how even virtual competition makes me try harder. I'd never cycle for 45 minutes on an exercise bike without having "someone" to aim for. Even if it's a yellow-jerseyed man with a big "P" on his back. And the fact that I know it's just a load of pixels doesn't stop me from trying to beat "him".

Does this mean I'd be better if I trained with someone else? Personally, I like the simplicity of running or biking whenever I want to, rather than having to arrange times, wait for people, and travel to somewhere convenient. But perhaps my competitive nature would drive me to train harder.