Monday was my last day off before the start of spring semester (Yeah, I know — we academics have it rough), so I was determined to get in a ride. Pat called one of our good local riding friends, because she had the MLK holiday off too, and we met at the Veloway for some laps.
Our friend Penny is coming back from a hip replacement, and is almost ready to rejoin our B-level club rides. But she has something more pressing on her mind right now. In March, she and her husband Rick will spend several days riding in the Big Bend area of West Texas.
The Big Bend is mountainous, so the routes they’ll be riding will be challenging, to say the least. Not only is Penny riding to come back from the surgery, but now she’s riding to train for her biking trip. And that lit the lightbulb over my head.
It’s mid-January already! While I don’t have any multi-day mountain rides coming up, I do have some rides I want to do in March. And March is a whopping six weeks away. The easy riding I’ve been doing has been good at maintaining my base. Now I have to start doing something to boost both my speed and my endurance.
What am I going to do? I’m not really sure yet. That’s not really a problem, since I have gobs of training plans around here — both in cycling books and various online sites. I’ll come up with something that will work.
But I know I’ll be working on two different elements: increasing distance and riding faster. On weekends, at least one of my rides will be longer than I’ve been used to. I’ll be increasing that long distance each week, until I’m up to metric century snuff. During the week, I’ll get in a fast ride. My fast rides might involve intervals, almost certainly fartlek, or maybe just maintaining a higher average speed than I’m normally comfortable with.
But I’ll be riding with a purpose from here on out.