Rookie Goes for 5 in a row @ Ironman UK Week 11 of 26
So yesterday I took a day off work and went and rode a 31 mile lap of the ‘new’ Ironman Bolton bike circuit for the first time in over a year……….
Before we get cracking with what happened, I feel it’s important to set the scene here…..
When I got onto the scales on friday morning, they read 14/11…..
Whilst that’s a stone lighter since the debauchery of xmas, 14/11 is still at least 2 stone over ‘peak’…..
Also, with the gyms shut due to lockdown, the only training I’ve been doing since mid december is cycling to and from work every single day, which is 26 miles a day, 130 miles a week, plus the odd 10k run thrown in at the weekend for good measure…..
Cycling to and from work…..
With all this extra saddle time, I was intrigued to see what would happen when I made my way back onto the Ironman bike circuit to give it another spin…..
Bear in mind, the first time I rode this 12 months ago, my lap time was 2:40……
I then did a couple more laps achieving a similar result before the race got cancelled and haven’t ridden it since……
Remember, this time last year, my lap time was 2:40…
My time yesterday?
Two o fuckin seven…..
Now most Ironmen would probably still scoff at this…..
What do you want Rookie?? A lollipop?…. I hear them all cry….
But to me it’s a big deal………
I can’t quite believe it if i’m honest with you…..
Let me tell you something….
3 of those on race day and you are on the Kona trail cock…..
In order to describe how it felt, I went back to last years blog and looked at what I originally wrote about the new bike circuit…….
I thought it would be interesting to re-post it with revised commentary following my experience yesterday…..
So here it is…..(this years ‘take’ is written in bold)
Horwich to Bolton town centre is not the downhill treat you think it is going to be – This didn’t feel a big deal – certainly top of horwich to Beehive was a breeeze, cycling up chorley new road always annoys me but i was in Bolton town centre before I knew it
Bolton town centre up to Tongue Moor is what it is – Same
The 2 stonking hills of Breightmet welcome you to Bolton in fine style (imagine these on lap 3) –same
The horrific harwood golf club climb was the stuff of folklore last year and it’s frankly out of order making us do this thrice (Lap 3 here on race day is going to be hilarious) – Didn’t feel as difficult yesterday as I remember, it’s still a ball ache and lap 3 is definitely going to be a nightmare, but the climb felt easier than i recall
The fast descent after the golf club climb is a lot of fun (but be aware of the stop sign shortly after you begin your descent – there are ALWAYS cars crossing your path here so STOP as instructed you crazy fool) – I repeat, look out for that stop sign and STOP every single time as there are ALWAYS cars crossing your path
The new bits through the wags of greenmount and from Holcombe brook back towards turton road are a graft at times – Same
The other new bit down into edgeworth is largely a nice fast descent on a wide road, even if there is a bit of a stonking climb at the top that goes on for longer than it should – Same
The fun continues as you hurtle down through edgeworth on a somewhat teeth clattering surface – this really is a shocking surface but the descent is rapid
The forest of doom (entwistle reservoir) is hell on earth and feels like cycling uphill through treacle on lap 1 never mind lap 3 – Here I noticed a MASSIVE difference – this section felt much easier than I ever remember it being in the past
The extended new downhill part of the A666 is once again much fun and very fast – this bit is awesome
The new bit once you turn off the a666 and head back past delph sailing club is a grind and I guarantee you will be losing the will to live here at some point, probably on your second lap – felt much easier than I recall previously
The SHL climb in reverse at the back end of the loop is out of order (once again imagine this on lap 3) but the iconic supporters outside the black dog will get you through it – again felt easier but it will try to break you just before you reach the summit
The SHL descent is one of the best parts of the circuit…. – the sheep house descent in reverse is the most fun you can have on two wheels anywhere, but be careful, there are pot holes everywhere!
Make no mistake, there was a certain magic in the air yesterday….
All in all I felt much much stronger, many parts of the circuit felt easier than ever and I was way ahead of time at the various points compared to a year ago…..
All this because I started cycling to work for 3 months?
Maybe I simply wasn’t doing enough on the bike in past, but whatever happened yesterday, I want it again!
3 of them and you are pushing a sub 7 bike lad….
Let’s have it right, there is still loads to do and lap 3 on race day will be a different matter entirely…..
But for now, we celebrate and I can’t wait to do it all again!
Sub 2 Rookie?
I’ll See you on the circuit my friend!
This weeks training went like this:
Mon : 26 mle bike to and from work
Tues : 26 mile bike to and from work
Weds : 26 mile bike to and from work
Thurs : 26 mile bike to and from work
Fri : 2:07 IMUK bike loop www.strava.com/activities/4976978684
Sat : 10k run
Sun : Off
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