"I want to be a better cyclist" is easier said than done. I have always had the best intentions to commit myself to training, body maintenance as well as strength and core training, but life gets in the way.
I know that setting a goal like “Tour of Bright” will be out of the question as I am not at the calibre of a cyclist and will not be able to cope of that type of racing – TT, (hilly) road race and finishing off with a Mt Hotham climb, an event where each stage is held one day after the other. My capacity is to put all my eggs in a basket for one event and then recover for days after it.
With my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – my body is not able to perform and recover the way most people can. I get DOMS after a short walk, pilates or massages. My goals for 2018 is to improve on different areas of my cycling, accumulating into being able to finish the Giro della Donna in November in a respective time of 4:30 (ave speed 16km/hr).
My descending skills (along with cornering) had improved within 2017 but unfortunately the fall of last year’s GdD has put a large hole in my confidence. I will work on this for the next few months to gain my confidence back again to be able to descend comfortably to make up for the decrease of speed when I am climbing. Climbing at my current weight is hard work.
Power to Weight
There is no hiding the fact that my power to weight ratio is low. My FTP is low as I lack the endurance, tend to burn much of my fuel early and my weight has increased >10kg since 2015 when I stopped running due to the increase frequency and severity of my injuries and also due to hormonal imbalances from having severe fibroids.
I do have the capabilities to lose fat % but the issue I have is to find the balance between fuelling my body for cycling and being tired from the lack of energy. At my lowest weight during the height of Ironman training, I found myself without strength. I also don’t want to be an food-obsessed-Nazi-elitist, life is too short.
Strength & Core
I will need to see what I can do with regards to working on strength in the gym along with my Pilates core sessions. I started to do Pilates on Monday mornings and I find this day to be the best as it gives my body a chance to recover sufficiently before the Tuesday morning Lead Out sessions. There is no need for me to wake up too early as the Pilates session starts at 6am and it only takes me 15-20min to drive to South Melbourne for the Beginners class. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have to get out of bed at 4:30am to get to training sessions around Melbourne.
I have never been good at spinning (high cadence). I used to climb Benwerrin and 1in20 on the large chain ring but at a low cadence. Low cadence = lower heart rate. I also don’t have fast-twitch muscles so even if I am able to increase my cadence, I don’t hold it for more than a few minutes. I will need to work on high power and high cadence work during my spin classes and if I use wattbikes I will opt for the Pro versions if I have a choice.
These are some of the factors I will need to work on as part of my cycling training towards being a better cyclist and being able to complete events at a respectable time. I will continue training and improve with Lead Out Cycling, their guidance and support have had a major contribution to the improvements I had in 2017.