It’s been a long season, and it’s nowhere near done. however, at the start of the year my aim was essentially to ride under the hour in a 25. I managed that round the Lake some weeks ago, but also knew there was more in the tank. today i went out to Cirencester, on the quite flat and very fast u46 course. 25s require a slight decrease in effort in order to sustain the intensity for an hour, but it’s a marginal amount.
the approach was simple, i divided it up into three 8.33 mile sections, with the aim of doing a an 18.20 in each. this would give me a 55.00 for the distance. i went off really conservatively, and just rode up to speed over the first mile, the slip road helped. it was very quick on the way out, in excess of 30 miles hour in fact. after the turn there seemed no noticeable difference, it was just as quick; pretty much float conditions – or as close as you can get. apparently, some of the old lags were saying it wasn’t float, it lacked a certain ‘mystical’ element which just makes people ride absurdly fast and post eye-opening times.
at the first split i was quite surprised to see a 17.32, way up on what i thought. the legs felt good, i didn’t feel like i was struggling at all, so i carried on, hovering at around 88-90% of max heart-rate. second split was a 17.39 and the last section was completed in 17.28. i’m quite pleased with the effort, completing the 25.4 in 53.47. an 8 minute improvement on my previous PB. (stuart dodd said i was ‘sandbagging’) i think it’s enough for 7th or so in a very strong field.
john woodburn turned in a 58. at the age of 74. he is incredible. likes to talk as well, a true star of the sport and a proper gentleman.