Everyone has a goal, a special distance they want to ride every year. Everyone's goal differs depending on their commitments and the time they have to ride their bike but for me there has always been one goal which is a 10,000 mile year.
When I first started cycling all of the guys were talking about whether they would reach 10,000 miles that year and I laughed as I looked at my 6,900 miles for 2013. Ever since then I've kept myself on track for the golden target of 10,000. I managed it last year but in the process of doing so definitely rode my bike too much and really suffered for it at the end of the year. I was slow by my standards and every mile was a chore. So this year I wanted to do things different. Before I do though I've found some fun facts on riding all those miles...
- I've burnt 1,868,748 calories in 2016 which equates to 12,458 Cadbury Cream Eggs or 13,444 bottles of Peroni. Take your pick as to which you prefer but I'm too much of a lightweight for the latter.
- I've learnt Yorkshire flat means it's never flat and with that i've climbed 490,000ft so far; enough to get me to the edge of space and theoretically make me an astronaut.
- Presuming a cadence of 90rpm I have turned the pedals on my bike 2,997,000 times. It's a wonder I can still walk.
So, slightly strange facts aside I got myself wondering how I'd managed to ride so many miles but maintain any kind of form at all to ride the hard club rides I've been doing.
First things first, not all miles were ridden equal. If you try to ride flat out all the time you'll probably blow up around March and crawl back to your cave for summer. I ride to work on a single-speed every day which is restricted to 44-17T so I can only ride at an easy pace to work. This means I can save my legs and tick off 30 easy miles every day and stick to the recovery miles in "Zone 2". However, for three days of the week I ride my racing bike and go out to chaingang or some other kind of training ride and go as hard as I can. These days are pretty fast so I can cover a good 50 miles in just a few hours then go home and chill. The key - balanced miles so you don't kill your legs.
Then there is the food. All of the food. There is never enough food. So presuming I haven't started my diet of Peroni and Cream Eggs I have to find a balanced diet somewhere. Unlike last year I'm eating a lot more fruit and vegetables as well as upping my protein intake so I can properly recover; something I neglected to consider last year. I usually have an SiS Rego after all my hard training rides and then a shaker of overnight protein pretty much every day. I've also started eating a lot more on my rides so that I don't run low on energy as it takes too long to recover when you hit the wall.
So being well fed and sensible takes care of most things but then there is one thing I've still not cracked but is fairly essential and that is rest. You can't expect to ride everyday and recover as normal, it just won't happen. I've ridden 35 days consecutively as I'm writing this but I'm no where near as fresh as when I started so should probably stop now before I fall off the cliff or accept I'm off on a fairly well timed holiday on Friday.
I've enjoyed riding all those miles and now I've ticked off the 10,000 marker so early I genuinely think I could have a pop at 15,000 for the year if I'm sensible and the weather stays kind to me over autumn.
So... What's your goal for the remainder of the year and how many cream eggs can you eat?