Mar 242013

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Whilst my pink hunters are a total giveaway to a previous life in the city, at least they are well worn and covered in mud.

We have been living in the Dorset/Somerset area now for just over two years. We have our own cottage (which needs constant work) and have started a family (which needs constant attention). It finally feels like home. Life is busy and rich and I can honestly say I have never been happier. However, the winter feels longer and darker here in the countryside where the roads are always muddy or flooded, social life is limited by logistics and there are no street lights to disguise the long cloudy nights.

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It’s almost the end of March – it’s almost Easter – and I can’t believe it still feels like winter. On go the wellies, waterproofs and hat (and Megan in the sling)… it’s time for our walk. Let’s go get some eggs.

As I look closer I realise that actually it isn’t winter any more. Spring is creeping in, but only those willing to go out and look for it are likely to notice. The yellow daffodil buds stand tall and uniform along the path-side; our miniature street lamps to brighten the way. And tiny precious violets add tones of blue to the hedgerow shadows – unfortunately easily missed when on the bike. Megan keeps me company, as always, also enjoying the fresh air and bird song along the way.

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I wonder why I feel the need for Seasons to change, for things to happen… as a consequence it makes me feel pressed for time to get things done. It is easy to forget to simply make the most of the current situation; not rush it to pass or spend it planning for the next. It’s easy to apply unnecessary pressure to achieve what’s currently not suitable.

This is why this race season we’ve decided to only concentrate on shorter cycle events for me: there just isn’t the option for longer training sessions at the moment. The change of riding style has been refreshing and fun.

Things happen slowly in the countryside, that’s for sure. People are laid back and it can sometimes feel like others have no value for your time, I found this infuriating when we first moved here. But two years here has taught me that when we slow down we gain the opportunity to notice more and subsequently to enjoy the preparation and activity as well as the result. Today’s a good day for cake.

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 Posted by at 11:32 am
Mar 202013


So, when your coach suggests “running an experiment on you”, naturally it makes you feel a little nervous. However, on hearing about this particular experiment I couldn’t help but agree to the opportunity… if it should work it would surely be the ultimate style of training, for me at least.

Welcome to the Minimalist Bike Training Experiment. Yes, the title says it all. In order for me to get faster on my bike, Rob has suggested that I should train less. It doesn’t jump out as being an experiment that very many athletes would be willing to risk, but with a 9 month old baby requiring pretty much constant attention, and trying to build my business back up following maternity leave, TIME is indeed something I don’t have much of to spare. This sounds like the training plan for me!

So, we’ve already started and what can I say other than I really look forward to my training sessions. They are short and snappy (all but one is 45 minutes or less) and totally achievable within my current life juggle. If anything I feel a bit too well rested to think I’m doing enough to get fitter, stronger and faster. But who am I to judge what positive training should feel like? Perhaps being fully recovered between sessions – and not over-working during sessions – is a far more sensible way of gaining improvements.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes, although I have a sneaky suspicion that once the weather improves I’ll want to spend longer on my bike outdoors. After all, cycling for me is about the feeling of freedom it brings and I simply put the turbo sessions down as a necessity to help me enjoy the outdoors experience even more.

 Posted by at 6:13 pm