Challenge #1 TM2

Training month number two! Lets go…



After getting my cardiovascular system started with some general fitness in the first month. The idea behind this training month was to really improve my strength, whilst building and maintaining my fitness base achieved in the first month.



The aim was to get in the gym and make those legs a whole lot stronger! This combined with some, less frequent, but longer training rides including some nasty hill climbing along the way certainly put me through my paces. The idea was to get 3-4 strength sessions in, plus a ride around 60+ km in length each week. Here is how I got on:


Week 1: (w/c 6th Nov)

  • Resistance – Leg focus with some upper body pull
  • Resistance – Horizontal push
  • Road Run – 6.7 km
  • Resistance – Shoulders focus with some leg work
  • Road Bike – 76.3 km with 388 m of ascent
  • Mountaineering – 14 km with 846 m of ascent


Being relatively naive to resistance training for quite a while now, the DOMS from the first leg day lasted pretty much half the week, I struggled to even climb the stairs! Despite this I still got a very enjoyable night run in as a bit of an active recovery. The gym work was quite fun this week although the wrist is still a bit sore so I couldn’t really push it as much as I wanted to. I waited until the end of the week for my ride to make sure I was over the DOMS and felt like I absolutely smashed it. Until about 55-60 km – such a strong ride until this point, I had planned to do most of the climbing after 50 km and I managed the first 8 % hill in a high gear. However, soon after my legs completely fell off and I crawled the last 10 km home, from which I collapsed in a heap on the drive furiously massaging my legs. Hard work!


Week 2: (w/c 13th Nov)

  • Mountain Biking – 28 km with 1251 m of ascent
  • Resistance – Horizontal pull
  • Resistance – Lower body
  • Resistance – Shoulders with some leg work
  • Mountain Biking – 33 km with 514 m of ascent
  • Swimming – 800 m
  • Mountaineering – 13.8 km with 873 m of ascent


I began the week biking up Snowdon (in the snow). It actually wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be, there were some tough sections, but all short lived. Then the descent – wow! Fun, is too much of an understatement, this is something that I will definitely be repeating. The gym work was enjoyable and I pushed hard, especially in the lower body work. I decided to split one long ride into two this week, both rides having some really hard climbing sections and both being off-road. I finished the week with a recovery swim before a nice bit of mountaineering at the weekend. Nothing too hard this week just some leg screaming climbs!



Week 3: (w/c 20th Nov)

  • Resistance – Lower body
  • Gym – Indoor climbing
  • Mountain Biking – 31 km with 371 m of ascent
  • Resistance – Horizontal Push
  • Road Bike – 26 km with 312 m of ascent
  • Resistance – Pull with some leg work
  • Road Bike – 52 km with 220 m of ascent
  • Resistance – Lower body


The week of fatigue! Especially towards the end of this week I was extremely tired. Extra-long working hours combined with squeezing the training in around it. However, I got a great local mountain bike ride in and in the dark, very wet and muddy which was quite scary at times. The road bike ride was the first time on the road after a bike service and I found myself 26 km away from my house with no puncture repair kit – rescue operation! It has to be said I was quite glad, an absolutely punishing head wind was quickly draining all my strength. But the second ride was in blue bird sky and next to no wind at all which was very enjoyable indeed; despite chasing the thunder clouds on the way home – oh and this time with a spare inner tube! All things considered a good solid week.



Week 4: (w/c 27th Nov)

  • Resistance – Horizontal Push
  • Gym – Indoor climbing
  • Road Bike – 66 km with 283 m of ascent
  • Resistance – Pull
  • Mountaineering – 16 km with 1022 m of ascent
  • Resistance – Lower body
  • Resistance – Shoulder focus with some leg work
  • Mountain Biking – 24 km with 454 m of ascent


I think I have now reached the stage were a 60 km ride is pretty comfortable to complete. The last 4 km or so of my road ride this week I began to come off the pace a touch but for the most part it was a strong ride. The gym work appears to be definitely helping, some of the minor inclines I now don’t even notice, but before the strength work, these obstacles would have slowed me down and I would have been changing down a gear. The gym work is going well and I am squatting 90 kg for three sets of 10 which is leaps and bounds above the meagre 60 kg I started the month at. Another week of progress finished by some really fun mountain biking, it just needs to continue in to the next month!



Some highs and lows this month, the highs being the top of Snowdon and the lows being falling off (more than a few times), some very cold riding really starting to feel the start of the winter, lots of icy northerly head winds endured. I struggled with fitting long rides in a busy schedule and with short daylight I think it’s something to consider going into the next month. My biggest gain from this month of training by far was my strength. Here is the breakdown of a typical gym session:



  • 5 min cross trainer or rowing machine

Mobility exercises:

  • Thoracic rotations
  • Neck rotations
  • Shoulder rotations
  • Hip mobility – Hurdles, Knee drives, A-skips etc.
  • Dynamic stretching

Core work:

  • Normally super set 2 exercises for 3 sets ~20-50 reps each with 30 secs rest in between

Main session:

  • Callisthenics warm-up 2-3 sets
  • Core lift 10X4
  • Core lift 10X4
  • Stability core lift 10X3 (e.g. overhead squat on bosu)
  • Assistance lift 10X3
  • Assistance lift 10X3
  • Callisthenic circuit or Kettlebell/dumbbell circuit (Normally 4 exercises for 30 secs or 15 reps respectively X3, 1 min rest between sets)

Author: Starting Point

My blog captures a range of outdoor adventure, each from its starting point, giving a first person account to the highs and lows of each exhilarating adventure. From climbing, mountaineering and camping to mountain biking, water sports and endurance type challenges. These are all my experiences brought alive to you through stories, pictures and video. Enjoy!

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