Challenge #1 TM4

A new year and a new training month. This signals the start of a slight change of tack!



January is a very busy month for me, this combined with some of the trouble I found in December with poor weather conditions and I have decided to change my training a bit. Rather than focusing on long rides each week, I will try and get out 2 or 3 times a week and make my rides shorter and more intense. This in conjunction with my resistance training will keep an element of specificity to cycling and help to improve my fitness over a shorter time period.



So that’s the plan, a little bit more anaerobic, a little bit more intense and a little bit more frequent. Here is how the month panned out:


Week 1: (w/c 1st Jan)

  • Mountaineering – 11 km with 977 m of ascent
  • Mountain biking – 20.2 km with 382 m of ascent
  • Resistance – Horizontal pull
  • Resistance – Horizontal push
  • Road bike – 34.6 km with 156 m of ascent
  • Hill sprints – 10 x 3 sets (8 km in total)
  • Resistance – Shoulders and legs
  • Road bike – 31.4 km with 271 m of ascent
  • Road bike – 30.1 km with 245 m of ascent

A very enjoyable week. The resistance sessions were admittedly slow starting but I think I was still in Christmas mode for these. A very wet start to the week mountaineering and mountain biking in the Lake District but towards the end of the week enjoying some quicker rides on cold, but dry winter days. However, I took the new ‘intense’ part very seriously and these rides didn’t half leave me knackered and sore. I planned to do 5 sets on the hill sprints but by the end of the third I was really starting to feel it and with a 1.5 km lap in-between sets. All in all, a good start to the new year.


Week 2: (w/c 8th Jan)

  • Gym – Indoor climbing
  • Resistance – Lower body
  • Swimming – 800 m
  • Resistance – Push
  • Rock climbing – 5.45 hours

Not very motivated in the gym this week but at least I kept ticking over. The swimming and bike rides were fast and strong. I had a brilliant day rock climbing mid week but it was quite cold. For the weekend I had a big bike ride planned and a mountaineering trip. An absolute disaster, I set off at 5am to the mountains and barely got down the road before my car got a flat tyre, green flag took 3 hours to retrieve the vehicle and my trip was cancelled. Putting me in a pretty bad mood for the rest of the weekend, missing out on some winter conditions. I sacked off the bike ride and we ended up on a local walk with the dog. However, spirits were lifted a touch by a pub lunch at the mid-point.



Week 3: (w/c 15th Jan)

  • Gym – Indoor climbing
  • Resistance – Lower body
  • Resistance – Horizontal push
  • Hill sprints – 12 x 3 sets (4.1 km in total)
  • Resistance – Horizontal pull
  • Swimming – 400 m
  • Watt bike – Intervals of 3 min ~210 W, 1 min rest periods repeated 4 times
  • Rock climbing – 2.5 hours
  • Mountaineering – 10.3 km with 1133 m of ascent
  • Gym – Indoor climbing

Well I think I must have carried my bad mood into this week too. Apart from the indoor climbing session on the Monday night I was so unmotivated by the weather and feeling that sorry for myself that I didn’t do anything until Wednesday. Starting to really feel guilty about no exercise, all of a sudden I exploded into life with a double gym session which must have really lit a fire under me because for the rest of the week I really packed it in. The highlight of the week was the winter climbing. Although we had two days planned, on the Sunday it was forecast to get warmer and rain all day so we went indoor climbing and did some low-level walking.


Week 4: (w/c 22nd Jan)

  • Gym – Indoor climbing
  • Resistance – Horizontal push with some legs
  • Watt bike – Intervals of 3 min ~210 W, 1 min rest periods repeated 4 times
  • Resistance – Pull
  • Road run – 8.9 km
  • Hill sprints – 6 x 2 sets

Really struggling this week to fit anything in with lots of deadlines and naff weather! Felt like I was just a passenger for most of these sessions as well struggling with motivation. However, the interval stuff was done right and was hard but a few more sets would have probably been better. The winter climbing trip at the weekend was cancelled due to the weather being too warm which saw me resort to a long walk with the dog and well quite simply, not much time for anything else.



A poor start to the year really but I always knew January was going to be really busy trying to get a start on some things before I head off to Scotland next month. I think we might have to get back to early morning gym sessions to start to fit some sessions in. Next month will focus on much of the same I think. But this time hopefully I’ll find the time to actually get it done.

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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