That cycle was a lot better this week. It’s amazing how much smoother things go when people are realistic about where they are fitness-wise. Having one of our ex Rás riders turning up and correctly opting for the easiest bunch (because he is realistic about how fit he is – turns out recording a new album – check it out here >> Wolfkids – is not conducive to staying fit & healthy) seemed to make the group acceptable to many others. In fact we had too many volunteers for the first bunch and had to ask some to go in the 2nd bunch – that has never happened before. Thanks to all for choosing wisely this week. That isn’t to say that everyone got on great. With 31 on the road there were always going to be some that found the going a little bit too tough. Some got to sample the delight that is the hunger knock for the first time. How exciting.
The weather today was excellent. Starting out, it was a bit chilly but once the fog lifted the temps started to rise and soon everyone was shedding whatever bit of gear they could do without. Eoin Woolley looked like a mad man on the start line with his shorts and jersey but it turned out to be a good call!
As usual we split into two on the warm-up out to Moneygall. At the Obama Plaza, we divided into 3 groups and we were soon on our way. Groups 2 and 3 had to head out towards Dunkerrin to start. Once everyone had turned to start the first loop there were handicaps of roughly 8 minutes between G1 and G2 and 7 minutes back to G3. This also meant that the interval session was now going to be almost 10km longer = more pain.
The aim for the two loop interval set is to take the first loop a little slower than the second. Save your energy for later in the cycle. If you have plenty of energy left then you can push it more on loop 2. Group 1 with Gary Chunk in control, set off at a handy pace. He was trying to make sure the whole group got through the full distance and largely succeeded with that. The primary aim of the session is to complete the distance so well done to everyone that did that.
Group 2 had two very evenly timed loops with the first loop just 5 seconds quicker. Next week, this group could probably even afford to take the first lap a little slower and reserve some energy for a little extra on the 2nd lap. Or just push the 2nd lap a bit more. Reports from G2 were positive with everyone working well and almost everyone finishing the whole cycle.
Group 3 were down in numbers slightly with 9 in the group compared to 12 last week. This meant that those in the group had a little less recovery time. The first loop went well with everyone still in the group but Matty Kennedy dropped a chain at the start of loop 2 and took Benny out the back with him. That left 7 in the group. Everyone was doing what they could but as the miles ticked by you could see some lads starting to slow. The distance was having an effect. Pretty Boy Rymer and Dontcha let the wheels go in the last 10k and the remaining 5 pushed on and almost closed the gap to G2 by the end. In hindsight, this group will probably need to ease the pace a little for next week to make sure more people finish in it.
The groups and any stragglers all combined together on the cool down back to Nenagh. A lot more people finished the full route this week. That is great to see. Next week, we will have very little explaining to do. At this stage everyone should know what group to go in and what sort of effort is expected. We will be spending two more weeks on this road (with a little surprise on the last weekend) so that is plenty of time to get yourself comfortable in the group.
Hunger Knock – newcomers to the group have been introduced to this lovely phenomenon. Remember to always keep eating on the bike. Try and take something every half hour at least. If you don’t then you are going to be in trouble.
Next up: Sunday cycle at 8:00 from Tescos. Lake route. Give it a go!
Next week: try to get to circuit training on Monday, turbo on Tuesday and possibly another turbo later in the week (still working on that).