When the going gets tough the tough get going!

Happy girl and the settee is calling!

Happy girl and the settee is calling!

As the memory of warm days fade and all pervading grey takes over , motivation gets difficult. I like to throw in a few things to keep me going. Sometimes it’s a ride with friends, a new venue for a bit of mountain biking, or a rip round a field on a cross bike. Today I found a rather nice sportive.

A crap weather alert for today, sent this girl off to Carsington Reservoir to do a Dark and White Peak Challenge Events sportive. Loads of grinning and climbing have left my legs with that well used feel, and looking out of the window at the rain, I am feeling very superior. Good choice Phelan! May be I should have an emergency list for a rainy day. Hope not!

Dark and White Challenge Events


Goals To Keep You Sane

I don’t know about you, but each year I need a goal which isn’t competitive but based around a personal challenge. Why, you may ask? It keeps me sane when the competition isn’t necessarily going how I planned. It takes the competitive pressure off, provides a fantastic opportunity to experience something both motivating and new. If I was a young, up and coming athlete maybe this wouldn’t be the best approach but for someone older, who in real terms is getting slower, it keeps my head on the level. When reviewing the year, I don’t just dwell on competitive goals but the other things I have achieved as well.

So what have I managed to squeeze in so far? The C2C, numerous Alpine climbs, the 3 Peaks cyclo cross race and a few ‘centuries’ on the road. So that was the none competitive focus completed yesterday. A tough 100 mile in the Peak District curtsey of the Wiggle Peaks Punisher. It was really hard, I feel absolutely shelled today but I have a warm glow inside. Suddenly all the ups and downs of competition are put into perspective. I’ll never be a superstar but I am in my forties and still taking life by the horns.

So try it. It may just relight your fire!

Shelled but happy at the Peak Punisher

Shelled but happy at the Peak Punisher

Check this link out! 

Training and the older athlete.

After an eleven year break from cycling I returned at the tender age of 40….. something! Was my body the same?? Errr no and the more I trained,the differences became more evident. This is not to say that as we age we can’t achieve out personal best, I have no doubt we can but personally I to have to train differently. I have found it harder to loose weight, recovery seems to take longer and I have lost both power and speed. In a bid to strive towards my personal best I have picked the brains of successful older cyclists as well as trawling the net for information. I regret not doing some of this research at the very beginning of ‘Phelan goes cycling,part 2’. I particularly like this article by Joe Friel, renowned sport scientist, and hope it may be of use to all you older ‘wannabe cyclists’ out there. What have you got to loose? Nothing but an awful lot to gain! Give it a go. It may just work for you!


Tabata Intervals

How the hell can 20 secs x 8 of work time produce improvement in V02 Max? That was certainly my first reaction when I heard about Tabata Intervals. Tried and tested by friends, I thought I’d give them a go, especially when I thought about my own personal needs in a race. Competing in cross country races, I need to re accelerate out of the corners and technical sections; chase other riders plus have a good turn of speed at the start. It makes sense for me especially as speed was on my ‘wanted list’ .
They can be completed on a turbo or on the road. Personally I favour the turbo, because for them to be successful, you must work absolutely flat out. In fact I put 8 pegs on the side, moving one for each interval, because my brain becomes that fuddled I can’t think straight!
Do I think they are working? Well I think they are for me and have the added bonus of taking little time. Naturally I warm up well and have a good cool down. I don’t claim to be a sport scientist but have a look and make your own judgement.