Posted by: Ian | January 3, 2010

Turn of the year

In 2009 I managed to exercise on more days (239) than I had in 2008 (208), which was itself an improvement over 2007 (156). Mainly this is down to me commuting to work on my bike most days now. Throughout the year I burned about  226,000 calories in exercise, almost all of which was through cycling. The pattern of calories burned generally trended up, or at least became more consistent, as the year progressed, as the chart shows.   Exercise calories, 2009

The chart also reveals a lack of structure to my exercise. In 2010 I’m hoping to ramp up so that I peak in time for the Tour of Wessex and again for the Exmoor Beast later in the year.

Over the Christmas break, I’ve been working my way through Base Building for Cyclists, which looks set to be the first book about exercise that I will ever have read. I like it, and although I won’t be following it too earnestly, I’m using it to put a regime together along the lines I outlined a couple of entries ago.

I’ve had a couple of outings so far this year. The first was a gentle ride around the outskirts of Coventry with our friend Steve. This was the kind of circuit that I apparently should be doing a lot of now: low intensity, getting much of the energy I need from fat (50% according to my Polar watch). It was a lovely winter ride along quiet lanes. About half way around, the dramatic outline of Kenilworth Castle appeared on the horizon; later on we cycled right past it.

I had my second ride of the year today. The weather was still cold, with the stretch immediately beyond our gate being an unavoidable 40 metre run of sheet ice. In Coventry I was on the Tricross. The day before our circuit to Kenilworth Castle, Steve and I, this time with Paula, did a harder route that had some interesting off-road sections. It was good to see how well the Tricross (and Paula’s Kona Jake) faired on these. I may occasionally season my road rides with some manageable off-road routes like this around Taunton this year.

But today I went out on the Felt. My Rapha winter jersey and Rapha tights kept me cosily comfortable: although the temperature was around zero and a nippy wind blew up whenever I left the shelter of the high hedges, I never felt the cold. I find on days like this that when the cold does get to me it’s always in my toes – not even my Woolie Boolies seem able to prevent it. Although I’m running it on 25mm road tyres, the Felt moved confidently over the ice: science, specifically the nanotechnological black chilli compound in my Conti 4000S’s, was my friend.

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