Tuesday, 2 September 2014

high intensity training a review

After what has been a relatively light year in the guff programme thoughts turn to how to keep motivated through the winter and that perennial struggle between time available and effort required. Old style training suggest getting the miles in but that is not always possible.
The start to this year was helped by some high intensity training. It is good for weight loss and aerobic capacity though may not be so helpful at building stamina and endurance. That can come later once you are in the fit zone.
Hiit is essentially short burst interval training that you can do on the turbo first thing in the morning. Morning is apparently best since it sets your metabolism in motion for the day. Also it can be a tad unpleasant and not something you want to have hanging over you all day.
Looking for something a bit more cycling specific this guffer opted for a tome Cycling: hiit bicycle training guide by Ted Hardy It is not weighty. In fact it could be described as a pamphlet running to around 30 pages covering some notes on weight, building strength and speed and the benefits of hiit along with a few typos that are presumably are included for free. Read over a cup of coffee it is short on detail and disappointingly offers only 3 cycling based routines of which number 3 is a more intense version of number 1. The chapter ends by cheekily suggesting you make your own routine. The author then, curiously, spends about twice as much time discussing what to wear. It gives the sense of having been written backwards from this point and left this guffer questioning the point. It seems more like the material that a personal trainer would hand out to keep you going to the next session. It looks glossy and of course if you had a personal trainer you would shell out a lot more than the price of the pamphlet.
So not the best option then and it may be better to try Fast Exercise by Dr Michael Mosley which seems all together better thought out and written with detailed sections on the supporting science. It spends around 45 pages on different, not just cycling based workouts. That's longer than this whole pamphlet even with the tips on apparel. All for around the same price.
It should be pointed out that there are other websites and shops selling these publications.

Monday, 1 September 2014

m74 extension

The route heading out from Abington is often mentioned as a guff favourite and it seems right that we should visit at least once per year. The route is usually around 67km/42miles including the climb of Lowther hill but we have mentioned trying to lengthen the route. With this in mind this guffer set off on an experiment. Starting at the usual place in Abington and heading north towards Douglas. A hunch suggested that this would not be an especially pretty road and so it proved. The surface was pretty worn creating a fair road buzz and there wasn't much in the way of scenery ahead as the road runs parallel with the M74 and has what seems like the spoil from building that road piled up at the side. Still 16km/10 miles done and the worst is over and  looking back provides a quick reminder of one of the main reasons why this route has become such a favourite.

A quick left into Douglas and beyond then take the first left handily signposted for Crawfordjohn and the roads have returned to those so familiar of the area. Rolling with a few kicks and curiously fast.

Our usual route follows two river valleys but extending the route opens out views of the radar on Lowther hill.

The detour then rejoins the route south to Sanquhar all of 2km from Crawfordjohn. So far the road covered 30km with around 365m of climbing but in what felt like a very pacy hour. A wee extra detour south of Sanquhar avoided the main road and joined up with the route out of Drumlanrigg just short of the turn for Wanlockhead but again the radar is never far from view.

August in the Mennock Pass brings with it a special treat with heather in full bloom that turns the place a psychedelic purple. Photos are now obligatory as was much singing about Bonny Lassies, Purple Haze, Buzz Buzz Buzz honey bees and any other tangential references that caught the eye

The ascent onto Lowther hill didn't disappoint. Though there seen to be more and more additions to the barriers to keep any vehicles out. Even the skinny ones it seems. The return in Abington was satisfyingly fast and brought the average up to something near to respectable. The surface could do with upgrading immediately beyond the cattle grid out of Wanlockhead but otherwise it proved to be fine day 85km/53miles 1130m climbing.