A bit of a gap since my last post but things have all been a bit steady improvement hip-wise whilst the weather hasn't been particularly great.
I've been managing longer rides at the weekends aiming to build up stamina in time for the Eden Valley Sportive which is just under 60 miles. I've also managed to get some evening rides done on shorter loops around home. Most of these rides have been solo as it's easier to deal with than if you are in a group but on a couple I've been joined by Cath and also by Fletch one of the lads from the cycling club whose also had a recent operation (on his wrist) so it's been a sort of rehab group out on the road.
It may seem odd that a wrist operation keeps you off the bike for a while but you do pull on the handlebars quite a bit when riding especially on hills. Also it affected how he worked the brake which could have had interesting results!
Last Saturday we did a fifty miler over towards Clitheroe then over the Nick o' Pendle and back through the villages just to the west of Nelson and Colne. I didn't feel too bad after this but on the Sunday had to shorten my intended ride to Hebden Bridge as fighting the wind was increasingly hard work and my legs felt very tired.
This Tuesday evening I did a loop that keeps to the main roads round by Earby and Colne. I thought I was going well, or perhaps more accurately better than the previous week, until I got home and found out that I was just 18 seconds quicker. At least I'm consistent!
On Thursday I thought I'd do the same loop but this time deliberately keep my heart rate in Zone 2 which for me is between 120 & 137BPM rather than push it all the time. On a route with any sort of hills this is actually quite hard to do: your heart rate drops quite, well very, quickly on the descents and you struggle to keep moving and keep your heart rate down on anything but short uphills. The result was quite surprising - I was just six minutes slower over than the previous two rides: 1hr25 rather than 1hr19. (Weather conditions were similar on all three rides so that can be ruled out as having any significance) I think this means that I'm not very efficient when trying to push harder. But that's the point of the training zone rides - to increase riding efficiency. What I think I'll do is use this loop as a test to see how I'm improving.
Despite it being dark when I've been doing these rides I did manage to notice a badger crossing the road in front of me on Thursday night. We've a few round here, there's a set less than a mile away, but it's the first one I've seen locally.