Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday 14th September: Brick Session

No I'm not training for a tri or duathlon (well thinking about a duathlon) but I read something in this months Runners World about doing a brick session to get the endurance benefits of a long run without the impact of it, so I thought I would try one: Ride for an hour or so at a decent clip then run for 20 minutes.

I had bimbled over to watch the ToB whizz through already today which was a surprising 6 miles round trip (can't believe how much all this utility cycling is adding up already) but I wanted to do a bit more riding. I wanted to find a 1 to 1 1/2 hour quick whizz of a road ride from my house that didn't involve going through Preston onto the Fylde (about 25 mins to just get there) or out to the hills at Riv (again a good while just to get there).

I had a look at the map and decided I wanted to investigate a cycle path that heads over towards Penwortham then pick up the A59. I would head along the A59 for a bit until turning off towards Bretherton. I didn't want to head out as far as Croston so would turn back towards Dunkirk lane and the farm shop just after leaving the A59 then home.

Headed off along the tramway which was full of wobbly people on bikes. I especially worry about passing little kids on bikes as they are so unpredictable. I took it pretty easy and pickedup the cycle track off Leyland Road which was sign posted for Hutton. I have passed this for years but never checked it out. It was another shared path arrangement so not one for zooming along and will be slippy in some parts when the leaves start to come down but it was well surfaced and popped me out on Cop Lane on the Penwortham Side of the faffy traffic lights which was a bonus.

I headed into Penwortham then picked up the A59 and the cycle track. I don't know this road well so decided to stay on the track which was initially wide and very smooth. There weren't too many road junctions to slow down for as losing your right of way is one of the biggest drawbacks with these types of paths. It lost major marks when it ran out on the side I was on and I had to cross the road. I carried on at a decent pace for a while only slowing down to cross junctions.

I had a total 'mare getting around one of the roundabouts as I again had to change sides due to the cycle lane becoming "on road" and I would have been cycling against the traffic, not smart. I cruised along for a bit then turned off for Bretherton, so far so good.

I cruised along enjoying myself, the road surface was good and there weren't too many cars, I noted a road not long after leaving the A59 but it wasn't signposted for Leyland (and I thought it would be), so I carried on through Bretherton and out the other side. Eventually it dawned on me that I didn't actually know where I was, or where I was heading to and there was a complete lack of road signs. I came round a bend and could see civilization, when I past the town sign it said "Croston" - oh dear.

There was at least a signpost for Leyland so I headed back that way and eventually found myself very close to Dunkirk lane anyway and I got my bearings...and was passed by the muppet.

A bloke passed me in typical "must get past the girl even though the lights are about to change to red" fashion. He had a very, very shiny new bike and it became quite obvious to me he hadn't been riding long. We were approaching a large crossroads and the lights changed to red. We were riding in a lane at the side of the road which ended at the junction due to the pedestrian crossing jutting into the road, we would have to take the traffic lane to go through. I noticed this, he didn't and proceeded to filter up the left hand side of a large lorry which was first in the queue - which was another dumbass thing to do.

As he couldn't quite get to the front he put himself where the driver couldn't see him but even better he nearly spudded himself. The lights have just changed to red at a major crossroads, they are not going to change back to green in the next three seconds and if you want to remain clipped in bike you better be a track standing maestro, needless to say he wasn't. He pedalled until he realised he couldn't go any further, wobbled, couldn't get his feet out and had to rest his elbow on one of the wheel arches of the lorry while he argued with his pedal. If the lights had gone green and the lorry moved, he would have fallen straight under it.

I couldn't believe it and the passenger in the car next to me saw my disbelief too. I pedalled on a litle then noticed another cycle track I wanted to check out. From the start I knew I wouldn't be taking it on the Spesh. They had a chicane thing to stop you flying out onto the road that would be really difficult to get round on a bike but they had helpfully put a gap that a bike with panniers wouldn't get through. There was also a very narrow bridge that was ok on road handlebars but would be interesting on anything wider. I will stock to the main road around here I think but at least I know now.

A bimble through town and home and I got ready to run. I decided to change my shorts as well rather than run with a nappy on and off I went. I was giggling to myself for the first half mile because it felt so funny, my legs wanted to pedal not run, I felt so uncoordinated. My psoas felt the best its done for ages due to being very warmed up I think, it just felt like a tight muscle which was a good sign. I was also running too fast and had to slow myself down a lot, again I could get straight into the run as I was already warmed up.

I was feeling a little underfuelled though and had heavy legs for the last jog home. I think I will do it again as it was quite amusing, possibly this weekend as I am on call and can't go far from home.

I checked the map and the road I noted after coming off the A59 was the one I was supposed to take, but I will do some more experimenting on the roads in that area (with a map!).

So I cycled 21.6 miles and ran 2:25, in total it was over 1 hour and 40 minutes of quite intense exercise without too much pounding.

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