At this time of year it’s common for endurance sportsfolk to try and squeeze out every last drop of form from that hard won fitness by adding extra races to the calendar. Its always a bit of a balancing act as the body needs a break, yet when you go out in your bike you often feel strong and fast. I always like to have a complete break of at least 2 weeks at this time of year and as I get older, that break seems to be ever more important. I know I’m due a break when the recovery from a race takes longer than it normally would. Although I didn’t have too much in the way of muscle soreness after Tatton, I really felt fatigued and didn’t actually train again until the weekend just gone. That’s a sure sign that I should be hanging up the wheels, but in fact, I’ve signed up for Saturday’s Oulton Park duathlon. This should be an interesting experience for a couple of reasons: firstly, it’s the first time I’ve done a duathlon (run/bike/run) and since there is no swim (my weakest discipline) it ought to play to my strengths; secondly, it’s all on the super smooth surface of a motor racing circuit which should make for fast riding. So, providing the early autumn weather remains settled, I’m hoping for a decent race and encouragement to try a few a few more duathlons this winter. On the other hand, it might prove to me that I really should have packed in the racing after Tatton.

Incidentally, I calculated my average speed for the Tatton bike section as 35.7 kmh. This is almost identical to my average speed at Bala last year, and 4.3 kmh short of the magic 4o. Given the saturated course conditions and the constant having to slow down at junctions for other competitors, I’m quite pleased. I wonder if I can get a bit closer to 40kmh at Oulton?

I used this useful online speed/distance/timecalculator