Saturday, 10 November 2007

Route Selection

Somerset is famous for an area of land known as the Somerset Levels. As the name suggests it is a very flat region. It is an area of wetlands prone to flooding, mostly given over to pasture land for dairy cattle. Being so flat it is very suited riding bikes.

This is the part of Somerset that I don't live in. The part of Somerset I live in seems to be anything but level. I went out on my bike today with the intention of having a nice gentle zone 1/2 ride. I have been very slack with my cycling recently but this is the time of year to get things going again an start building my base of fitness for next year. Building base fitness requires rides at lower intensity, not aiming for speed or really hard efforts, but building aerobic fitness for the speed work to come later in the year.

Unfortunately my route selection today let me down. Most of my routes from home try to avoid towns and major roads and so get funnelled out on a particular road. towards my hill. As I have said before it isn't really that much of a hill but it is very steep. For me riding up it is not a zone 1/2 aerobic ride. It is a short burst of really hard effort. Zone 1 or 2 does not mean hitting a heart rate of 191. Here is the output from my Garmin.

As you can see I haven't shown the time this took me, that would be too embarrassing. My heart rate was up and down for the whole ride. This is partly due to my poor fitness and partly due to my poor selection of route. If I want a nice gentle ride I need to avoid that hill. Time to start looking for some nice flat routes I think.

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