Saturday, 10 April 2010

One from the heart

Let's get to the point, get to the heart of it
Strip down to the bone and get to the heart of it.

A call to arms in 1986 from Easterhouse's Andy Perry, a band so far to the left they dismissed the then pretty lefty Labour Party as a bunch of imperialistic splitters.

But getting to the heart of it is exactly what I've been doing tonight. Yes, I've finally dug out the heart rate monitor from its packaging and read the instructions. It's fairly complicated, but not too bad to pick up the basics, which is all I need. Bit fiddly to set up and there's a fair amount of fannying around involved as you have to moisten electrodes and fit a transmitter strap to your chest. But it's only mildly uncomfortable at first and after 15 minutes, you barely notice it's there.

It revealed a chilling truth, however. Looks like I've been under-training. What I thought were tough efforts at around 85% of my maximum heart rate have been less intense, clocking in at around 75-80% tops. This is potentially bad news. On the other hand, it might mean I've become much fitter in the last three months or so to the extent that what would previously have been a harder effort has become easier. I'll get the chance to test that theory tomorrow as I head for the North Downs again.

And it looks like it'll be a decent day for it. Sunny spells, temperatures of around 13 degrees and little wind. Brilliant combination. I'll be aiming for long, steady grinders of hills rather than the short, steep shockers I encountered last time. And crucially, I haven't over-done it on the turbo this evening, so hopefully the legs will hold out and not be too fatigued like I think they were last weekend.

There are encouraging noises coming out of the estate agents too, so fingers crossed the flat might sell before the big day. Looks like bike choice will be based on what's available in a short space of time rather than what I'd like ideally, but I can't complain. Whatever it is will be lighter, comfier and more fit for purpose than the current steed, which is still serving me well even though it creaks a bit too much under stress.

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