40 Days I gave myself to get my ‘mojo back!
After 25 years of cycling on off and in the past year with a lot happening in and around my life, I seemed to have lost some of the passion I had for cycling, so I believed. The 40 day plan I set for myself was just the recipe to rekindle some of that passion. I would guess it was almost like a writer having writers block. With my Freedom Challenge mountain bike race across South Africa in 2016 I desperately wanted to grab hold of that joy and satisfaction of being on a bike and taking a ride.
There had been a couple of setbacks in the past 10 months before my 40 day plan and as a human being it tested and affected my train of thoughts, my level of motivation, my emotions and outlooks. But that is all in the past and life is not really about yesterday but really about how you are living your Today. We’ve all heard it. If you are sad and depressed, you could be living in the past. If you’re anxious and stressed, you could well be living in the future. If you going all out today and making the most of what it has to offer and are happy and content, you living in the moment, the present, and that is where you need to be.
My 40 days of cycling kicked off on the 13th October and with 3 days missed in this plan within the time frame, spanned an extra 3 days on to cover this. I was left feeling pretty okay with my efforts and let’s call it my introduction into what lies ahead and the foundation laid to build onto. Freedom Challenge is effectively around 190 days away and I am positive about how my planning will play out over the rest of the 6 months leading up to the event. As a working class citizen along with the work commitments most of us cyclist find ourselves with along with keeping family time in check, I have been happy with how my applied mind coped. Most importantly, spending all rides on my own, I have been happy to have been able to maintain consistent riding habits along with throwing in a couple of interval sessions on the bike. An average of 40km (1600km total) ridden daily, an average of 325m (13000m total)of ascent attained per day and keeping my average cadence at around 82 rpm, I have been satisfied with the base I have laid out for myself.
The training format from here will remain pretty much the same going forward but with a structured plan, with short rides in the week (at least two interval days, two regular fast paced days and a recovery day) with longer back to back rides over the weekends when not working.
The aim is to get to a 15 to 20 hour week. Thrown into this will be mix of walking, running and hiking as well as gear testing but also most importantly, recovery time. I am also looking forward to start testing my Osprey and Buff gear when the time comes as well as Apidura bags on the bike.
I have been blessed with good health in the past 6 weeks and when your body starts going through transformation it can be a shock to the system. The stresses on your body, weight loss, can all cause your system to go south but I have not felt this good in a long while. It's a good place to be in. In over 6 weeks, one of the things that has been noticeable is I have had no heartburn also know as acid reflux, of which I suffered from periodically and that is thanks to cutting out sugars and most processed foods along with the weight loss. With riding off into desolate places at times I have also been blessed with safe passage and have had no incidents that would warrant alarm other than the cheers of some rural kids cheering you along as you pass them by; Older men puffing on their pipes nodding a greeting gesture whilst sitting on a pile of rocks in the late sunlit afternoon. Farm workers on their way home on a dusty road at dusk waving you along. All this captured in my ability to do what I can do. I have also been blessed with no serious bike mechanicals and so it proves that to keep your trusty steed in good shape and regular maintenance is the key.
AND now! We ride on…..