Word of the day – DETRAINING

Ham Hill, Somerset
Ham Hill, Somerset

This wont come as a surprise to anyone but if you are into the science of sport and health you may find this article really interesting.


You have a safe period of about four days with no large detraining consequences. After that the detraining effect hits surprisingly fast.

What it says in a nutshell is after 3-4 days of no cycling your body starts to change. The efficiency of your heart and lungs fall slightly and leave it any longer and you will start to notice a significant drop in your fitness level and ability to recover.

Changes really begin to occur after one week out of the saddle and result in fitness losses. Aerobic capabilities drop off by about 5 percent. Your blood volume can be reduced by five to twelve percent.  This means a decrease in the amount of blood your heart can pump in terms of the amount of blood pumped per beat and total blood volume per minute. Your muscles also begin to lose elasticity.

Twice a week has always been that minimum magic number of “times to get out and ride” and we have all noticed the how things change if you have a week or 2 off..

If you’re forced to abandon your normal cycling routine for more than two weeks, attempt an abridged cycling schedule, even if it’s one ride per week, rather than stopping altogether. If you don’t have time for a good ride, you can break it up into several shorter rides. One option is to do two or three short sessions a week of high-intensity interval training. One-minute sprints of cycling, alternating with one-minute rests for a total of 10 minutes. Research shows that this can be a good way to maintain aerobic fitness, without significant detraining effects.

So get up and get out at least twice a week or every 3 days and keep yourself in tip top condition…

The Story So Far

How much do we have to walk each day?
How much do we have to walk each day?

On the 1st of July I decided I would get out everyday on my bike for the whole month.

Here’s the post – https://timfromwales.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/10k-a-day-for-july/

I was not going to try and replicate the Tour de France or do anything ridiculous – I just followed suit on the 10000 steps a day challenge and do 10000m (or 10k) everyday also.

Why? Well I am working from home mostly so I don’t walk to the car, walk around the office, go out at lunch time etc and basically I can take the day as it comes. I ride my mountain bike twice a week, and tend to walk a reasonable amount. But could I walk and bike those distances everyday when I didn’t have to leave the house other than a couple of dog walks?

The have been a few close calls so far – A busy day (sitting at my desk) here and there meant I had to make the extra effort with Brodie (the dog) and last night it was 8.30pm and I really wanted to sit down but I made myself get out on the bike and it was totally worth it.

So, 6 days in and I have been doing well here are the first 6 days of July:

  1. Bike 11.6km, 11,841 steps
  2. Bike 34.8km, 11,961 steps
  3. Bike 13km, 15,321 steps
  4. Bike 12.5km, 14,162 steps
  5. Bike 16.1km,  10,691 steps
  6. Bike 11.7km,  12,345 steps

That’s an on target, 100km by bike and 76,321 steps (or approximately 70km on foot also).

I know there will be those that commute further each day and ride much more each week – this is a personal thing and not me stating this is anything special. I want to see if there is an improvement on my fitness or sleep or health in anyway for me.

How do I feel?  I think I need to start to stretch my legs a little, even the 45-60 mins a day has an impact and I noticed last night my legs felt heavy and lacking a little bit of energy – could be diet related?

25 days to go including a very difficult day tomorrow where I am spending most of the day in the car – I need a plan!

Before this there was an attempt at that…

ASICS trainers

I have mentioned previously that my mountain biking came about by accident a few years ago. Having done various forms of martial art over the years (tae kwon do and shotokan karate), it had been a while since I had done any proper exercise so I decided I would try running. Even the smartphone apps and music couldn’t keep me interested longer than about 3 weeks, so I gave up.

It was going to be some time before I was going to notice any improvement in fitness or ability and I gave up long before either. I don’t regret it as such as I bought a mountain bike and my life changed, but looking back now I wish I had stuck at it a bit longer.

Garmin Vivofit

Different forms of exercise can compliment and benefit each other and a friend of mine recommended I gave it another go to help with cardio fitness. So a few weeks ago I dusted off the trainers and went for a run.

2 miles and the next day my quads were aching! I hadn’t really stretched so I suppose I had it coming, was this a good idea? This time with Strava and some automatically generated goals (best 1km, best 5km etc) and a new found love of stats and of course a desire to get fit I stuck at it.

Gadgets help me and I really like my Garmin Vivofit and the Garmin Connect App. These along with Strava are helping me record my activities and encourage me to get off my back side.

Now only 3 weeks and a handful of runs later I am running 5km under 30mins and I have set my self an adventurous goal of running 10km by the end of the month – that’s only 10 days away!

I have a cold this weekend so I’m not doing anything to make it worse, but 10k by the end of April is a must. While it’s not a cycling goal it’s a fitness goal.

It’s been a long day

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Can't really be bothered today #plainlazy

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Its been a really long work day by my usual standards. Up and out of the door by 7.30 and just got home at gone 8.00. That’s am and pm respectively, by the way I don’t deliver take away leaflets!

A few hundred miles and about 8 English counties covered. It’s not that bad really but it’s the third day in a row of up early and home late with lots of driving in between. Some people do this everyday – they must be wired differently to me as I now need a lazy day in the office tomorrow, which isn’t going to happen.

Meeting reports to write, follow up calls and emails, catch up on missed emails and calls and of course make some new calls and probably send some more emails…

Update on the diet/calorie-counting : well I kinda stopped this last two days but I weighed this morning and the simple fact that I have been thinking about my food intake has been beneficial as I appear to have lost about 2 pounds this week!

Right time for a beer…

Good vs Evil


It’s a new year and most of us try to change something about the way we live and cut down, back or out completely some of our vices. We also try to exercise more and generally try to feel a bit better about ourselves after the Christmas partying.

I have installed a calorie counting app on my phone (more about that once I have some meaningful data) in an effort to keep track of my food and calorie intake. This coupled with some more regular bike riding should have me in good shape by the summer.

My only downfall could be pool. I play in a pool league which means frequenting pubs every week. Match night and practice night use up my precious “passes” from duties and responsibilities at home and mean that exercise takes a back seat… Lets see what I can squeeze in.

By the way we won the first match of 2013 last night.