>Going downhill slowly

>My cold is taking an age to clear so I didn’t ride Saturday’s Hillingdon criterium. This was because of the cold you understand, nothing to do with the awful weather and the kicking I got the previous week. It was a judgment call. Honest.

Sunday was a 10m TT at Great Missenden run by the VTTA London and Home Counties Group. The weather was dry and still, but it was very cold. I returned from my ‘warm-up’ several degrees colder than I started and hunting for extra gloves.

My race plan (hah!) was to roll round taking it easy. It’s still early season and I want to get this cold well out of my system before making a big effort. Of course, all reason flies out of the window when the timekeeper counts down. I tried to go hard over the first couple of miles but my body, luckily, knew better. Whenever I tried to accelerate I just ran out of power. I didn’t seem to be able to get any air into the top part of my lungs (lower lung breathing is restricted by the ‘TT crouch’). Either my HRM strap was too tight or the cold and a lack of serious training last week had had an effect. On the fastest section of the course I only managed a top speed of 28.4mph when 32mph might have been expected.

I finished with a 27:46 (10 seconds faster than last year was some consolation). I was one of only two riders in the field to get ‘a minus’ against my veterans standard time. The winner was Graham Weeks of Hillingdon CC with a 23:08.

I’m not too worried by the time. It was slower than I’d hope for, but not disastrous. It will probably take another week or ten days to recover from this virus and longer again to rebuild the training scores I’d built up just before I went down with it. In the mean time I will loosen my HRM strap.

Race stats: 10 miles in 27:46 (21.61mph). 9 out of 17 finishers. Slowest mile (7): 3:16 (18.37mph). Fastest mile (4): 2:20 (25.71mph). First 5 miles: 13:30, last 5 miles: 14:16. Max heart rate: 167bpm, average HR: 160bpm.