>Miles in the bank

>When I were a lad we used to talk about ‘miles in the bank’. Structured and scientific training was the province of the few (we had heard of ‘intervals’ and ‘fartlek’, but we didn’t quite know what they were and we  certainly didn’t know anyone who used them). Coaches were pretty thin on the ground and running a coaching business unheard of. Training started at the Boxing Day ’10’ time trial and continued through January and February with a series of unstructured, longish rides to knock the edges off. Pace and pain was added if you went out with faster riders. Racing started at the end of February and from then on in most people were ‘racing themselves fit’. Most of my PBs happened in July and August.

Nowadays, of course, even if you don’t have a coach, you have access to myriad coaching manuals, magazines and on-line forums. I train far less than I used to – last week I rode 230 miles, which is the most I’ve done in a week since the 1970s. I used to clock up 300+ miles a week regularly and once, memorably, rode over 600 miles in a week.

I know the new methods produce results, but habit makes me think of getting the miles in the bank. And I’m hoping there’s something in it.

After a stressful couple of weeks, where we thought the house buying chain might crumble, we finally exchanged contracts yesterday and we’ll be moving to Bexhill in a couple of weeks. This is great news but will lead to a reduction in training. My focus is elsewhere and there’s a lot to do between now and the move. I’m going to be cashing in some of my miles in the bank.

I hope that I can get back into full training again in April and start racing properly in May. I will try and ride next weekend’s ’10’ just so that I can say the season has started! It’ll be interesting to begin late. My recent seasons have seen performances peak in May and early June. Perhaps we’ll see a reversion to the old pattern.

Yesterday’s news about the house was topped by wonderful family news. Tonight we have a meal with friends and tomorrow is Pat’s birthday. It’s turning out to be a pretty good weekend.