Return to Wheel Religion

SKODA Tour de Conamara blogger John Donnelly talks about the return to the bike after Christmas, new health and fitness promises and the twenty week training countdown.

Where’s my gloves? 

Where’s my water bottle?

Where’s my jacket?  

These were the questions I asked myself this morning in the dark, stumbling around the house before my 1st spin of the year. Between selection boxes, salami platters and cheese boards the Christmas has been long. Plus, as I was not cycling much in November and December.  With the kids being sick over the Christmas and I became sick myself on my 1st day back to work in the New Year, so I had to take 2 weeks off from cycling.

Tour de Conamara blogger John Donnelly

Tour de Conamara blogger John Donnelly

My New Year started this morning. I dusted off the bike and left with the gear I could find without waking up the house. My legs were the 1st to tell me: WELCOME BACK JOHN! ITS BEEN A WHILE!

We have 20 weeks to get the body fit for cycling again. I was out on my own for this morning’s spin, trying to think of what to write for this blog, but all I could think of in the 30 km I cycled was that I really need to get fit again.

So the plan is to get out every Sunday morning to do 60km+ and try 20km mid-week for a while. The problem is between work and 3 little girls, it’s hard to get out mid-week. My Sunday morning spin is currently my wheel religion session and as I see it, you have to give yourself a little bit of time to yourself for yourself. If you’re in a club or group this is the best way to get kilometres under your belt and will help keep you going out for a spin.

The way I see it is I have 20 weeks, so if you’re going for the 80km mark I would be targeting the 50km in the next 10 weeks so last week in March and for the 140 try aim for 75 km by then too.

The aim is to start your training as early in the year as you can so you don’t have to push yourself too hard by the time the tour de Conamara arrives or any big event for that matter. All the cold, wet mornings and cycles you have in January, February and March will be of huge benefit to every muscle in your body.

Now is the time to start eating right. Detox is very important but the fundamental rule is to eat and drink healthily. I work on a organic veg farm here in Ballinasloe and see the importance of eating simple fresh food. The more vegetables you eat the better. I have found that snacks such as nuts and berries are great for mid-day treats as they are high in energy and are a good pick-me-up. I make my own energy bars and snacks -which I plan to post the recipes of next month. I have also given up fizzy drinks and changed from white to brown bread for the new year.

There is a lot of core work I have been shown and really wanted to start as soon as possible, so I have invested in a yoga mat and am going to start watching some YouTube core work videos. This is another part of the bike fitness that will help you on the bike for the coming months. Hopefully next month I will be able to tell you of the positive impact this has made. I hope to have a lot more progress reports and the status of my training next month.

The main thing is to dust your bike off and get back out there. It’s a new year – you have lots of time to get fit before the end of May so get your kilometres up and hit the roads around you.

Chat next month,

John Donnelly.