Sunday, 30 August 2009

Day 126 - through the heart of Herts

Type - Steady cycle

Distance - 90 kilometres

Time - 3 hours 50 minutes

Average speed - 23.5 km/h

After the fantastic cycling in Ireland and repeatedly quick runs in to work I've decided to broaden the scope of my training and this blog. Although my primary aim remains a decent time in the London Marathon, the point of the training was always wider than this single event - I wanted to get fit, lose weight and start racing. Given the headstart I already have in cycling, it seems a good idea to incorporate that with an aim to taking part in duathlons (if not triathalons if I can ever get my swimming up to scratch). Given the cross training benefits of cycling improve running performance overall, it has to be a win-win decision.

So, with that in mind, I set off to Finsbury Park station and took a quick train out to Hadley Wood. Barely quarter of an hour later I was cycling out of Greater London and passed the southern boundary of Hertfordshire. A couple of hill climbs later I was through Potters Bar heading north to Hatfield. Here the route gets a bit messy, as the area between Hatfield and Potters Bar is a mess of main roads, motorways and railway lines. I eventually strike out on the right B road heading north-west through the Hertfordshire countryside to Hitchin via Wheathampstead.

The cycling is decent, but a stiff breeze keeps the speed of any descents in check and makes surging up the ascents more difficult. It barely affects the steady pace, and I make good time through the villages into Hitchin. I have a quick break, lunch, and a wander round a pretty unremarkable town centre, and head back on the road.

Heading back down to Wheathampstead, but via a different route just to create a bit of variety, and the cycle is speedy - winds now blowing in my direction and creating a smooth, even and fast cadence.

I get back into Potters Bar 3 hours and 50 minutes later, having cycled 90 kilometres. It works out at an average speed of 23.5 km/h, which I am pretty happy with. I sit, bug blasted and dusty, on a train heading back to London and wonder how much quicker it would be once I buy my new bike.

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