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28 November 2015

Getting back in shape: Pane e polvere

Having lots of fun cycling

The last month I started to pick up my cycling pace again. The downtime after the accident had reduced my endurance a lot. Where at first I worked hard to cycle 6km, now things start to improve. There is no mistery about how to get back in shape, basically all it takes is patience and perseverence. Not wanting too much, too soon is also important.

"Pane e polvere"
"400km a settimana. Sempre. Pioggia, vento, grandine non importava."

"Bread and Dust"
"400km per week. Always. Rain, wind, hail, does not matter."
-- Fiorenzo Magni

Fiorenzo Magni was a champion in the generation of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali in Italy of the 1950s. He was a tough rider, the kind who braved the elements, and he was famous for finishing the Giro d'Italia with a broken collarbone (finishing on 2nd place, no less). In an interview given in 2012, he was asked "how did you train normally?" He answered "Bread and dust. Which means doing many, many kilometers." And then he mentions training 400km per week, plus the races.

Obviously I'm nowhere near that number. Also I don't count so much the kilometers, as the hours. Because here on Naxos, the kilometers have a different quality, with all the climbing. When I was doing 10 - 12 hours per week back in the spring of 2014, I was doing just fine. I wasn't necessarily so fast, but "doing fine" meant that I could go for a longish ride and not be exhausted with every little climb.

Currently I've moved up to 4 - 8 hours per week, and I start to be more comfortable with 3 hour rides. My "training" doesn't consist of any planned exercises or something, but instead simply of clocking in a lot of time on the bike, going more slow than fast. First building endurance before even attempting to build up speed again.

I've also moved my "better" bike to Naxos, and on that bike I feel much more comfortable. So overall I'm starting to enjoy cycling a lot again.

Posted by betabug at 11:26 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)