This past weekend I took part in a sportive run by F3 Events (with my cycling buddy for the day Filippo). The Little Dipper Sportive took in 100km of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire countryside. My intention in taking part was to make sure I could cover the distance of the pending Half distance event (90km) easily with something left in the tank (remembering that I’d need to be strong enough to run a half marathon after). I also had a target average moving speed I wanted to hit 30kph (19mph) which is my target Ironman pace.
Cutting a long story short, I should have done a little more research on this event before signing up – it was Tough (yes, with a capital T). Lots of up’s and down’s. Lots of out of the saddle drags up long testing climbs. Of course what goes up must come down and there were a few super fast descents, but these were few and far between and were short to say the least. There were quite a few people taking part and some large groups formed of people doing their best to escape the windy conditions. I wanted to avoid this, since in The Outlaw, drafting is forbidden and the wind is likely to be my constant enemy.
Overall, the distance felt good and I think I’d have had enough left to run the half marathon. In fact, since I cycled to and from Shiplake (where the event started) my total cycling distance for the day was 143km (that’s 89 miles in old money). On the downside, my average moving speed was only 24kph (15mph), but since much of the time I was doing less than 10kph on the uphills that’s to be expected. Nottingham is a much flatter course and I should expect to do better there. In hindsight I should have stuck to Plan A and took part in the Galeforce Events sportive in Bedford which was considerably less “bumpy”. Oh well.
Two days later and my legs feel a little sore and I’m still not back to the levels of energy I had before the weekend. Mid-race & recovery nutrition fail.
Click on the elevation chart below for more details on the ride. Ouch.