Firstly, thank you for the donations you have made to Sue Ryder to support their hospices. My total raised has today hit £1250, which is 50% of the target - I am thankful for you all for the part you have played in helping me raise the funds for the charity by cycling across and through Death Valley in November.
As part of my thank you to you all, it seemed appropriate that I should update everyone on the progress of training so that you know I am going to achieve what I set out to do. At any time you can look at some stats which can be found at http://app.strava.com/athletes/803517, where I am tracking my training (members of the site can see much more information).
Since the start of 2013, when I really started thinking on how I was going to be able to cycle for 5 days covering the distance involved and up and down mountains, I have covered 617 miles on the bike.
In March I was involved in a training weekend in Oxfordshire - to assess my fitness and also challenge me to do a long ride one day, and then get up the next morning and do another. As you may be aware, March was a month with very changeable weather and the 56 miles ride on the first day was hampered by wind, rain and hail - complete opposite conditions to what I will get in Death Valley. Day 2 was worse, as a snowstorm took hold and we had to abandon the ride in Thame. However, I did discover that I wasn't as unfit as I thought, and with the spring and summer coming, I should be able to put enough time in to successfully complete the challenge.
This month I hope to pass 300 miles in a single month. This should be the start of a lot more miles (even though the challenge is 260 miles, I hope to get in at least 1500 in training).
Next week brings about the first of the three (at the moment) mini-challenges I have set myself in the run up to the main event, with the Ride for Ryder taking place on Sunday May 12th. This is a 60 mile ride in Oxfordshire starting and ending at the Nettlebed Hospice, who are the main beneficiary of the fundraising. Hoping for a sub-5 hour ride (excluding a lunch stop), so check out the above website a day or two after to see the result!
July is the next big month after that, with two challenges (Birmingham to Oxford on July 7th and the Wiggle Stratford Sportive on 27th). In total these two challenges are 137 miles, and that is in addition to the other training I will need to do that month.
Getting the miles in is only part of the battle. On day 2 of the Death Valley Challenge, I have a 15 mile section of the route which climbs 4,500 feet, which is approximately a 5% climb. Hills are definitely my weakpoint, so I have to motivate myself enough to find the worst hills around where I live and keep going up them.
I hope, by that July, to have secured a shirt sponsor and the fundraising has moved on significantly. If you are reading this and haven't yet donated, please do so!
Thanks for your support