This morning on my ride to work I finally managed to break the 50 minute mark. I arrived in 49:15. It’s difficult to know the main reason for this big improvement but I feel like the following factors made a difference:
- I won’t be riding for the next couple of days so could push it hard with no worry of aching tomorrow
- The roads were dry so I could corner at speed
- It was warm so I dressed lightly
- I had a relatively clear run with regards to traffic and only stopped very briefly at a couple of junctions
Another factor that I think made a difference was that I mostly sat in the saddle while climbing. The first 15 minutes of my ride are quite hilly including a 10% climb in the first kilometre. Until recently I tended to stand out of the saddle a lot while climbing. I think part of this was because it hurt the legs less (even if it did cause my heart rate to leap). Part of it was also due to the perception that standing can feel like you’re going quicker uphill. But over time I’ve tried to stay in the saddle longer and to only stand when I need a short term boost. I might be wrong, and it might have been more to do with one of the other 4 factors. But today’s quick ride felt like it was due to an emphasis on climbing while seated.
In cracking the 50 minute mark, I achieved an average speed of 31.4kph (19.6mph). So there’s no danger of resting on my laurels – the next target is obviously to hit the 20mph benchmark …