As is often the way with these kinds of sessions, today's ride was a bit work wrapped up in a bit of fun. In the case of today's ride the fun was bike relays.
The format for the session was teams of two who took turns to race over a 3km circuit. Each cyclists took turns to do one lap and they did four laps each. Given short nature of each lap, as you can imagine it was absolutely flat out. Fun for the whole family.
Interestingly for me, there was an odd number of people down at the squad today and so that meant I was required to race in order to make up the numbers. It was an interesting session, highlighting both how much fitness I have lost, whilst also showing me how much fitness I still have.
3km is just far enough that if you attack it flat out it really hurts by the end. Doing the lap 4 times is also just enough to induce a pretty significant fade, which is exactly what I found.
On the fitness lost side of things it was definitely eye opening just how much I struggled to hold a decent speed. I was quite capable of getting the bike above 40km, but holding it there was beyond me, even more so in the later efforts. I also wasn't the quickest person there, which while not surprising was a small dose of reality.
On the upside of things, while my top speed was down on what it used to be, I was still able to hold an okayish speed for each of the efforts and while I wasn't the fastest person there I wasn't far off. A good reminder that you don't just suddenly lose the base that takes year and years to build.
In a week that I am doing a few things for the first time in months, ie my run yesterday, it seems fitting that I also had my first hard ride in ages. To be honest I shouldn't really be doing much intense exercise, so I am not planning on making a habit of riding hard, but it was sort of fun to do it as a bit of a once off. Hopefully getting in a spot of cycling is something that I will be able to do a little bit more of going forward, however, it is not something I am looking to become obsessive about. I don't really miss the long 6 or 7 hour Saturday bike rides and so I have no intention of returning to those (besides my Cardiologist would most certainly not approve). If I am able to get in a ride or two a week with the squad, then I think that will probably be enough to scratch the itch.
Looking forward to it.