Time to re-build the engine.
With such an awful mileage month in July, August was all about getting back in the saddle and winning back fitness.
The first couple of rides were tough, exactly as expected but a tough ride in the Pennines of 50M with around 5K of ascent soon got things back to normal. Weather conditions were awful, the wind gusting at 40-50mph combined with heavy rain meant a character building ride and average speed of around 12.5mph overall.
It seemed to to be the trigger point to kickstart my engine and the miles since then have felt like they are getting back to normal. My average year on year on speed for the single month being down as I did less ascent this time last year.
My big focus has been to lose some weight following a full BUPA fitness review in August. In terms of cardiac fitness I'm in the top 10% for my age and my lung age is apparently 29. However, my body fat was at 26%, what the doctor described as 'fat and fit' (ouch).
To look at me, you probably wouldn't guess that. I'm 6ft 2 inches tall, however the ratio they look at (waist width vs. height), then combined with the BMI doesn't lie and I'm in the red bit of their charts. So focus is reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass and progress thus far is promising (seven pounds off and bodyfat from 26% to under 20% in around 7 weeks).
Losing Weight - The Approach
I got a Fitbit, some Fitbit scales and then started logging everything I eat in MyFitnessPal, which is also hooked up to my Garmin Connect. The dashboard gives you real clarity on what you eat, it's composition and calories vs. your goals. It also logs your steps, sleep and other exercise, so you get a holistic view on your calories in vs. calories burned.
Being a data driven person, seeing the data in this way has given new clarity to what steps I need to take and progress, which is a real motivator. The Fitbit scales are pretty neat, they hook into your wireless network and then send your weight and body fat % straight into the application - saving loads of time.
As September closes in on us, my main effort is to lose some weight so it may mean a few slower rides and more visits to the gym. Annual mileage might take a knock, however in the big picture establishing a better power to weight ratio is key.
Month to Date
Mileage- 397miles/635km (+10% vs. PY)
Ride Time - 27hrs 52mins
Ascent - 17,900ft
Avg. Speed - 15.0mph (-15% vs. PY)
Avg. HR - 150bpm
Calories (estimate) -18,300
Ride Ascent Ratio (Ascent/Miles) - 45.1 (Medium/Undulating) (+32% vs. PY)
Year to Date
Mileage- 2,737 miles/4,379km (-10% vs. PY)
Ride Time - 173hrs 32mins
Ascent - 114,016ft (Same vs. PY)
Avg. Speed - 15.9mph (-2% vs PY)
Avg. HR - 146bpm
Calories (estimate) - 104,647
Ride Ascent Ratio (Ascent/Miles) - 41.7 (Medium)