Limbo Dancing.

I’m still in limbo at work. I’ve faced the music, and danced, three or four times now. It’s getting irksome.

Tomorrow, I should get my official sacking. Again. I just wish they would hurry up about it. If I was to keep my job that would obviously be the best outcome, but that is a vanishingly remote chance. Unless they’ve decided to change the company policy, and I’m the first driver to whom it has been applied, I’m sacked. Sad, but let’s get on with it.

My training has been up and down. As I’ve been off work I’ve managed to stick to my Sufferfest training programme. Yoga, strength training, mental toughness, and the bike.

My weight loss has been a work in progress. Or rather how I go about it is a work in progress. I’ve revised my expectations and my plan. Now I’m trying damage limitation on plague weakness days, diet on normal days. I started at 11 stone 5, and I want to get back to 10 stone. It may take a while. After losing 5lbs in the first week, the plague weakness struck and I put 2 back on. I’m slowly edging down again. I’m 10.12 now.

It’s not just a vanity thing. I’m training for a triathlon that has 7,700 feet of elevation changes so I need powerful legs. I’ve been reading up on what constitutes good watts (power) for a cyclist. The answer is “It’s not that simple”. On the flat a 12 stone rider putting out, say 250W will thrash a 9 stone rider putting out 220W. But as soon as you come to a hill the lighter person will waste the chubster.

“To illustrate this, let’s compare power requirements of a 70kg and 80kg rider riding a 6kg road bike up a hill of seven per cent gradient at 16kph (10mph) in still winds. Using data on rolling and aerodynamic resistance, we can calculate that an 80kg rider would have to maintain an average power output or around 298W. The 70kg rider would only need to average 266W to ride up the same hill at the same speed on the same bike.”

A few articles state that for hill climbing you want to pushing the least possible weight against gravity. They say it might cost thousands of pounds, or even be impossible, to lose a 10lbs/ 4.5 kilos (or in my case 19lbs/ 8.6 kilos) off a bike, it cost nothing to lose that off your blubber.

A quick comparison.

My cheapo Decathlon “comfortable” road bike is a smidge under 10 kilos.

The carbon fibre (light), top spec gears, version is 7.8 kilos and £2,000

That’s just under 5lbs of weight for 2 grand. Or to put it another way, in the first week of my diet I saved £2,000! (To be honest, there’s more to the bike than that, it has lighter, deeper wheels so less aero drag, it has a proper stretched out racing shape so easier to stay in an aero riding position and pump power, etc.)

I digress, I was going to say it seems power isn’t measured by pure watts, but by watts per kilo. So my first (inaccurate) ride of the Sufferfest fitness test (4DP) when I was 11 stone 5, put my FTP (Functional Threshold Power, = sustainable max) at 154W. Or 2.16W/K

I’ve just got a proper power meter and did an accurate 4DP test yesterday. This time I was 10 stone 12 and FTP 199W, which is 2.88W/K. Without getting any stronger, when I get to my target weight I’ll be 3.13W/K. Considering that’s likely to be 2 months, I expect to have a bunch more watts as well by then.

I was watching a vlog of this young man, skinny cyclist build, mad for his bikes, saying he had a FTP of 225W. He did a three month training plan on the Trainer Road (like Sufferfest but without the fun) and went to 288 watts! I’ve got about 19 months before Bolton. I’ve just been found a cycling comparison site, and it says if I could get to 280W and 10 stone (63.5 kilos) which would make me 4.4W/K, I would be in the top 12% of cyclists!

Now that is something to aim for! I’m already in the ‘not bad’ group for running, (or was) with plans to break into benchmark territory, if I got to be a good cyclist as well.. Wow.

Which just leaves the swimming. There are no pools open, but I’ve just heard you are still allowed to swim in Pickmere Lake. Literally only found out a few hours ago, so I’ll have to recce and see where I am. It will have to be at a time when Wendy isn’t using the car, probably. But the opportunity is there for proper wetsuit swimming. It’s a bit scary (freezing cold winter swimming, and I don’t know the drill. Parking, access, swimming) but as the Sufferfest say, look for the opportunity.