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Chester coffee and a border crossing!

Having rested my hamstring for a couple of days after it still not feeling great after Tuesday's ride I did a little Zwift spin for an hour on Friday. This felt fine as far as the legs were concerned and I woke up with no apparent side effects on Saturday morning. I elected to do a flat loop to Chester for a coffee (a fairly regular Saturday morning occurrence these days). It's a nice route where you can pretty much hold endurance pace the whole way.

After this ride I was fortunate enough to be able to put the legs up for the rest of the day and watch Le Tour. I kept applying ice to the hamstring tendon for 15 minutes or so at the time to aid any potential inflammation post ride (even though it felt fairly solid on the ride when warm).

Felt decent on Sunday morning and no ill effects from the ride the day before. I'd say the hamstring tendon felt 85-90%. The forecast looked decent (perhaps the odd shower here and there) and I saw this as a good chance to get the second of the RCC Triple Crown Challenge 2020 rides done "A Border Crossing". This route starts in Nantwich and does a loop around Wrexham taking in a few choice climbs en route.

Given that I'd missed a few longer intervals on Wednesday and Thursday with my legs up, I decided to complete these efforts on the 3 climbs of the day. The first effort I completed was an "increasing effort" where I started around mid-tempo and worked my way up to VO2max as the gradient demanded. I targeted a 10 mile segment which effectively starts the climb which culminates in "The World's End" climb.

What was pleasing about this ascent was that I was able to set a new 10 minute power record for the last 10 minutes of the climb. Really nice to see that, especially after 25 or so minutes of build up.

After a cautious descent (including walking across the ford halfway down - if you know it, you know!) it was straight into Horseshoe pass. This time I targeted 20 minutes at sweet spot and held a fairly consistent power on the ascent.

Up to this point the weather had been lovely, plenty of sun and a decent temperature. However, it was clear approaching the Ponderosa cafe at the summit of Horseshoe Pass that things were about to change...

As expected, the first downpour did occur on the descent. I would have sought refuge in the cafe, but it was absolutely packed with people, so decided to crack on. 10 minutes of shoe filling heavy rain later and the sun had returned in time for the ascent up "The Shelf". The final planned "effort" of the day, and this one was set to be mid tempo.

With the 3 main efforts of the day complete it was just a case of finding somewhere to refill the bidons and conclude the ride with 65km of mostly (this is still Wales after all) flat roads.

Upon arriving back at the car the after a few more showers on the way in, both bike and rider were fairly muddy, but a good day was had!

So with that ride concluded it only leaves the Clitheroe leg (a 90km route taking in 7 climbs in the Trough of Bowland). I'm hoping to complete this on Sunday if things continue to improve with the injury and the weather complies!

Writing this a couple of days after the weekend I can report that Monday was a complete rest day and I could certainly feel that I had done some work in the tendon, but it had not reverted back to the pain I had before. On Tuesday I completed just a recovery spin on Zwift in preparation for Wednesdays outdoor ride. I'll report back on that and any further developments in a few days time, but fingers crossed things are slowly improving. The power is clearly still there, but I'm very conscious of prolonging the recovery time by not taking "complete" rest.

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