After seeing great improvements over 3 continuous Wednesday nights on the flat Rainford 10 course I wanted to head back to the harder “bumpy” Kilton course to see if I could achieve the same improvements or at least smash my PB.
My first Kilton 8.75 miles this year started with a PB of 25:33 avg spd 20.55mph back on the 11th May. My next attempt on 25th May was slower at 25:41 but I hadn’t really been doing the miles so I was reasonably happy just that I’d improved from last year.
June was different, with Liverpool Triathlon round the corner I had to make more of an effort so I got my golden ticket from my wife to let me out on Wednesdays to do the TT’s and at the weekends it was 20-25 miles of intervals. Still nowhere near the mileage I would like but bear in mind I still had to get my running and swimming in too. It seemed to be working though as I took my Rainford time from 28:21 avg spd 21.2mph to 26:34 avg spd 22.6mph.
The true test came on 6th July on my return to the Kilton setting myself the target of averaging over 21mph. I got there early as usual and the heavens opened, rain hitting my window screen so hard I thought it was about to shatter. There I was, sat in my car in an empty car park wondering what the hell I was doing – I must be mad. Luckily the rain eased but it was still wet and very windy so maybe not the best night for a PB. I got myself warmed up and down to the start line already soaked through. My number was up and off I went flying down to the roundabout wind assisted which could only mean one thing, head wind on the way back! I always struggle on the way back as there’s a bit of a bump over the motorway and it always zaps my legs and tonight it was into the wind too! The wind was relentless and it was a battle all to way to the finish line. About 2 miles to go I felt it was going to be a slow time but just keep the effort and gave it everything. I crossed the line feeling Ill and on the verge of passing out but when I checked my Garmin for the first time it was all worth it seeing 21.something through my blurred vision. For some reason I didn’t look at it again and decided to wait for the results to be read out. Andy Meade 24:09 it felt like I’d won, time’s like 20:48 and 19:58 where being called out but I had the biggest smile on my face knocking 1m24s off my PB and averaging 21.7mph I was well chuffed.
Never fully satisfied I set my target the following week of hitting avg 22mph and the conditions looked perfect. According to the forecast there was little wind and stood in the car park pinning my number to my jersey I was in agreement. It was a different story once I was racing though, head wind from nowhere on the way out made it a lot more difficult than I have ever rode it and just when you’re thinking it’ll be fast coming back in, I’d used that much energy on the way out that I wasn’t feeling strong enough to push on. The wind did assist me up over the motorway so I wasn’t completely spent and then I managed to get settled into a rhythm maintaining a good speed and even found a little something extra for a downhill all out finish. Again this week I waited for the results, Andy Meade 23:52 another 17 seconds off my PB. It wasn’t till the next day on the North Cheshire website that I’d hit my target just hitting an average speed of 22mph.
With only 5 more Kiltons left in the season I’ve now set my sites on the North Cheshire Clarion most improved title. Currently held by Giles with a 2m05s improvement this year I think I’m currently in second place with 1m41s off. So to have any chance of winning I need to at least knock off another 25 seconds and average 22.4mph and that’s without Giles improving further. It’s a long shot but something to aim for. I also wouldn’t mind getting back on the Rainford to see if I can break 23mph on there while this weekend if I’ve got in I’ll be trying my first official 25m. Should be fun!
6th JULY – 8.70mile 24:18 avg 21.5mph avg HR 171bpm max HR 179bpm
13th JULY – 8.71mile 23:57 avg 21.8mph avg HR 173bpm max HR 179bpm