My colleague James Shrubsall is egging me on to enter the Chiltern 100 sportive on June 3 and as it takes place on my manor, I can?t really say no.

It?s still more than two months away so I have a fighting chance of being fit enough. Getting enough rides of that sort of distance (107 miles) will be the biggest challenge. I know more or less all the hills on the route well enough but I?ve never attempted all of them on the same ride.

I fear I will be a bad influence on James, though. A few years ago, we went on a training camp to Spain with a few other people from the magazine. On the first night, when everyone else got an early night ready for the opening day?s riding, James and I overdid the beers and woke the next morning feeling green.

I suffered like a dog on what was a fairly leisurely ride. I was wretchedly dehydrated and felt sick. James assured me he felt just as bad. When we got back to the apartment I showered, stuck the TV on and lay on the sofa watching some Spanish bike race ? I think it was the Tour of Murcia.

James, who was in training for the London Marathon, got changed into his running kit and went for a 10-mile run. For me that crosses the line from heroic to idiotic but James does like to make a rod for his own back, training wise.

There are a few hardcore people contributing to our forum too. I applaud everyone who is trying to succeed where I have failed and ride every single day for 30 days. My only note of caution is that over-training can be damaging, so be sure not to over-do it.

However, if you?re only managing between ten and 12 miles on the bike, I do expect you to get at least a 5k run in before dark.

Today was a bit of a struggle for me. I just couldn?t concentrate fully and if I am brutally honest, my interval session was not the most dedicated. I found my mind wandering from the task in hand and forgot to start my stop-clock for the second eight-minute stint at lactate threshold. Some days are just like that.

In the end, I wound down and just rolled round for 20 minutes or so, trying to clear my head.

Coach Hannah?s motto is that if something is worth doing, it?s worth doing properly and usually I?d whole-heartedly agree. Today was a waste of time, I had too many other things on my mind, and I?d have been better off staying at home and doing something useful, like painting.


Distance: 20 kilometres (12 miles)

10 minutes at base endurance

8 minutes at lactate threshold

2 minutes rest

8 minutes at lactate threshold

10 minutes at base endurance


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