Shout, shout, let it all out

Training ride 18 – distance: 16.9 miles

Training ride 19 – distance: 18.3 miles

Training ride 20 – distance: 32.1 miles

Training ride 21 – distance 22.4 miles

Total training miles: 295.2

Days left to challenge: 322

As I write this blog entry I’ve just returned from the first meeting of the #team100 at the Hospice where we had a chance to meet fellow riders and had a very informative talk from two young sports scientists on how best to look after ourselves as we train for our ride.

With seemingly perpetual heavy legs after some recent rides it was good to see some stretching exercises and to be reminded that the foam roller that has been languishing behind our sofa would be far more useful to relieve deep muscle tiredness if I actually used it!

The group was also introduced to the concept and practise of ‘BOWING’ a way to increase oxygen intake and “turn us into happy dogs” – although I admit I may have misheard that last bit.

There was a mixed response to this exercise but if I tell you that to do it successfully you need to picture/channel Leonard Rossiter leaning back with his hands at the base of his back and then instead of saying “oh Miss Jones”  with mouth wide open you exhale all your breath as if you were a cat trying to dislodge a fur ball you will get the rough idea. As I said a mixed reaction but quite comical to watch.

The next exercise however was one I fully endorse. A highly technical method called ‘SHOUTING’ which involves – basically – shouting VERY loud.

Sometimes there is nothing quite like a primal scream to release the energy within. When you’re climbing a hill and you’ve already used all your gears a good shout can make all the difference. “It will give you 110%” we were told.

Being a little longer in the tooth than our two erstwhile guides I do however feel I have the experience to offer a tried and tested upgrade to their shouting solution that can release a few per cent more of latent potential and that is ‘SHOUTING WITH OBSCENITIES’.

On my LEJOG adventure last year I found I was far more adept at tackling the soul destroying hills of Cornwall, Devon and the Lake District with a few well-chosen and well-timed expletives. At times it felt like I was undertaking a Tourette’s tour of Britain and a few old ladies innocently tending their front gardens must have wondered what they had done to deserve such an outburst. (The answer was choosing to live beside a steep hill!)

So as we look forward to our ride next September fully aware of the big bumps we will have to climb in Kent and Normandy I feel it may be time to brush up on my ‘colloquial’ French!

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