Daily rides around Murcia

Climbing in hot weather

Further heat training and climbing with great views:

average temp 28C       1834m of climbing       5.30hrs



Heat Interval Training

This ride was to acclimatise to heat while doing 7-8min Hill intervals.

It’s only recommendable if you have had previous experience/are healthy and have been training in these conditions for at least one week to 2 weeks minimum.

Local cyclists in this time of the year are out usually 7.30am to be back by at least 11am-12pm.

If you cycle in the midday sun it can be very risky, unless you have had ample training/experience/recuperation to deal with it. Every Spanish person/bar I passed by shouted out to me, reminding me “it’s too hot to be out!”

The Intervals are taken at a comfortable speed carefully monitoring heart-rate, in my case around 160bpm, only rarely reaching 170bpm which is still below my threshold. I’m wearing a cycling bandana under my helmet mostly to protect my skin, keep the sweat from my face and I’ve found it’s essential to keep bee-stings at bay (bee-stings feel like a hammer-point strike to the head- but I’ve previously used the adrenaline pain to push the pedals more). My water bottles are split with 100% water in one and in the other ZeroHigh5 electrolytes with magnesium.

The added bonus of this particular climb is that the road curves both to the left and right so that that descent doubles up as descending practice.

The average temp today was 31C, overall ascent 1012m, there were numerous cafes/bars open at the bottom of the descent if any problems were to arise.

When its this hot, the wind is more often than not your friend, simply for its cooling effect. Again, best done with a group and adequate support/local knowledge.

Heat Hill Intervals

135km Humid Ride

Today was hot, cloudy but around 78%humidity. Plan was to leave early before the real heat kicked in and track along the bottom of the valley westwards and keep things flat-ish.

Around about the 35km mark I looked back and a huge peloton was close on my tail. I managed to play a little cat and mouse for a few cheeky kilometres before Fran Perez on a tandem bike with his better-half over took breaking the headwind…LOL. I sat up and moved over to the right allowing everyone to pass as they’d probably upped the speed a little bit… Valverde was safely tucked in the middle testing out his TT-bike and I moved to the back where Luis Leon was stretching his legs.

As the peloton swung right towards the end of their usual coffee stop and return to Murcia, I swung in the opposite direction and headed further west with about five local seniors. As they all started to peel off to return, I was left with a guy called Juan who turned out to be the Regional Champion in the Masters 50s category.  I agreed to follow him up a short climb and follow the water trasvase which was a flat route without traffic. As chance had it we rode a little past Graham Baxter’s house, I thanked Juan for the company and the chat and if I cycled by his usual routes I’d give him a call.

The heat started to kick-in and I needed a food and water stop, I was getting short with the bag of figs in my pocket. I was somewhat relaxed on the calorie options as I was starting to feel dehydrated and hungry. I went for the tortilla with the tuna sandwiched in it, but the added mayonnaise made it a bit too rich on the stomach (first dietary mistake). I decided to track the along the river back to base-camp. At the second water stop, opted to by a litre of Aquarius which is marketed as a Mineral Sports Electrolyte drink, (what-a-mistake-to-maka) the one litre bottle was labelled as having 20g of sugar in every 250ml… so in this relatively small bottle, which kids think is a healthier sportier alternative to the normal fizzy drinks… there are 80grams of the Coca Cola company added goodness…  :O

Somewhat lucky I burned around 4650 calories on the ride.