pedalingheroine pedalingheroine

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O R L A W A L S H  ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Dublin, Ireland ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ Amateur - Road & Track ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿ’ป Full-time UX/UI Designer ๐Ÿ“ฉ pedalingheroine@gmail.com

http://www.strava.com/athletes/pedalingheroine

Don't stand when you can sit. Don't sit when you can lie down. Good advice for anyone trying to recover or conserve energy for training. As a general rule of thumb though it could be considered lazy. ๐Ÿ˜‚
The body is tired today and I'm not surprised after the past five days of training. Every day consisted of two hours on the road and three hours at the track. The road sessions were kept at low intensity (zone1/2) which you can see on my strava but the track involved repeated 3-4 minute intervals at max or sub-max effort. We would decrease intensity on the track to work on various aspects of our technique. For those of you who aren't hill climbing mountain goats you might be great putting some power down on a track. Skinny light bodies are good for getting up hills quickly but power to weight isn't very important on a velodrome. I'll be aiming to put on 2-3kg of muscle over the winter months which won't necessarily help my climbing but it will make me faster on the track. #gainz. On that note my next race will be the Leinster hill climb champs this Thursday. Might as well give that a bash while I'm still a lightweight! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ

Absolutely class week out here in Mallorca training with these women. It's great to see how quickly the group gelled together and created a really open and friendly team dynamic. Looking forward to the next one already! We will be resting the legs this week in prep for individual events next weekend at the national track champs. Dinner out tonight and I will be having a glass of wine! ๐Ÿท๐Ÿ‘Œ

I wanted to do a quick post about my @pro_bikegear @rideshimano Pro carbon handlebars and stem on my new Merida frame from @360cycles as a few people have asked me about carbon vs. aluminum handlebars.
I ended up getting the Pro Vibe carbon bars and Pro Vibe stem. I did a good bit of research before deciding and went with carbon despite some reviews online saying carbon handlebars were generally less comfortable due to road vibrations, that they were too flexible and that if you crashed they would likely crack. I have to say I disagree with those reviews and have found them to be smoother when riding on rough surfaces. I also find them to be stiffer than the aluminum and I would especially notice when sprinting out of saddle and pulling on bars. Bonus is they are obviously a lot lighter than aluminum handlebars.
I haven't crashed the bike (yet ๐Ÿ˜‚) so I don't know how likely the handlebars are to get written off? Has anyone had any experience with this? I've read that it would take a huge amount of force to crack modern carbon so I'd be more concerned that all my bones would be cracked in a crash that hard. ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜‚ The body is starting to get tired now on day 4 of training camp out here in Mallorca. We have one more day of hard training tomorrow and then flying home Sunday. We have all learned a lot in a really short space of time...It would be great if Ireland could hurry up and build a velodrome ๐Ÿ‘ Happy Friday!

Say hello to my little friend. ๐Ÿค— We met this little guy as we arrived home after a very long hard day at the track. We had to repeat 2k efforts over and over again and there are a few broken souls here at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜ญ What better way to cheer spirits than to meet a very cute baby bunny though! I'm really enjoying the camp so far, it's challenging but fun. We have a tough target to meet tomorrow for our 4k pursuit so it'll be fuel up tonight with loads of food and get a good sleep. I hope everyone else is enjoying their week! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ

Note to self: Do not give thumbs up and cheesy grin to photographers after crossing the finish line...It is officially the opposite of looking cool. ๐Ÿ˜‚ My bib shorts are also covered in energy gel...I managed to get most of my food all over my kit and dropped my water bottle mid-race. I'm basically still the biggest newb on a bike but like to pretend that I know what I'm doing. Someday I hope to cross the finish line in first place, totally relaxed, both arms in the air and looking slick...not covered in energy gels and giving the thumbs up. Photo credit to The Belgium Project. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

I need to get my head way lower if I want to be more aero on both road and the track. I have a really bad habit of looking like a deer caught in headlights when I ride a bike. My head is always extremely high and neck is strained. It's like I'm constantly on the lookout for potential hazards. Any tips on how to train myself to keep my head lower down while riding the bike? Maybe I should put a nutella donut on my stem-cap? ๐Ÿ˜‚ I just landed in Palma, Mallorca for a week training on the indoor velodrome with Cycling Ireland. I'll need to sort out my head position if we want to smash our last 4km Team Pursuit time...I wouldn't want to let the team down because my massive head got in the way. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Looking very cheery before the John Beggs memorial race yesterday. I'm always smiley and chatty rolling up to the start line of every race, despite the nerves. It feels unnatural for me to have the "game-face" on or ignore the people beside me so I'm always trying to strike up a conversation. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I probably piss some people off who may be trying to focus and mentally prepare for the race ahead...Sorry about that...I can't help myself. I've been told not to waste energy chatting to people before a race but I personally find it gives me energy and helps me to relax. I suppose everyone is different so we should do what comes naturally (without infringing on other people's race prep). Note to self: I really need to sort out my "mad scientist" hair...It's definitely not very aero. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thanks to the Belgium Project for the photo. You can read about the race in my previous post. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’ช

John Beggs memorial race today hosted by Banbridge Cycling Club. I have to say it was a fantastic event, very well marshalled, great course and generous prize funds. The course was very tough with no flat bits whatsoever, so if you didn't like climbing this was not the race for you. The women's race was unusually long for a national series race at 98km (normally 70km) so I went into it feeling very apprehensive. I'd only done ONE 3+ jour spin post-injury so I was very nervous that my endurance would fail me. The first half of the race was very fast (or at least I was struggling) - I dropped my only water bottle about 30km in and didn't manage to get another from the support car for 30 minutes (I'd already drank my second bottle)...Disaster (thanks to @theswiftcyclist for getting me a bottle!). There were several moments that I considered pulling out of the race because I felt so shit. I'm not really sure why I was struggling so much but I'm proud that I didn't give up. Sometimes these races are more about mental endurance than physical endurance. The pace gradually whittled down the bunch to just eight riders and then it eased off for the last 30km or so. I was waiting for another attack before the finish but it didn't happen and ended in a bunch sprint to the line up a friggin wall of a climb! I had recovered enough at this point to give it socks up the steep part and held the power to the line for third place. Delighted with the result considering I wanted to quit so many times. Congrats to @evemccrystal on her win and @katharine2310 for second. Photo credits to Sharon McFarland. ๐Ÿ‘

I had another professional bike fitting yesterday evening with Aidan Hammond (bikefittingireland.com) to fine tune new bike from @360cycles and @rideshimano
Aidan uses an array of Anatomical and physiological precision measurement tools along with 'In Motion Video' software analysis which this is a screengrab of. Shimano actually bought the the equipment he developed last year. They established that it was the best available on the market after rigorous testing and research. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ
My saddle was lowered by 1cm (quite a lot!) and the stem was slammed to give me a more aggressive riding position. He also adjusted the angle of the handlebars so I was less stretched on the hoods and adjusted the brake levers so I could comfortably reach them in the drops. I highly recommend Aidan for a bike fitting if you haven't had one already. It is very important to be fitted properly to ensure comfort, power efficiency and injury prevention. I'm feeling even more confident on the new bike now and looking forward to racing tomorrow! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ

New kit day! We've been lucky with the weather the last two days so I took a risk and wore this very colourful Summer kit from @theheavypedal this morning. Knowing the Irish weather though it'll be thunderstorms and gale force winds on the way home. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™ˆ I'm actually feeling surprisingly energised having taken advice from your comments yesterday and cooked myself dinner last night (instead of being lazy and snacking on cereal). Thanks for all the tips! I'm definitely going to pay more attention to my nutrition from now on...But I'll never give up nutella donuts...sorry coach. ๐Ÿค—

Looking less than enthusiastic on my commute to work. I'm finding it difficult to recover properly from training these days as I've been a bit lazy with my eating habits and going for whatever is convenient over what is best for recovery. Last night my dinner consisted of bread, coleslaw and a slice of ham followed by a bowl of cereal...not great. Though I'm no nutrition expert so feel free to tell me that's actually a fantastic evening meal for an aspiring athlete ๐Ÿ˜‚ I need to talk to a nutritionist to tell me exactly what to eat and when to eat it if I'm going to get stronger. Nutrition is something I've never been very good at and it's such a huge part of performance. Any tips on food prep for someone who doesn't cook and doesn't like to wait to eat for more than 5 minutes when she's hungry? ๐Ÿ™ˆ

So I thought it was time for a review of my new Merida Scultura 7000e from from @360cycles and components from @rideshimano
I decided before I got the new bike that I would reserve the Merida for races and use my old Cannondale bike for training. However, I've failed on that already and have been using it most days at the weekend too. ๐Ÿ™ƒ It's tough to get on an older bike when you have a new, fast, shiny one sitting right there. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I raced the Tour of Omagh on the Merida last weekend so I got a really good chance to test it out. It's definitely faster. Firstly, it's 1kg lighter than the CAAD12 even with the heavier Dura Ace C60 deep section wheels. That doesn't sound like much but in a race when you are going full tilt up a climb and hanging onto someone's wheel...A kg can make a massive difference. Another thing I didn't think would make a difference but did was getting the correct width handlebars. I went 2cm narrower with @rideshimano pro carbon handlebars and my position is instantly more aero on the bike. Highly recommend a bike fitting to ensure you have the right size bars. I also really love the ultegra Di2 shifters which I'd never used before. I noticed that I wasn't panicking shifting around gears during a hill climb attack (as I usually would ๐Ÿ˜‚) and was confident that with a tap I'd be in a new gear if needs be. I could also easily change from small ring to big ring while still with both hands in the drops. ๐Ÿ‘ Lastly, the Dura Ace R9100 C60 wheels are class. They are heavier than usual race wheels but for the terrain in ireland they are perfect, fast and aero. People have asked me if I feel a crosswind with them on due to the deep sections but I have to say I haven't found that a noticeable issue. They have an aluminum brake surface too which helps if you're doing any crazy fast descending ๐Ÿ˜‚ Overall, enjoying the bike so far. I hope it gets me a win very soon. ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’ช

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