Ok so this post doesn’t have anything to do with running, but it’s 4 years to the day since Chris Froome had to run up Mont Ventoux to Chalet Reynard after a crash with a moto left him without a bike….
…..it’s also the name of a Kate Bush song that I really like and it does involve a hill (of sorts).
I’ve talked on here before about continuous improvement, about how I measure myself against certain segments on Strava rather than people I know or my power numbers to assess my performance. I shared a screen grab of Veloviewer which detailed my improving times on a segment called Ide Hill since my weight loss and my more dedicated focus on training. The past weekend gave me a further indication of just how far I have come in fitness and ability.
I had planned a route to give a pal of mine, Harry, his first crack at Box Hill since he took up cycling just over a month ago. Now Box Hill isn’t particularly difficult (the Zwift version is harder in my opinion!) but I’m not one of those people that scoffs at the iconic climb as it is a lovely road to ride and it is a great achievement for someone like Harry, giving him a boat load of confidence to keep cycling.
My times on the segment have improved massively over the time that I’ve been cycling, the first time I attempted Box Hill it took me a massive 12 minutes, including a 2 minute stop! Over time I had got that down to just over 7 minutes (with no stops!) and I was eyeing a sub 7 minute crack at it. A glance at friends I follow on Strava suggested to me that a sub 7 minute time would be a really good achievement. I felt pretty good on Sunday so I told Harry I’d see him at the top and got on my way. It felt like a good attempt but I obviously had to wait until I got home to find out….
Sub 7 would have been good, 6:40 was an amazing result for me! I was delighted with that. So, now, my continuous improvement on Box Hill looks like this
I completely understand that this improvement can’t go on for ever, but it is a huge vindication of everything I’ve done to improve myself over the last 10 months