Record Breaking Mountain Bike Ride

The Mountain Biking trails at Nant yr Arian have been riding really well these last few days thanks to the hot, dry weather. The puddles have all dried up, the surfaces are hard packed, fast and predictable so I decided that it was a good time to try to break my record around the Pendam Trail.

It’s only a short trail at just over 6 miles and my record stood at 38 minutes 51 seconds. I didn’t have this record breaking route recorded in my Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS system, but I did have a slower attempt from a few days ago which took me just over 41 minutes. So, I loaded this up and used that as my Virtual Training Partner to see if I could beat myself.

Trouble was, on that particualr day I’d started out pretty easy, then halfway around decided that I felt good and was doing a fairly respectable time so picked up the pace quite a bit. This meant that today as I was going for a record I would start out fast but then come the end would porbably start struggling just as my virtual training partner picked up his pace. It could prove painful!

I got up at 5am and was up at Pendam for around 5.30am just as the sun was peeping out from behind the mountains. I thought an early start would be my best bet as the temperature would be more comfortable. I did a quick warm up around the Hippity Hop section and then off I went.

The first couple of bits of single track were a little tricky as I kept getting blinded by the sun flashing in out out between the trees, but by the time I got to the first climb I was already about 0.1 miles up on my ‘partner’. The first climb wasn’t easy though as I just don’t think my legs were quite ready for it and a longer warm-up would probably have been useful. Not to worry I was still ahead at the top of the climb and headed off into the woods again. I gained quite a bit of time on the singletrack sections down to the Visitor Centre and was 0.4 miles ahead by the time I got there. Things were looking good, but this is where it would start to get hard.

The next little climb was also tough as my legs still weren’t quite awake and I lost a little bit of time but soon caught that up again on the Italian Job. I was now 0.5 miles ahead and my training partner was about to speed up. I kept on pushing and did well not to lose too much time around the lake and then I was onto the final climb. I know that I had pushed hard here last time so had to go for it so as not to lose out. I did lose a little bit of time on this last climb but then went for it down the Hippity Hops to catch up.

In the end I finished 0.61 miles ahead of my ‘training partner’ in a new record time of 37 minutes and 21 seconds. A whole 1 minute 30 seconds faster than my previous best time. My average speed was 10.2 mph, my average heart rate was 149 bpm and maximum was 166 bpm.

I will take a while to beat that again though. Conditions were perfect and I had no excuses, but I shall record that run in my GPS and use it to try to beat myself sometime in the future.

Pendam Trail. Topo, heart rate and speed trace

Pendam Trail. Topo, heart rate and speed trace

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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