Day 0: Starting off
So this is it. The end came quite unexpected, as it dawned on me that my remaining vacation days more than make-up for my remaining work days. Moreover, my pipeline for work, was, well if not quite empty, then surely as empty as it hadn’t been in the past 5 years. I even completed work for a presentation I have to do in two months. (I better rehearse it again before the event.)
This was on purpose of course. I have quit my job as a post-doc at TU Delft (temporarily) to go fulltime cycling pro. Well, unpaid amateur wanna-be-pro for two months, to be precise, to fill a gap between jobs. After doing a bit of mountain biking during school (and then doing nothing but commute for basically 10 years), I became quite entrenched in road cycling in the last year (thanks to Timea), got a very nice race bike from my mum and dad as a present for my PhD, and started joining some tours.
So, what do I want to accomplish in these two months? Number one priority, enjoy it. Next, is to get as fit as I can. When I say getting as fit as possible, that means I’m not coming from nowhere, but I’m also definitely some ways from being a good cyclist. According to Firstbeat, at 52ml/kg/min, my VO2max is just barely “very good” for my age. VO2max is the metric [that] describes your body’s maximum ability to “bring oxygen into your body through your lungs, transport it through your blood supply to your muscles.” Essentially, it defines one’s cardiorespiratory fitness level.
So, how do I break down the abstract goal of “as fit as possible” into concrete goals? I want to …
- take part in 1-2 time trials.
- fill the remaining spots on my Netherlands cycling map.
- ride on the Afsluitdijk around the Ijsselmeer.
- explore the Belgian cobbles.
Of course, being a pro athlete, while I will focus on cycling, this is not all I plan to do. There are some concerns about overtraining. I will certainly accompany my cycling with complementary workouts such as stretches and strength training. Thus, I also plan to sign up at a gym again. I do not have a fixed training regime yet and am not sure whether I should commit to one, also because going outside cycling kind of depends on the weather.
When I went to Sweden, people seemed to enjoy reading my recollections. Moreover, recently, a couple of folks asked me what I was up to. Well, I can now point them to this blog! It will be inherently personal, but hopefully, you can also get something out of it. Whether it is to explore the beautiful nature or to just see what I am up to. I plan to post something every day, certainly all my rides, except for perhaps when I have a rest day.