My question is in 2 parts and I apologise for the length of the post but I am after some advice on training.
I want to race again next year and would be starting at CAT 4 and have ambitions to reach and be competitive in CAT 3 by the end of the year, I raced about 5 years ago and was 1 point off my CAT 3 licence with one race to go, however was hit from behind by a car the week before the race whilst out training with the results being a broken frame and a broken me. So next year I really want to start racing again, however I have one small problem, I am currently without a bike!
I moved to the Channel Islands last year in August and left my road bike in the UK as there was not enough space to bring it in the car so the plan was to have it shipped over a month or so later so I could start riding again and join a club, and start to get fit enough to race next year. Unfortunately getting the bike shipped over never happened so I planned to go back to the UK and collect the bike next week, but due to unforeseen circumstances this is now not going to happen and my bike is still in bits in storage in the UK and will not be able to be collected until end of Jan – middle of Feb at the earliest.
Prior to moving to Jersey I was cycling circa 200 - 250 miles a week averaging 18-20 mph over hilly courses, and my fitness was improving, however since the end of July I have not ridden. I go to the gym 5 days a week for about an hour a day and do a mix of cardio (running/cycling/x-trainer) and weights (mostly core and lower body weights with some strength work for my upper body) but feel I am losing my fitness (or have now lost it) and have put on weight/fat despite training hard and trying to maintain a healthy diet.
My first question is, can you get bike/race fit without a bike, or at least can you put yourself in a good position to make big advances on the bike quickly once this is an option, or should I just write off next year now as without a bike or access to one its impossible? If it is possible what should I be doing, how often and when?
Secondly, if all goes to plan I should have my bike at the end of January to the beginning of February so can start training properly then, so my question is will this leave me enough time to get race fit by say the beginning of May bearing in mind I would not have toughed a bike for almost 7 months? I think that for me Race fit is being able to compete at the pointy end of the field and not be yo-yoing off the back for the first half to be dropped as the pace picks up at the end.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I am trying to figure out if this is possible or should I just scrap my ambitions of racing now (I have already scrapped my 2 early season goals of riding the Paris Roubaix Sportive and the Ronde van Vlaanderen sportive as I know I won’t be fit enough.)
Thanks in advance