Below is an update message written by Steve Abraham for all his supporters and also for all the people following his world record attempt.
Steve is now aiming to commence a second (concurrent) record attempt, as he continues to chase down Tommy Godwin's one year mileage total this year. This will mean Steve will be running two record attempts - at the same time (a provision allowed in the UMCA rules for the Highest Annual Mileage Record).
Steve was forced into this situation by a road traffic accident earlier this year which had resulted in a broken leg, which interrupted his progress for a number of weeks and lost him thousands of miles off his schedule.
Here is the message from Steve, which he would like to share with his supporters and followers: -
Can I still do it?
I'm not going as well as I hoped yet. I want to be doing 250 miles per day now. However, I have had days where I have averaged 18mph, so I know that I can go faster than I do on a lot of my rides (where I seem to average 16mph). Last week I decided to not use an alarm clock and just get up when I wake up naturally, so that I get as much sleep as I need. It has done some good, but the speed still isn't there, so now I am trying to ride gently to get some recovery into my legs.
We will know within a week whether it is working. I think it will take a good few days because I expect that I need a lot of recovery and that isn't easy when trying to ride over 200 miles per day. Currently, riding over 200 miles feels a lot harder than it ought to be. With a bit of recovery, it should get easier and I should get faster. Once I get faster, I will use that to gain more rest time before I bump up the miles so that I am as well recovered as I can be - which should make me faster.
I understand that people are doubting whether I can still do it.
I honestly can't say that I definitely will.
But looking at the numbers and going from my past experience riding Audax - when I got the Audax points record in 2007, I did half of my total in the first 7 months - and the other half in the last 5. I never suffered any huge losses that year. So if we take my total mileage at the end of July, then add on at least 6000 miles which I must have lost from the broken ankle (probably more) that may give an idea of what I should be aiming at.
This does mean that my biggest mileages will be in the autumn (just as it was when I was riding 1000km a week while working full-time in 2007 all through September and October). Doing the big miles in Autumn may not be ideal, but I have done it before. November and December are never as bad as January and February either. Because I have always worked in places that shut down for Christmas, it's not that unusual for December's to be in the top 3 months of my monthly mileage for that year.
Currently I get very sleepy at the end of each day. I think that is down to physical tiredness and not mental tiredness. I think that if I can get my legs recovered and get a bit faster, I should also be able to manage with less sleep. When muscles are damaged from exercise, sleep-inducing hormones are released and I think that is what is making me sleepy at the end of each day. Once I am up to speed my legs should be strong enough to do a day without being damaged and I wouldn't have the sleep-inducing hormones making me so sleepy.
The situation with my ankle is that it still hurts a little bit, sometimes. The physio told me on 25th June that at best it will take 3 months for it to be at full strength, but with the way my recovery has been going it would probably be more like 6-8 weeks.
A restart in August makes sense to me for several reasons.
1. My ankle should almost be up to full strength by then.
2. I can use the latter part of the current attempt, where I should be doing my best mileages. I can crash and burn in December, recover in Jan-Feb when the weather is at its worst. I shouldn't lose much strength in Jan-Feb, so will probably go better than I did this year and should get up to speed faster too.
3. Then I build myself up again and go flat out in summer next year.
Starting later is more of a financial strain but I think that we are probably financially secure for a restart in August. I'd also like to finish this at some point - and I don't see the need to drag it out for more than 20 months. I expect most of you feel the same way too!
Got to go, time is miles.