The Final Countdown
That’s a wrap! Training: done. Aside from a short ride tomorrow, I’ve now completed my BCBR “non-training” training plan.
Surprisingly enough, I haven’t felt the need to use a Garmin or HRM at all. I expected myself to get a few weeks in and be ready to go, to compare my 5min power efforts to mid-national season, but I know i’ll struggle to hit my 410w/5min max from the start of the year, even at a higher weight now, and in the end the numbers don’t make you any happier. They are tools of progress and for motivation, but there is the light and dark side of that and I have enjoyed free-ranging it for a while, especially at this time of the year where the goal is ‘ride bike lots’.
Instead of looking to numbers, I have been able to gauge my increased fitness by my ability to suffer and dominate in local crit races (a great improvement from dying 20min into the first crit back after a couple of months off…I just quietly ghosted home after that!) and assessing my increased tolerance for multiple long days in the saddle. That being said, I haven’t done anything over four-ish hours, though I have backed up to four x 3-4hr rides in a row.
I’ve never been one for backing up, and so to be able to hit out a solid 10-12 hours in three days has been an achievement in itself!
Want to know what the BC Bike Race is like? Check this out, it’s well worth your time (entries for 2018 are opening soon guys…).
The recovery I talked about last post? Yeah…i’m still not so great at it. Nothing says recovery like walking the kid and dog for 5km then cleaning and packing the house in preparation to sell it, staying up late doing coaching and invoices and trying to hit deadlines. That in itself justifies the wine, which is unfortunate as it impedes recovery. However, that’s the story of real life and I know once I hit that plane I will be super relaxed. Maybe.
So what have I been up to this week leading into BCBR?
Monday: Off (after a weekend of Gravity Racing Saturday and a Social 1hr45 trail ride with an athlete and mate Sunday)
Tuesday: 3hr15 including 1 hr of mixed threshold and VO2 efforts, in intervals: last big hard session pre-BC (very, very hard session due to the intensity mixed into the longer session!)
Wednesday: 1hr recovery
Thursday: 2hr15 including 4 short singletrack efforts, with an athlete. Due to ongoing fatigue I cut the efforts short (for me, he had to keep going!); after all, it’s no time to dig a hole right now!
Friday: Day off including core stability and conditioning: no heavy squats and deads at the gym now.
Saturday: 90min short hit out with newly rebuilt bike, check everything is ok, then complete several VO2 efforts before packing up bike and everything else.
Sunday: Sleep in (until at least 6am!) and leave for BC! ALSO ARRIVE IN BC—what a time-warp!
So yeah; I’m coming good. I am not peak-fit but I know I can get through if I:
a) eat enough food during the race,
b) don’t try and race XC pace, and;
c) ride happy.
The idea is to have hard sessions that aren't too fatiguing (ie: no super long stuff, or heavy strength stuff) every 48-72hrs, with solid recovery in between in order to build to a mini peak, or at least reduce some of the heaviness in the legs coming into the race.
Packing and other preparation
Executive management skills don’t come naturally for me, so here is a picture of how my packing is going:
Also, I am not innately a happy camper so I have invested in a fancy camping pillow, ear buds, eye mask and no doubt a small flask of something to get me to sleep. JK about the last one…or am I?
So now I just have to trust the process, relish the singletrack, enjoy my time away and just be me: a happy shredder exploring some of the best trails in the world!And now I leave you with one of the finest adieu’s out there…