Training In Review – Looking Towards My First 24 Hour Solo
Another Blog series about training! Gah! Why!?
Well its all part of the training that’s why! Motivation is one of the key components to sticking with a training program; especially one in its infancy.
I find it easier to continue with a training program if I can share the highs and lows with others. But this time around I won’t be subjecting the masses to weekly updates (to be honest I struggled writing a new piece each week last time) instead I’ll be doing semi regular updates detailing key milestones, mishaps and interesting things.
So welcome to my new series on my lead up training to my next big event…
The OnyaBike 2014 Australian Solo 24 Hour MTB Championships held over the Easter weekend.
Don’t let the Championship part fool you, there will be no riding for a fairytale podium finish; focus more on the Solo 24 Hour part!
Yes that’s right, I am aiming to ride in my first 24 hour solo race, so naturally I have to do some serious training for this upcoming pain train.
Training – Week 1 – The Long Journey Begins
After a fairly relaxed Christmas break in Brisbane riding in the stifling heat (by Canberra standards anyway) and climbing up the never ending series of steep hills I was in pretty good shape fitness wise to tackle my first week of training for the Easter solos.
With a few days left before I had to go back to work for 2014, I decided I wanted to put some extra kilometres under the tyres and set a big total for the week. What I didn’t expect to do was ride more in the first week of my training than I have ever before.
Monday saw 87.3km on Kate the XTC during a ride to and from Mt Stromlo. It was a hot day and I didn’t drink enough fluids.
.:Kate posing at Mt Stromlo:.
However I backed it up on Sara the Defy with a 100.3km ride around Canberra on Tuesday.
.:Sara chilling by the lake:.
Wednesday was a New Years Day ride at Mt Stromlo with some of the more dedicated The Berm crew (well those that didn’t race at the Wicked Wombat in Jindabyne the day before). I rode 27.2km of sweet Stromlo singletrack to ring in the 2014!
.:A fine looking bunch of sober cyclists:.
Thursday and Friday saw the return to work for the new year and joining the Canberra cycling commuting community once again. In two days I added another 97.2km to the weeks total, just 2.8km short of what I was aiming for.
.:Somewhat hot on Friday afternoon:.
Saturday saw a new bike join the stable and some short rides around Mulligans Flat dialling it in and trying to set some new Strava PR’s!
As usual Sunday morning comprised of my regular Sunday Morning Social and Breakfast ride with The Berm crew. A relaxed 56.3km in the morning followed up with a brisk 8.9km in the afternoon on the brand new Emma.
At the end of my first week actively training with a semi-set program and a clear end goal to achieve, I rode 406.9km.
Training Week In Review – Week 16
Week 16 was my week of training and preparation for the Scott 25 Hour. The week started with a long weekend in Canberra thanks to Family & Community Day on the Monday. So what better way to commemorate than to go for a spin around Kowen Forest/Sparrow Hill.
With fellow Bermers Roger, Tony, Alyssa and last years Battle of the Beasts riding buddy Argo; I enjoyed 34.7km of my favourite trails.
Wednesday was my first night ride at Bruce Ridge, partaking in the Regular Berm Loam’n’Lard ride. A great ride followed by an awesome chicken schnitzel at Edgars Inn afterwards.
I stayed off the bike until Saturday morning when the Scott 25 Hour began at Mt Stromlo. I rode a total of 111.5km during the Scott and a total of 167.3km for the week. Not a bad second week on the bike after taking a month off.
If you want to read my wrap up of the Scott 25 Hour 2013 click here!!
Training Week In Review – Week 11
A good training regime is broken down into many parts. It’s not just the riding and strengthening of muscles that gets you fit; there’s nutrition, hydration, rest, and mental preparedness.
I try to find a balance with all of these things and pay particular attention to my nutrition; I am usually pretty disciplined with my meals and race preparation. Anyone that has sat down and ate with me will know I eat a lot. The average person consumes around 8’000kj daily; including approximately 300g of carbohydrates. When I’m riding a lot I can consume more than double that amount; and if I’m including gym work at least 3 days a week I can sometimes triple the daily averages. This is a good and bad thing. I’m getting the fuel my body needs; but I’m also speeding up my already fast metabolism. Because of this it’s very difficult for me to gain weight so I sit anywhere between 74-77kg.
Lately I’ve been eating a lot and not riding as much hoping this would help me put on some weight. Having overcome a fairly serious muscle tear in my chest; I’ve started light weights again with the aim of building more upper body strength. So far it’s working as my left shoulder/chest/neck feels really good after ditching the chest brace I’ve been wearing for the past 4 months.
This last week was a testing week more than anything else. As I’m about to spend almost a month off the bike and out of training I didn’t want to smash myself into the ground. Instead I spent the few days I had on the bike testing out a new nutrition/hydration mix and enjoying the brilliant Canberra weather.
At the JetBlack WSMTB 12hr, fellow Bermer Adam told me about his beverage mix of choice; Perpetuem. We have similar sporting backgrounds in endurance running and cycling and have very similar body and fitness types. I often get cramps when I ride long distances and increasing electrolytes doesn’t really help me. After doing some research I discovered that while my hydration was pretty spot on, my nutrition was way out. Ordinarily over an endurance race you rely on caffeinated energy gels and sugar snacks to keep you going. Some people eat bananas, but considering I’m somewhat allergic to potassium; explosive diarrhoea and vomiting while riding makes bananas are a no-go.
I trialled Perpetuem over two different rides earlier this week. All of the CORC XC races are short-course races where I’ll ride at maximum intensity anywhere between 10-20km. This quickly saps my energy levels and I get very few opportunities to drink. So on Monday I went for a short spin of Bruce Ridge where I rode short stints at maximum effort and tried the new bidon full of Perpetuem. The drink itself is a milky, fuller mixture and is quite filling. It’s more like a meal replacement drink without the dairy feel to it, however there was no after taste and I felt hydrated. It passed the test for short-course.
On Tuesday I went for a longer endurance ride of Mt Stromlo. 52km of medium to high intensity riding on a beautiful sunny Canberra day. It was a perfect opportunity to test out my hydration/nutrition for endurance rides. While I was struggling a bit in my last few kilometres I was pretty happy with the plan I came up with and will certainly put it into effect during my next enduro; the Scott 25 Hour at Mt Stromlo.
.:A perfect Canberra day at Mt Stromlo:.
Wednesday was a difficult day to get back on the bike after the previous day’s ride. My legs were tender and my lower back was a little tight. But I headed out for an easy loop of Kowen Forest/Sparrow Hill. Once I was weaving around the pine trees I started to push out. All was going well until I hit Rolling Thunder and decided a good old fashioned Strava run was in order. The track was surprisingly loose and I took a corner a little too fast. Cue some heavy rear braking and then some sideways action and I was looking at tree coming towards me at speed. All I could think of was “save the carbon bike” so I did my best Neo impersonation and put my hand out in defiance. I hit the tree with my hand and ended up on the ground; body and bike intact. It was at this point that I decided to end both my day and week on the bike. With only a few days until my Wedding and a heart-racing close call already I thought it best not to tempt fate with any more time in the saddle.