Been back training over the last few weeks and feeling pretty good, if not outstanding. First proper ride back ”on it” after the 12hr Champs recovery period however I got a little carried away in the ferocious tail wind sprinting in massive gears, felt great at the time but my puny core couldn’t take it and I well and truly through my back out. This set me back a good few days, which was annoying and still isn’t 100% but its not effecting my training now allowing me to get in some good miles. This setback does show though what I already knew in that I have loads areas I need to improve and make stronger.
From the many ultra-endurance race reports I’ve read and from personal experience it is very rarely the legs that let you down, it’s usually another part of the body, the bike, the weather, the mind, the nutrition etc. Basically there is loads of areas which can affect your day out on the bike, which is one of the reasons I like ultra-endurance racing. Many areas and so many areas you can improve. All these areas do affect shorter events but are exacerbated (check me with my words) when taking part in the longer ones. A rubbing disc, a certain creek, a bit of mud can all be annoying in a 2hr race but in a 12hr + race it be the straw that breaks the camels back.
I have simply loads of areas I can improve, which is nice in a slightly backwards way. The rest of my body has huge potential to help improve my performance in my opinion. Its pretty feeble at the moment, a lot better than it has been, but yes, still feeble. As already mentioned my back is probably the biggest room for improvement. I believe its pretty strong from the work I’ve done with it but it’s mega stiff when mountain biking and takes a good few hours to loosen up. It was these good few hours in the 12hr Champs, which showed me another weak area. The long-head part of my triceps were fatigued from out-of-saddle-to-help-back action to the point of massive discomfort so that’s another area. My right knee still isn’t 100% but I believe with continued work it’s going to get there. Wrist, hand and forearms weren’t as bad as I was expecting but still reckon I can improve. Between my shoulder blades was horrifically bad but if I think/hope this was one of those niggles that chose to rear its ugly head on the most unfortunate days. General core strength and flexibility can always be improved.
Weight is one of the most talked about areas in competitive cycling but I’ll simply say that I’m currently 7kg/10% lighter than I was in February and I still think that I can drop a couple more kilos through this season and a few more by the next one. My bike is a bit of a brick but aside from maybe a change of brakes, which could save me a lb with pretty standard models(!) it’s probably going to remain the same for the rest of this year.
Mind. Currently I don’t see this as an issue as I’m currently pretty confident in riding for a long time and always wanted to keep pit stops as short as possible, which I know is one of the best signs you can have during a long event 🙂 .
I could go on but I think I’ll leave it at that for now. It’s a pity its only 2 weeks until my next 12hr race at Gisburn so not really enough time make massive improvements but I’m still can’t wait for it. I have been on the mountain bike quite a bit over the last week so hopefully improving the conditioning on my body ready for long hours of mountain biking by braying the hell out of it 🙂 . Will only have a week long taper for this event and see how it goes before recovering and cracking on with the full body training with the aim of doing something silly in early August.