As briefly mentioned in my previous post my next race aim is Keilder100 in mid September. I gave it ago last year but I wasn’t really in good enough shape to do it justice. Hoping that this year will be different.
Since Mountain Mayhem I’ve recovered pretty well and have started my build up towards K100. Over the last few years its became apparent to me that although I’ve always had the endurance I don’t really have the power to use it to good affect. As such I’ve altered my training, I say altered, what I mean is that I am actually training. Long rides work but not as well as structure and that’s what I’m moving towards. Essentially volumes downs and specific high intensity workouts are up.
One of my sessions is a threshold session were you essentially go as far as possible in 40-50min. Well, I could go out and kick my head in on my todd for this session or I could take advantage of a new series that is damn local to me, the North East XC Mountain Bike League . The choice was pretty simply really 🙂
I took part in the 2nd round, 3 weeks after Mayhem. My legs didn’t want to work, neither did my guts and I struggled on what was a surprisingly technical course. This time though for the 4th round I was feeling a lot better, I have been training pretty well and although tired I was looking forward to a nice race to kick off my weekend.
I rolled up to the course just outside Ferryhill in Co. Durham and was really quite amazed at the course they’d put together, it was great. Lots of dead stops, off-camber, u-turns, fast sections, plenty of singletrack and it was dry! We lined up with a relatively small field but a number of big hitters were still there and I set off pretty conservatively, just trying to find my rhythm.
I worked my way past a few people who were struggling with the dead-stop turns. I was trying to make them as round as possible until I knelt too much on a left hander and proper smacked my knee of a tree, oh pain! Luckily it was short lived as a right hander soon after lead to me smacking my right knee too. Bugger me! I was pretty worried that I may have totally screwed them up, but a bit of MTFU and pushed on. I eventually found myself on a wheel of a young’un*.
I sat on his wheel for a few laps. He was strong on the climbs but I could stay with him elsewhere. After a few laps I went to the front and tried to push on (read; got in front to try and slow him a bit) but on the last drag of the lap he got past me again and made a bit of a gap and my legs were screaming so couldn’t react. I slowly realed him in over the next two laps, dying but managed to get within a few bike lengths off him going into the final 6min lap.
We stayed together for most the lap until the final drag were he was pushing, I could just about stay within 5length of him and knew that the grass field to the finish I could take him! Well, aside from the right hand turn onto said field that saw me have a slide out and fight with some course tape. Balls.
Ah well. Finshed 4th in 56min in the end, which I was pleased with, is nice having had a right ol’ battle and getting some good training out of it also is always a plus. Felt so much better than the previous round too and my banged up knees didn’t feel bad either. Bonus!
Looking forward to the next one I can make, which is at Hamsterley forest, which should be great and give me a good gauge of how I am going into K100 a week later!
*I thought he was like 17/18, turns out he was 14! Pesky (fast) kids.