Hamner Springs

HamnerSprings.jpgIf any of you want a further Epic Camp fix I was interviewed by XTri here.

This week was my first week of getting in to serious training for Taupo but it all started with a real confidence boosting ride on Sunday. I went out to do the Gorges ride with a tack on down German road to Cust. The main purpose was to check the mileage as it’s the planned route for my Friday big training day. Pleased to confirm it is 180km. Thats not the moral boost though. I set off riding at a steady pace but not pushing it. I was slightly concerned about my complete detonation the Tuesday before. I felt pretty good on the bike though and it was clearly quite different from that time. Along to Ashley Gorge I couldn’t help but pick up the pace, the slight tail wind helped but that would be a slight head wind for the last 50km. Down German road I was flying (it’s a good road for this) and thoroughly enjoyed my coffee in Cust. From then on it was hammer down for the last 100km. Coming back along the Old West Coast Road with a slight head wind I was maintaining high 30s / low 40s Km/h. My legs were screaming but still working. This was complete contrast to last Tuesday. As I eased off coming into town I bonked pretty comprehensively. So I stopped, had a pie and Cookie Time cookie which sorted me out. Completed the ride in 5h31. I was so chuffed that I didn’t run off the bike purely because I didn’t want to risk ruining the buzz I was feeling.

So fully motivated I woke Monday morning ready for 3 weeks of solid training to get ready for Taupo. Rolly swim session… faded after about 4k to which Rolly said “Thats what happens if you train with rich folks”, referring to Epic Camp. I’d expected a reduction in my swim after Epic as there really isn’t much hard swimming. Tuesday morning I was already swimming better so it will come back.

I followed Monday swim by a heavy weights session. Well, heavy on the legs but very easy on the upper body as my left shoulder has been a little niggly. I’ve eased off and it is improving. Finally I finished the days training by a 3 hour ride in the Port Hills – went up Mount Pleasant Road, Summit Road, down Dyers, Up Gebbies and Coopers Knob and back home down Dyers. I felt really strong even climbing Coopers knob in a higher gear than when i was on the 11-23.

My plan had to be tweaked slightly as Jo and I decided to ride up to Hanmer Springs for the evening. So after swimming and breakfast on Tuesday we headed North. It was a beautiful day but for me after the first hour the riding was torture. I’d like to blame it on the rucksack I was carrying but I don’t think it was. My legs had absolutely nothing. Made the ride fun for Jo though as she was riding strong and thus was kicking my butt. I more or less flaked out at each stop and on arrival at the hostel didn’t want to move from the comfy seat outside the front door.

Jo and I of course discussed my loss of form for the day on the bike. I felt it’s due to the heavy weights on Monday. The last time I felt like this was on a Tuesday after Monday heavy weights. Jo felt sure I’d be back on form the next day. She also pointed out that I don’t need to do masses of training. If I get a few quality sessions in each week and recover properly I will be fine for Taupo. I’m definitely falling in the trap of feeling really strong and thinking with 3 more weeks to train I can get even stronger.

The hostel was cosy and had free fruit and ice cream ! We had a lovely relaxed evening enjoying fish and chips before going for a pint.

My legs ached so much Wednesday morning I was dreading the fact we had to ride back. In fact, if Jo didn’t have appointments Thursday morning we would have stayed another night. Another beautiful day. Once we started out I immediately felt better and by the final two hours I was firing on all cylinders again. It makes me realise that when you see a tour rider have a great day immediately after a crap day it’s not a sign that he took ‘something” the night before. For whatever reason that sort of thing happens.

This week has been rejigged slightly so this morning I slept in and the plan is to do my long run  once I’ve written this.  Big day training will be moved to Saturday.

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