Within Two Weeks

WithinTwoWeeks.jpgWe’ve just been to a lecture by Ron Hill. Great stuff I could have written the script. He’s run every day since some time in the 60s. He went 26 years running twice everyday other than Sunday when he’d run once. When asked about shoes – as close to barefoot as possible. The high heel and support of modern shoes he felt caused most injuries. As for stretching … not a fan but if you believe it works then there’s probably some benefit to you ! There were some uncomfortably looking athletes in the audience … this went against all they read in the press.

On to my entry…

Entering the final two weeks before Lanzarote and I always find this a strange time. How much more should be done. Suddenly decisions about whether I’m too tired become trickier – the usual just get on with it has much more risk now we’re so close to a race.

The above picture is my Bike training stress chart and you can see that finally I’m seeing a return to improved bike fitness. The massive riding at Epic Camp has meant I’ve spent ages with reducing ‘bike fitness’ despite riding a reasonable amount. Out here I’ve done some long, hard riding and it’s showing. My fitness is up at levels above where they were for my last 3 races and I must admit that it definitely has shown on most rides here. I have been riding really strong. I’ve finally gone under 30 minutes up Tabeyesco and am now finding that a reasonable effort is getting me a time of 32 minutes. Tomorrow I’m planning on reps and we’ll see how I manage across numerous repeats

This return to bike fitness is clearly as a result of more biking. In the four weeks since the Taunton marathon these are my ride mileages:

139, 92, 130, 146, 137, 105, 108, 92, 114, 108, 114, 105, 104, 127, 55, 70, 108.

Thats a reasonable sequence … just like the good old days and I must admit the motivation is largely “Eddington madness” which I’ll hopefully report on success at the end of the year.

Once in Lanzarote I’ve felt great on the bike. This ended after last Tuesday when we did a monster 200k ride with Russ, Marc and Mark. We lost Marc after Mirador Del Rio, we’ve no idea how he missed the garage stop but we were puzzled enough to go back up Mirador Del Rio in search of him. We should thank him as it made the ride harder. Then the 5km climb from Tahiche to Teguise I did my utmost to drop Mark (Russ wasn’t even playing at this point). I tried jumping him, grinding him down and finally was satisfied to  just not have him go by at the finish. I think he was cursing me at the end but I it did us both good.

The following day I felt so ill – it’s easy to blame it on such a tough ride but my upset tummy makes me think it was something I ate. I had to take a whole day of rest and only yesterday started to feel better but today took it easy just in case.

It’s only a few days missed from the plan but this close to a race it really makes you question your preps. Suddenly I don’t feel great on the bike. Luckily yesterday i managed a 32:30 assault of Tabeyesco at the end of the ride so that improved my mood.

Have I overdone it ? Thats the worry now. I’m sleeping like post Epic, averaging over 9 hours for the past 10 days. Hopefully this is me repairing. On paper my bike fitness is clearly there. On paper my swim fitness isn’t but as Jo said that won’t make that much difference I’m still swimming well. She is right. Running, I just don’t know. Last week I did two 3+ hour long runs and this week did over 2hrs. I’m best prepared since surgery but still just don’t know. When i run I feel better but only race day will I find out.

My big target this race is to FEED. I am going to eat a lot more on the bike than I have in the past. I’m going to ensure I have a good breakfast. Part of me feels I had a good race in me at New Zealand but I just didn’t fuel well enough. My aim is to be conservative on the bike… hopefully my fitness will mean even riding conservatively I’ll get a decent time. This should also allow good fueling.

Will I qualify ? I honestly don’t know. I’d probably err on saying I won’t. I don’t feel my running is there yet. That may be a protective response as I’d love to be out there with so many good friends already going… it should be a blast. However, it’s been full bore since getting back to being able to train and I think I need a break. If I don’t qualify I may just have a decent break come the summer ready for a concerted effort to get some good performances in the southern hemisphere races this winter. I feel not qualifying will be a load off my mind and allow me to relax a little and focus on getting fully running rehab’d.

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