2011 Unfinished Business

Given I only completed one of my races this year, it is with some trepidation that I look back at my Season Training Objectives, I suspect things didn’t go quite to plan!

I made a good start to the year with the SPAM Winter Challenge but then suffered from a nasty cold that seemed to go on for a good 6 weeks, it felt like I got on my bike a bit soon and this made things worse but I hit the CRC Marathon at Builth Wells in relatively good form and I enjoyed the day a lot.

I definitely improved my race endurance, I didn’t quite manage the full 12h but did make it over 8h on 3 occasions. The big problem this year was that my climbing ability has gone backwards, I think due to a focus on endurance rather than speed and strength, despite recognising that speed was an area i should have been working on too. Easy to say this now in hindsight.

The major success of the year has been the skills improvement, thanks to Jedi (UK Bike Skills) and Doug (Basque MTB), my confidence on the technical stuff whether it be mud, roots, rocks or clearing obstacles has all improved and this means I’m having more fun on a bike than I was last year. It’s also means I’m making time up in the technical/downhill sections in races, not something I was able to do in 2010.

It is perhaps the mental side of biking that has been the biggest eye opener this year. The games your mind can play on you after spending 4+ hours on a bike. First at Erlestoke 6 I could have done another lap in the time remaining, and at the Bristol Bikefest I just got off my bike after 9 hours and went home. Very odd, I didn’t feel particularly tired at the time. While at the Kielder 100 I managed to get through the mental barrier at around 50 miles, but was then physically finished by 65 miles.

I was hoping to increase my time on the bike by 25% this year, however comparison with 2010 shows no change at all, if anything I’m going slightly slower but the training load (TRIMP) was the same. The big change is in the increase in the longer rides I’ve been doing, which does reflect the goal of moving from 6h to 12h events.

Total Time No Change
Average Speed & HR -4%
TRIMP No Change
Average Time (Per Activity) +20%

I got a late invite to the London to Brighton charity ride, and with my tyres pumped up to the max I had a great time in the mass of people on a very memorable day. With this and the Dundry Drubber, even though they were road based, it was great to have the fitness in place to just be able to do these last minute things, .

The highlight of the year though was the Bristol Oktoberfest, one race I finished and a great end to the season.

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