The Lean Race

Last year I did the Bristol Bikefest in 9.5 hours and 16 laps , this year I’d like to do the full 12 hours, doing something like 20 laps.

I’m going to try and work on a 2 lap period, that seemed to work well last year. This is limited by how much water I can carry. At the beginning of each 2 lap effort I’ll record the following information from the previous period.

  • How fast (how long it takes to refuel, and do two laps)
  • Average Heart Rate, this is a good guide to how much effort I’m putting in (this goes up then I’ll be dropping out early)
  • Food/Drink consumed, got to fuel the engine, and do my eating during the 2 lap break.
  • How much do I want to do the next lap (1-10), need to keep an eye on the mental/motivation side of things.


While I’m out on the course I’ll have to optimise these things:

  • The Start. Last year, I did cut the top corner, which was very naughty, so this year, just have to suck up the traffic and not get carried away. Ideally I want to find my self behind people who are faster than me and ahead of people who are slower.
  • Carry speed! Braking is bad, flow is good, better to do a whole section without braking than going too fast and having to kill the speed in the corners. Keeps heart rate down and speed up.
  • Pump the trail, similar to above, especially the bit by the quarry.
  • Have fun! Don’t get too much into the“race”.
  • Use the traffic to recover … don’t stress not passing, it’s an opportunity to lower heart rate. I can always put in a little effort once I’m clear if the heart rate is low enough.
  • Carry speed into hills! I can do this on two of the climbs, especially the fire road up the hill.
  • Don’t race, everyone else is in a team (aren’t they) and has probably done a quarter of the laps I have!
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