My focus for this week is on the final preparation for race day. According to the latest race report by the organisers (Rocky Trail), I should expect cooler weather with possible showers, favourable conditions for a long race to minimise the risk of dehydration and heat stroke. So how am I feeling? Pumped! I'm pleased with the progress made to date fitness wise, my knee is feeling strong again, and mentally I'm going into the race with a clear plan, and lots of motivation to give it my best. More importantly, I'm looking forward to having lots of fun on what is a fantastic course. I'll also be riding my new rig, a Specialized Epic S-Works 2018, and oh man what a bike this is! I've been riding S-Works for a few years now and I can honestly say this edition is the best yet. This is primarily due to a complete redesign of the frame and Brain suspension system. The overall riding quality has improved, and as far as I can tell, with no compromise to the overall efficiency of the bike when climbing. I took the new bike in for an initial service last weekend so had to ride my old bike (as seen in the picture) and oh man did it feel harsh, so the added comfort of the new design is definitely going to help with the final half of the race e.g. fatigue reduction. Training wise, I would have preferred to have squeezed in at least another 2 or 3 long rides as part of my prep. Family commitments and the summer heatwaves meant I had to alter my plans, so hopefully this ultimately won't have too much of a negative impact on race day. The plan for this week (tapering) is to keep the legs turning (low intensity riding) and to continue with my regular strength training routine (albeit with lighter weights), emphasising the mobility and stretching elements to maximise recovery. Diet wise, probably eating a little more than I should but overall the keto effects have been very effective, and something that I will stick with as it suits my lifestyle. I'm keeping a steady 71.5kg, looking lean, and feeling energised throughout the day. Again, my place for race day is to stick with the hard boiled eggs, handful of almonds, and electrolyte (sugar free) salt tablets and pure water. In summary, there isn't anything I can complain about, so no excuses :) Wrapping up this entry, my goals for the race are:
1. Finish the 7hrs race pain free.
2. No sugar to fuel the ride.
3. Maintain a consistent lap time throughout the course of the race.
In terms of strategy:
1. Keep a steady pace, and avoid unecessary bursts of energy expenditure e.g. it's a marathon, not a sprint.
2. Minimise risks to avoid crashing, mechanicals, and bonking out.
3. Get a good starting position to avoid bottlenecks. I suspect the tail end of the first third will be suffice.
Final position is somewhat irrelevant at this point due to the number of changes I've made. If things go well i.e. top 15% finish then I will consider focussing more on pace for race #2. Until the next post.
I'm a 36 year old male from Carwoola, New South Wales, a small rural area situated just outside of Canberra, Australia. I'll be using this blog to share my experiences with training, dieting, and other methods to optimise overall well being. The basic idea behind all of this is to have lots of fun with the learning and experimentation process. It's worth noting that what may work well for me may not work as well for others. I also don't think there are right or wrong answers, as things are constantly changing and evolving.