It’s true; it is a balancing act…but more importantly consistency!

From the last time I posted I was talking about how much of a balancing act training and racing is, and it’s very true. It is constantly an act of planning your time on a weekly basis and knowing where and when you’re gong to be able to devote your time to working, training and of course recovery and time spent with family and other halves! Which we mustn’t ever forget!!!

The past few months have gone so quickly since my last posting back at the End of August last year! So is been some time since I have posted and it just shows how time can just get away from you when your heads down working and training. You may or may not, remember from my last post that I have recently been recovering from a training accident which set me and my racing back by a considerable amount.

To be really honest, it’s probably been a good thing. Don’t get me wrong the accident was bad and there was a lot time spent off the bike and wollowing in self-pity however it has allowed to reset both physically and mentally which I think is very important. Its put a few things into perspective. I wrote last time that I would try and enter some end of season races to catch up but I decided against it. It was actually a good move believe it or not.

Moving on;

It’s probably been the best ever start to the upcoming season for me. Having started a new job in September following the accident it was a new start, new me type of thing. Having decided not to race the back end of the season it really set me up well to get some good base mileage in. Base mileage is key to weight loss. (What I harp on most of, to all the time!!!)

The new job has been very interesting and the change has been good. Not only this, there has been a little more flexibility in what I can do i.e. working from home so it’s easier for me to train in the morning and or in the evening.

So consistency then; what am I talking about?

Because of the new job etc. and the time off due to my injury it had enabled me to really think about what was coming up this season and this year! But more to the point the flexibility I now have compared to previous years.
Because of the flexibility I have been able to put a lot more time and energy into training which has paid dividends. I’m always harping on about weight loss etc. etc. however its finally happened.
These past few months (September to March) have been fantastic; I have virtually trained every day with one rest day each week and it has worked wonders. Now what I have done is, I have planned each and every week meticulously and tailored in at least an hour a day to train. And so have had some excellent results.
Instead of the stop starting of training and by this I mean a week to ten days hard training then two or three days off working etc. just doesn’t really help at all compared to getting something in every day.
I have really focussed hard on nutrition this time around and weight has fallen off me and at a quite nice steady rate ready for race season! Just over 10kgs since my last post!
Instead of having to eat on the hoof with my previous job I have been able to actually plan my meals and focus my training and because of training consistently the weight has gone. Not completely I may state but well on its way.
The goal previously was too really up my power, however my power has stayed consistent but the weight is going and therefore my power to weight ratio has boosted up which is just as important.
The consistent training has really worked, doing something and being precise with each session is key to anyone’s success for racing. My advice is, always be consistent but make sure that your sessions are specific to what you need.
This past month
South Africa!
I have always wanted to go away on an overseas training camp around the February/March time but never really had the chance in previous years for many reasons, however this time around it happened!
It was decided late on in December that my partner and I needed a little break away. It was virtually perfect timing, the weather here was awful (obviously) and my partner wanted to go somewhere really hot. We discussed a few things and it was decided that South Africa would be the place to go. The weather was good but also it allowed me to train as well. Perfect! My reason for here is that it’s a haven for mountain bikers.
My partner didn’t know this! Well not until we got there!
The plan was for me to train early in the morning for a couple of hours and then to spend the rest of the day either relaxing or exploring!
We decided to hit Stellenbosch first followed by Cape Town. The two most beautiful places I have ever been.
Stellenbosch, from what I heard from friends out there, is that is the mountain bike capital, and from what I saw and where I went, I can see why! The trails were fantastic, they had everything from hard fast XC trails to mega drops and jumps for the downhill guys and what was great was everybody was into it. I have never seen so many people crazy about cycling! I will admit it was scary, I pre recce’d the World cup course and I would class the course as a double, double black run if it was here in the UK but it was just something else, it was out of this world! If people thing Gisburn or Dalby etc or 7stanes in Scotland and possibly Bike Park Wales is easy then you need to get outthere!
Cape Town was a great place to be! Easily rideable to trails and fun to be in.
The downside to the trip unfortunately is that I contracted food poisoning and was out for four days. It really takes the energy out of you. This had an impact on my training.
We’re back in the UK now unfortunately, we were lucky we missed the “Beast from the East” however it doesn’t feel like we have missed it coming into the cold and wet.
The next few months…
So having return from a sunny haven to a wet, cold and windy isle. I have to start looking ahead to the upcoming race season.
For once I am not quivering wreck sailing into races; I am actually quite the opposite.
With having such a good off season and start to this year training wise it’s looking good. I am keen to get my first race under my belt and really gauge where my level is and how this season is going to plan out.
My biggest pleasure is to be donning the All Terrain Cycles Race Team jersey again! Couldn’t do any of this without their support!

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