My last update consisted of rest, recovery and the beginning of a new season. With the season approaching, the past two weeks have been all about training and gaining in every way possible.
So, what have I been up to? I've concentrated on more sprints and power, with added endurance. With a child and job, the endurance isn't five-hour marathon rides around and over every hill in the county, but more quality zone work over a shorter period which suits the little time I have to make each session count.
Zone 3 as you could say has become my best friend - not quite easy but always working, bringing that deep down slog type pace that comes good in the mud and hard sections where the lightweight climber builds struggle. My sprint focus has been (as it says on the tin) sprints! Looking at short 10 second sprints on the road making the most of the endless signs you see about. Going from sign one to another and varying the length to mix it up a little has helped a lot.
Cyclocross is all about short sprints everywhere, and if you lack in that area, you'll suffer. I always say cross is a petrol kind of race - short and punchy, and better if there's a slightly better spark. The summer season for road and MTB asks for a more diesel approach, where long periods are spent at a pace, holding it for as long as you can with the odd sprint here and there to test and tire the legs. Fortunately, it's easy to transfer and only takes a change in your training programme.
The last part of the fortnight and specifically the weekend involved my first races. Competing in the first round of the NDCXL and a one-off event at Sherwood Pines, they were both slightly muddy but fast enough to keep the pace high. Both races reassured me that I am in a good place in terms of training. Taking the win in both races sure does get your confidence going and starts the season well. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if they weren't good results, but going from race to race knowing you're in good form helps a lot.
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