Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Cyclo-cross Training.

Cyclo-cross, probably the most painful thing you can do on a bike - IMHO as the young folk say. Solo 24hr mtb racers may have a valid reason to debate this, but for sheer leg and lung burning oxygen starved anerobic pain then I can't recommend cyclo-cross training heartily enough.
I did the 3 Peaks race last year and to train for that I did lots of good old honest hours in the saddle, lots of hill climbing - on and off the bike, and some roadie speed work, all kinda focused on what I had researched about the route. I raced, I achieved the time I wanted, and most importantly, I loved it, but unfortunately I can't do it this year, I will do it again, but this is just a bad year.
So me and cyclo-cross have some unfinished business. I haven't done a 'normal' cyclo-cross race yet. The races are all quite a long way from my home in the Highlands and I'm not that fit this year, but that's just an excuse, I need to do at least one proper race just to find out what it's all about - I've raced road and mtb so this aspect of my racing cv is an empty entry at the moment.
So a few weeks ago I started running again, a bit of distance, a bit of hill work and some speed drills, then a few jaunts out and about on the 'cross bike just to get used to it again. All good, even did some hard little hill intervals on the bike in a grassy field - not that easy to find in these parts! Again all ok. Hahahaha, how little did I know that THIS WAS JUST NOT HARD ENOUGH.
This week whilst working on Mull I hooked up with two local 'cross racers, Davie Graham and Steve Macinnes for their regular evening training sesh', "it's only 45 minutes" said Davie, grand I thought, be over in a jiffy and be a nice way to hook up with the locals.
Oh dearie me.
45 minutes.
Pain.
I have not been training at this intensity.
I was lapped.
I was in my own little pain filled world.
Stop.
"Aye, well, enjoy that ?" I couldn't answer because I couldn't breath very well. Although I did practically demonstrate how totally knackered I now was by wrecking Davies wheel when I took his bike for a wee test lap later...... sorry.
This was a big wake up call. Back home I've now found my own 4 minute circuit of pain, with the crucial  steep nasty run-up hill, flat out pedally bit and hard seated climb, but more importantly I now know to what intensity I need to train at - 100% for 45 minutes.
45 minutes eh?
How hard can it be.


Thursday, 1 September 2011



Just a quick blog up date and test of bloggers new interface, which seems nicer to use and allows for more than one image per blog - which is handy.
I've been in Mull a lot recently looking at various ways a woodland trust can use it's  newly acquired woods. Of course I want to build trails everywhere, but as a consultant I have to look at all the factors and make my suggestions accordingly. I think it's my honesty to tell it like it is, that keeps me in work.
Closer to home, there are some interesting developments, usual story though - mums the word until the client wants to go public.
I'm trying to get bike and run fit again; I made the hard decision to not go for the 3 Peaks cyclo-cross race this year, I knew quality cycling time would be hard to find, so rather than just turn up, I decided to miss it this year and hopefully get things sorted for another go next year. Problem is I really miss training for something, so rather stupidly I think I'll have a go at the Corryarrick. Well it is closer and my wife has kinda given me the green light to go for - it was your idea June.........
So, back on with the trainers and start giving the legs the bad news that they're going running again, sorry calves. So if I'm running again it seems a shame not to have a go at some of the Scottish cyclo-cross races - well the ones that are not too far off the end of the A9. To this end I've been running up hills and going out on the bike for short intense one hour sessions  - great things 'cx' races, short and sweet so able to cram training into a short time slot - ideal for me.
But either I'm now carrying a few too many pounds or I was just plain stupid to use a carbon fibre saddle, but inevitably one running 'mount' too many ended in catastrophic material failure i.e. my saddle snapped, luckily no bits went anywhere near my bits, but made for a standing ride home. You'd think I'd know better.
Right oh, new blogger interface tested, I'm off to bed, more typing and running from the usual family Masson early start...