Since the last update, I’ve had my head down pretty hard, focusing on one of my main objectives of the year, the cross country championships! Its kind of a stressful event, and it takes its toll mentally. However, things were amazing fitness wise in the lead up to the event, I was getting stronger each week, and the figures were showing it!
Race day came, and I had a perfect start to the race. About midway through the race, I blew up, the engine had broke. In the end, all I could manage was a 6th place, but C’est la vie!
Strangely enough, a couple of hours after the event, I suddenly got really ill, This was a close one, as I nearly vomited all over the car on the way home! It seems I must have caught a bug or something. Unlucky, but that’s life!
After the Nationals, I took a chilled out week, rested, did a load of partying with friends, had a few too many beers, and of course way too many cakes! Very glad to be finished objective No.1
Objective No.2 - Marathon Championships
As the cross country season winds down the Marathon season starts. These are essentially longer mountain bike races which cover distances up to 100km. They are excellent fun, and much more interesting, as anything can happen! Through hard training I’ve been doing solid 20 hour week blocks of endurance riding to get in shape for these events. I’m certainly clocking up the milage at this stage.
For some excellent training, I competed my in my first ever skinny tire stage race - The Ras Connacht, This was an amazing road stage race which involved 3 races in 2 days. Unluckily, I never got to see Westport and Croagh Patrick, but the rest of the scenery was seriously incredible, bar the torrential rain which followed us for the weekend!
Stage 1) 95km Road race, 677 Meters climbed
Stage 2) - 9km Time trial
Stage 3) - 87km, Luckily, this included a 4 minute climb at the finish. Which allowed me to ride away from the chasing group of riders and finish 10th.
The key to these events, is eating (Lots!), resting and recovery. So during the event, It was really important to take on board plenty of carbs, the best way was through caffeinated energy gels, and a good carb drink, USN Vooma gels / Cytopower HP did the job excellently.
More importantly, chilling out after each stage is critical, as is taking enough food on board, Its difficult to replenish 4000 burnt calories with pasta, This is why USN Recover XCell drinks pretty much wins. To replenish effectively after each stage, I guzzled down my an XCell shaker or two.
To do well in the Marathon Championships, ill be racing some events back to back to get used to the hard, endurance efforts. Looking forward to the next group of races.
Sun 5th August - 100km Road race
Sat 18th August - 55km Mountain Bike Marathon
Sun 26th (Marathon Champs)
Also, If anybody is interested in doing an amazing 7 day Mountain bike stage race across Portugal’s sunny Algarve in October, Check this link out.
My Buddy,a top Portuguese pro cyclist (Tomas Swift-Metcalfe)has set up Swift Momentum Sports, a bike holiday business based in the Algarve. They are looking to get a bunch of riders to this event, under the SMS banner, Ill be joining them. Oh and every level and ability is catered for!