Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grafton to Inverell and a Training Camp

What are you doing for Grafton?
Are you going for the KOM again?
How do you feel, compared to last year?

I have been asked these questions more than once in the last couple of months. I thought it would be right to answer them here. First, this blog is about training and racing and secondly, because my 2009 Grafton to Inverell posts are getting a lot of hits at the moment. In fact, this blog is getting a lot of hits and numbers are going up. So, thanks to all followers out there - 760 unique visitors from fifty two countries this month alone.

Back to it, for Grafton to Inverell I have changed a bit from what I did last year, increasing the kilometres and climbing meters per ride. I have also increased my recovery time by riding an average of four rides per week. The main reason for that is that I need to be more careful with my body because I am still having problems with my neck, shoulders and upper back, product of my accident 12 months ago.

I have done more climbing so far, and I intend to do more, and will probably have a couple of longer rides (200 km plus) before the race. I haven't pushed too hard on the climbs, choosing to use harder gears - 53 chainring when possible - for strength but will start to do all out efforts in easier gears in the next couple of weeks.

On the KOM question, I don't really know. Of course, I would like to have a go at it but it will depend on what grade I will be racing in. There is a possibility of being put in Cat 2 because of my result in Cat 3 last year. That will make it hard just to hang on with the leading bunch for the 228 km. This group has what I called the Super Di2 Generation, young master riders who race for the win only and will do everything to beat everyone... And I mean everything! Not having an extreme competitive nature will make me race very conservatively in that category.

Then, there is a possibility of being left in Cat 3 because of my age. That would give me a better chance of attacking (not sure if I like that term) on the climb and finishing with the leading group, again, if lucky is on my side. Like in any race, everything has to be right at the day. One puncture, a small crash, bad positioning in the peloton, all these things might put any rider out the back in no time, no matter how well prepared he/she is or in what grade they race. It is a tough game.

Compared to last year, I feel my legs are stronger because of my base training this summer and more rested. I don't feel I am as fast as I have been in the past because I haven't done a lot of speed work and racing this season. I am not sure if these changes are going to get me there in a very competitive form but it will get me to the start line rested and with luck to the finish line with the leading group. And that would be a victory for me.

Mt Mee repeats

Mt Gravatt repeats

Mt Mee again

Last six rides
Time: 20 h
Dist.: 545 Km
Asc.: 6020 m

Training Camp

The plan this year was to race the Australian Masters in Victoria, have a little holiday with Sandra (birthday present) and watch the World Championship. It would have been a great holiday but we figured there was going to be a lot of driving around, perhaps cool weather and not enough relaxation. OK, racing the nationals would be great but going through all the effort for a 70.5 km race, I am not sure.

So, we chose to go on a holiday/training camp, somewhere we haven't been and where we don't have to drive, where there is a huge infrastructure to fulfill dietary and recovery needs in a region with lots of steep hills to get the heart pumping during every ride...

Where and when? Well, I need to keep something for tomorrow's post, don't I?

Cheers for now!

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