It wasn't a big week and I ended up doing even a little less than what I had planned, which I hope is going to keep me fresh. The saying Less is more and Quality and not Quantity was the approach I embraced for this final week of preparation for Bright.
I had two days off the bike followed by a quick session to MacAfee's (not too bad at 17'29") on Wednesday, a short Clear Mountain hit on Thursday and a Brisbane Riverloop on Friday. The later been a good recovery ride, followed by coffee with friends.
For Saturday, I had planned a three hour, high intensity ride, including a race at Nundah. It was raining when I got up so I drove there (Soft! I hear)and did a 12 min warm up on the track before the start of the 60 min + two, A grade criterium race. It meant, coming home after the race, having something to eat and a little rest before heading out for another couple of hours on the bike.
Because I haven't raced much lately, it was important to do a fast race and see how I could cope with the high intensity and race speed. It ended up been a real test. I made myself as active as I could, got dropped and got back (it took me almost two laps to do so) and finished with the first half of the field of 49 riders.
I could even have finished it a bit better if I had noticed the two-laps-to-go sign. It was raised by the commissaires at 57 min, not 60 as we were told in the brief. So, all I got was the bell when sitting very close to the back, terrible place to be when you have 1200 m of a criterium circuit to overtake 30 or 35 guys... I will learn one day, I kept telling myself... but good training anyhow.
A 2.5 hour bunch ride and a ride to town to meet Sandra (on her new Peacemaker) for coffee marked the end of my training for the Tour of Bright. A nice way to finish the week, and the year as I will be off the bike for four or five weeks after the race. It will be time for a long rest and to start looking into what I am going to do next year. More on that another time.
Well, I still have to do something before the race next weekend but I won't even call it training. I call it resting. I want to get to Bright with a rested body and mind and I need to make sure I don't get a flu or cold when the immune system is running at a low level, as it does after so many weeks of training.
Sure, we have heard of tapper, race week, etc. I will be just spinning my legs a bit, doing a couple of sprints to get the lactic acid production and elimination systems going and to remind every cell in my body that we have some tough challenges still to come. And that's it, I might spend 5 or 7 hours on the bike before Saturday, no more.
The rest of the time, I will use it for massaging my legs, checking and preparing the bike and packing. And packing for a stage race in Victoria means a lot of time and lots of stuff as we can see on the photograph. Basically, I am taking gear to ride a bike in temperatures that might range from 4 to 28 degrees and, according to the weather forecast, possible in wet conditions!
I can't wait! Have a great week!
Week Forty Seven: Peak
Time: 11 h 23 min
Dist: 325 km