It was not ideal from a training point of view, but I have just taken a break from the cyclo cross season and spent 10 days visiting my son , Sam, who is a Doctor living in Melbourne Australia and Katie, my daughter, who is a PE teacher in Hong Kong.It was a great trip with my wife Wendy and fantastic to see my son and daughter again
It was quite a whirl wind trip but on 6 of the 10 days away when I wasn't flying, I did get out on the bike or I hit the road running! Certainly the highlight of the biking was a 70 km ride on Hong Kong island. Hong Kong is amazingly green outside the city and the island Peak at 583 metres is quite a severe climb straight from sea level. I met with 2 Danish guys Michael and Thomas, who love in HK and they acted as my guide. Good job they were with me, because I had 3 separate punctures and needed to scrounge a tube off them!
I have been back a week now and have got into a good training routine, with daily runs and rides and out twice a couple of days a week. My weight is down to 76.5 kgs, only 2,5 kgs above my racing weight of 33 years ago and I am beginning to feel good. I do feel though that I need to seek some specialist coaching, so I can really fine tune my approach. I don't feel I have a strong enough base of fitness, after a 33 year break and so have contacted an experienced 'off road' coach for advice and am meeting him next week. Lets see what he recommends!
Similarly I feel nutrition has come on leaps and bounds since the 1980's and although I eat sensibly, in the 1980's even as a pro there was not much science to your diet and I am sure there is much to learn from a professional about day to day eating and pre and post race and training nutrition. Tomorrow I am meeting with an expert for some advice.
If I am to dedicate the next year to achieving my goal, I want to make sure I approach every aspect of my training and preparation is done professionally and in a modern way.
On Saturday I raced at Holmepierre Pont in a Notts and Derby league event. Prerace rain made conditions very tricky and slippery but the course was made even more difficult by a drying wind, which made the mud unbelievably clingy. I had done a 3 lap warm up on one bike, with no problems, but after the first 2 laps of the race, on the same bike, my bike completely ceased up, with mud clogging the brake arches and the frame. Efforts to unblock it with my fingers failed and I faced a third of a lap run to get a replacement bike. After that it was a bike change every lap, but I had lost 2 minutes in that run.
My old mentor and friend Mick Shakespeare, had chosen the wrong race to come and support me as he was kept super busy in the pits! I ended up finishing 7th in my category, but I still felt I was well off the pace.
My new Vittoria performance Graphene 320 tpi Cotton Terreno tubs were used for the first time and they proved a real success. I had the muddy profile on one of the bikes and I could really appreciate the extra grip when I was on this bike
I still have 13 months to go and I am not disheartened and I hope taking the advice of some professionals for training and nutrition will help me to sharpen up my preparation.
Next stop is Southampton, where I will be racing next Sunday
With new mate Michael on Victoria peak