Recovery should be built into every day, every week, every month and every year. (Joe Friel)
There are two extended rest and recovery periods slotted into my training and racing schedule for this season. Having done two months of consecutive weekend racing, my plan told me to take a week off from training and two weeks off from racing.
The week off training was a welcome change, just what I needed. I went out for relaxed rides with my younger brother Liam and long walks with our dog Quinlan. I did some low intensity running and even some elasticity work (which is a miracle). Doing nothing isn’t possible.
The two weeks without racing however, didn’t feel so wonderful. In fact it was really difficult to deal with. I’d got so used to being away from home over the weekends, immersing myself in the world of racing that I felt seriously disoriented staying at home. I had to force myself not to think about my competitors racing.
Training got back under way with the ‘Build 1’ phase last week and coincided with a lightning strike wiping out our internet access.
If you want to train better, lose the internet.
Anytime you suffer a setback or disappointment, put your head down and plow ahead. (Les Brown)
Albstadt should have been my return to racing this weekend but problems with my youngest brother Kenny meant we couldn’t travel. What a huge disappointment. I’d been looking forward to riding at Albstadt so much! As usual though, the bike is teaching me so much. I’m learning how to handle disappointments and setbacks. An important lesson, which I need to learn as quickly as possible if I’m to continue progressing. I have to accept that life sometimes isn’t fair and remain focused on the goals.
I started riding Vee tires a couple of weeks ago, namely the Trax XC and I am very impressed. During technical training on rooty climbs and descents, I had no problems with grip and didn’t have the sluggish feeling you sometimes get with grippy tires. Pinning the bike aggressively into burms and pedaling hard in between was also noticeably more effective having switched to the Vee tires. I’m looking forward to racing on them.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on Albstadt, I am focused now on the next round of the UCI XCO Junior Series in Gränichen, Switzerland on June 7th.
I’ve never ridden the course before and so I’ll be watching films of previous years’ races and we have planned to get there on Friday to get two days recon in. There seems to be a good combination of both technical and sweeping descents plus plenty of climbing. As always, I’m realistically optimistic about my chances and a placing inside the top 30 would be a significant step forward for me.
Here in Germany, there are lots of bank holidays in May and June and added to that, I’ve got loads of time on my hands because the internet has been blown up in Darmstadt. As a result, my dad suggested I try reading to pass the time. He let me borrow Phil Gaimon’s ‘Pro Cycling on $10 a Day.’
In short this book is inspirational and hilarious. I was really hesitant to finish the book because I’d really started to care about what happened to Phil and I didn’t want to be ‘dropped off’ as he carried on his amazing journey as a pro.
I can’t recommend this book too much, it’s perfect, buy it!
Words – Lomas Wefing