1 July - a red letter day for many reasons. Summer really underway, Tour de France to start within a day or two and..... Peaks entries.
I feigned a casual approach to the registering of my interest in entering through the pre-registration system. As many who called me out on that one correctly observed, I was anything but relaxed. I had my first (of many) stomach flip on that Friday, as the reality of the pain and pleasure of the Peaks took but one small step nearer.
Do a label search through these blog pages and you will find a multitude of references and posts to this unique event. By way of developing this resource further, I thought that this year I would post regularly (perhaps not every day) my approach, preparation and practical application to this years race.
So expect a sort of of 30 days of Peaks except it will nearly 3 months long. Tune in, tune out as you wish. But I guarantee that if you have an entry in you won't be able to stay away too long. If you are anything like me, your own growing obsession/preoccupation (delete as appropriate) with the race will have you checking in on others progress, training, whingeing, misfortune, satisfaction etc. It's just that kind of event - a massive personal battle against terrain and gravity but one in which we are all in it together. And genuinely, unlike our egregious politicians in power would have us believe......
So by way of avoiding a political shit storm and by dint of taking the conversation off in a different, more positive direction here is the first offering:
Saturday 2 July
Long hill reps - well 2 actually, but nearly 20 mins long each, on the Alpine like gradients of the Deerplay climb up from Burnely. Good for those long, dragging efforts albeit on foot, that characterise the Peaks.
Sunday 3 July
This is more like it.....
Nice Peaks like profile on those climbs there....
Thieveley Pike is a hill of two sides. One approached from a nearby road that even the most exercise averse sofa lover could manage, the other a brutal, grinding plod up from the Mary Townely loop as it is passes through Home Chapel, Cliviger.
Done as my first Peaks specific training, on a sweltering day, it is a real calf burner of a carry, not quite as steep as Simon Fell nor as long but still well worth doing as a 2 lap 'hurter'.
Tough but satisifying as was the blast back into Burnley to listen to my lads Brass Concert in the a fine local Victorian Park and its bandstand.