18 July - 31 July
Consolidation. 'Building the engine' as Greg calls it. I've been plugging away with some threshold/sweetspot efforts, some Bull Hill reps, some easy riding and a bit more running. Finished off this period with a custom designed Peaks session - a double hill reps brick session.
In previous years in the Peaks I have been a cramps sufferer. Now I know pretty much everyone gets cramp in the Peaks at some point, but we are talking cramp on the road out of Ingleton that lasts till the finish, lying in the Penyghent track unable to move cramp, cramp that has caused almost complete meltdown and a grovel to the finish. Admittedly, last years sub 4hr ride was largely cramp free so I may have found ways of reducing its pernicious effects, but the spectre of cramp still haunts my preparation and race each year.
I've thought about this long and hard. Now the scientific literature is less than conclusive on the causes and even the remedies for cramp, but in a Peaks context, I think I know what does me in and reduces me to a wooden, immobile wreck - the constant change in effort.
I don't mean going up and down hills, that isn't too bad in and of itself. No, I mean the constant change between bike and run, between up and down and bike and run and between saddle and foot and saddle etc etc etc..... It just does me in for some reason.
I have a lovely tough climb just at the top of the road, soon to be in 100 Climbs Vol2, and it fits nicely into a little circuit with 5-6mins of climbing, a steep descent, some rolling and then back into the climb:
a few reps on this for around 25mins of hilly riding and straight into the running shoes for...
supersteep hill reps in the woods behind the house (think Simon Fell steep). 15mins of that till feeling slightly giddy, then repeat the bike loop and the running reps as before.
Result? Broken legs after just two sets and about 1hr 20mins training time. If I can face it, 3 sets will be awesome. I think.
By way of fuelling the anticipation, Greg reminded of this great film that encapsulates last years Peaks very nicely: