Tuesday 2 August 2011

Mixing it up

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.

So, by way of remedy I have set about reproducing this in training to a large degree. Obviously long rides that mix on and off road and carrying and riding are important, but more than this I am trying to get my legs used to the change whilst working hard. Cue the most brutal session known to Peakers outside of Bull Hill..... the double brick.

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:


Dave said...

You sounds like you will have it cracked again this year - you seem to have the terrain be able to mkae your really specific which will only server to put you in an excellent position come race day.

Best of luck.

PS one day I WILL take on the Peaks again

SportSunday said...

Fantastic...Great video ...well done

SportSunday said...

Still getting comments about Ronde will love to be of assistance next time if poss