Tuesday, February 06, 2007

That Pain Again...

That pain again... It's a funny feeling; it doesn't hurt, or sting nor leave a mark. It just leaves you totally stuffed yet it's a euphoric feeling that comes from putting it all out there and totally destroying yourself in the process. Man it feels good.


Otway Odyssey
First race in a long time for me, and most likely to be the toughest event I have done this far.

Being my first race back since the Tassie 12 Hour in March last year, I was somewhat nervous at the start line. Once the horn went, the nerves were gone... The road start saw a very fast pace early on in the piece. The first climb sorted the men from the boys; I had no intention of hurting myself in the first 10km so I took it easy. The first stage being mostly road and fire road made it easy to set a decent pace. Later in the stage powering the climbs, and bombing the down hills saw me feeling pretty damn good.

First transition saw me searching around for my support crew and water- they erected the signs just after I come in. Might have been more helpful if they put them up when they set up. After a feed and a top up of water I was back on my way.

Second stage was not what I expected - I really didn't like it, it was ok for the first hour or so, but the tight single track, which was quiet technical, really beat up my arms and upper body. Half way through I was thinking cool, I'm going to do this in about 7 hours, then I ran out of food- and then water; it wasn't until after the race that I found out this section had been extended a fair whack, and having only taken enough water for a little over how long I though it would take left me in a lot of trouble (about an hour short).

Second transition - I rolled in and almost fell of the bike; complaining being cold- I don’t recall much else other then drinking four bottles of water and two bottles of Gatorade. Finally I managed to pull myself onto the bike- despite thinking to myself that I was stupid and crazy for doing so. I later found out many riders pulled out by this stage, finding the harsh conditions a little too tough. Not me though!

Third stage saw some drive train issues on the single track climbs, for some reason I managed to find my legs again with a little power to get up the climbs despite the woes, and bombing the single track and fire trail descents was awesome. Finally after about 10 hours, being severely dehydrated, and quiet possibly suffering from heat stroke I rolled into the finish with a smile on my face; and a feeling of accomplishment.

My first marathon done - they only get easier from here. Personally I think 12-hour solo efforts are much easier. Hehe! I felt surprisingly good for an early season race. Special thanks to my awesome support crew Malory, she did a fantastic job of keeping me happy on the bike. Huge thumbs up to the guys at Rapid Ascent too for an awesome event. (Photos to come).


Will be taking it a little easy this week, although and early morning spin this morning was a good indication that I will be back on the road for a tempo session tomorrow. Tassie 12 Hour is next on the hit list!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Tempo

It has a pretty good week thus far; the legs were feeling a little sluggish earlier in the week due to the lack of riding over the weekend. However, by mid week I was firing pretty well again. Feeling good for the Otway Odyssey tomorrow morning.

Tempo - Well I'm in the next phase of training. The next month will be spent honing my endurance systems, with tempo riding and the addition of some faster paced MTB action mid week. If this week is any indication it should go by pretty quick.


Here is an example of what my training week looks like at the moment- not too much information though, cant give away everything now can I. I am still maintaining 2 rest days a week; this is so I can live somewhat of a normal life as opposed to the Work-Train-Sleep-Work-Train-Sleep routine many abide by.

What I am doing...
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Tempo
Wednesday: Tempo
Thursday: Hard MTB
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Endurance MTB
Sunday: Endurance Road


Otway Odyssey Tomorrow - See you there!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Slow Week

A slow week this one - it is scheduled as a recovery week but I was hoping to get at least a few decent rides in. Lately I've been doing loads of miles, but never really in larger blocks then 3 hours; unfortunately work, and life commitments mean a little compromise in terms of hours I want to ride vs hours I actually ride. Sucks really.



There is a positive though the legs are feeling quiet good out on the road, and while they are lacking the "snap" power; it is early days in terms of training yet. Next on the cards is Tempo - this year I am trying something a little different in the way of training - while it's not really a Friel style of training plan it holds a alot of attributes that are similar.

This come about after a lot of reading of forum topics, articles, talking to other athletes and quiet a few observations of my own. "Endurance racing is basically who ever can go the hardest the longest wins". While I certainly see the value of putting in loads and loads of miles or a "base" at the start of the season it isn't really using time effectively, not to mention the fact that it's boring as hell.

Instead - smaller specific blocks of training targeted towards various heart rate zones, muscle groups, gym sessions and skills is a much better use of time and effort. Not too dissimilar to Dave Morris style of plan but a little less intense and more of a focus towards endurance. I will give a better layout over the next couple of days.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Putting In The Miles

It's been a busy last couple of days- finally back at work after an all too short holiday, and trying to get in some miles too. I am doing pretty good though; working the base with 75km on Tuesday, a 30km relaxed ride on Wednesday and today- planning on hitting up another 75km or so this afternoon.

Feeling really good on the bike, although I do feel there is a bit of a lack in top end there that needs to be worked on. Early days yet in terms training for the season though. Progress is looking good.

Otway Odyssey is closing in all too fast- have you got your entry in yet?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A spot of something Different

This week upon my return from Tasmania saw some quiet stiff legs, and some awesome weather too. So time for something a little different, in terms of recreation, just getting away or one could even call it training.

After a fair bit of organizing, and a load of packing; we were off; the girlfriend and I went hiking for a few days. Talk about your all body work out, I don't think I have ever been so sore. We did however see some awesome sights, travel across some incredible terrain, and have a fair bit of fun too.

Myself, old Australian Army pack, and a heap of gear.


Malory, also loaded up with gear- and as always smiling


Great ocean views - off the Victorian coast


Grassy Valleys


The clouds coming in.



News: The Australian 24 Hour Championships has been moved forward to Easter as opposed to running it with the Scott 24 Hour CORC decided it would be better to run it as a stand alone event. Not only does this bring the Championships into line with the World Solo Championships, but it also means better scheduling the top riders can compete at both the Australian and World events. Awesome!

Awesome news also - this event is ran in a gap in my race schedule - So I am considering entering the event, and racing too. Anyone what to play support crew?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Apple Isle Riding

Back from Tasmania, got in quiet a few miles, in quiet a few different places...

Riding About:
Hit up the local reserves on Sunday, gave a small taste of different types of single track, with minimal climbing, but quiet a few road miles. The weather was rather damp, having rained Saturday night and most of Sunday. The trails were nice though.
Ride Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Dial Range:
Monday saw some different terrain, heading up north to the town of Penguin, to the base of the dial Range. Over grown single track, rocky rooted climbs, and super fast downhills were the order of the day. After a short road ride saw us un the thick of it, single trail climb, rocks roots and all. Thirty minute descents, and hour long climbs make this trail quiet testing, but enjoyable.
Ride Time 3 Hours, 20 Minutes.

The single track climb of the day.


Riding partner Dave negotiating a much too steep section of the downhill.


Myself negotiating a washed our bridge.


Travallyn
Tuesday saw another beautiful day - initially planning to go to Ben Lomond NP, we scrapped that idea after feeling somewhat sluggish. So a local ride was on the cards. Travallyn, just outside of Launceston is home to some awesome single track, rather dusty and rocky, not at all like the trails at the YouYangs. I had a great time cruising about playing around on all the single track.
Ride Time: 2 Hours, 35 Minutes.

Special thanks to Dave for the place to stay, and for showing me about. I had an awesome time, as I always do in Tassie and am looking forward to heading south for the Tassie 12 Hour in early March.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Down in Tasmania!..

Well I decided to head down south for a few days to get some mountainbike miles in on a few different trails for a change. I wish I could say the weather is nice, but it's damn wet down here; my friends assure me this is very unseasonable. A few problems with the bike too; however after fixing a bent derailuer hanger, and problematic rear rim / tyre the bike is finally going again.

The itinerary for the trip...
Today - We rode the local reserves (2.5hrs worth of cruising)
Tomorrow - Riding (Dial Range ?)
Tuesday - Riding (Ben Lomond NP ?)
Wednesday - Head home and then ride some more. (Road ?)

Pictures to follow.
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Name:
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Me: I'm Aaron, very commonly known as Cúl-Báire if your into cycling forums at all then you have probably seen it around somewhere...

I love mounainbike riding- particularly endurance racing; it's just an atmosphere thing I guess but it's so much fun. I plan to step up my racing program, get some good results, travel, ride and have some great fun... I will never be "pro" but that aint stopping me from having fun!

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