Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Xterra Malta and update

So its been a while since the last blog, fortunately training and racing have not been as inconsistent so its time for an update and a race report from the excellent Xterra Malta. The last 2 months racing have certainly had ups and downs but a slow, consistent upwards trend has been set. I've been out of my comfort zone, trying new things and I would be lying if I said doubts do not creep in from time to time and confidence ebbs and flows more than usual. It takes a bit of trust, faith and learning to put the ego away but I am certain its something worth going through. No one ever said the road to your goals and dreams would be easy.

Winter Racing Highlights and Lowlights


For the first time ever I have raced all through winter, trying out a couple of Cyclocross races, the amazing Durty Events Bowhill Winter Duathlon series and the High Terrain Events Duathlon series. All part of the plan worked out with Blair to turbo charge the engine. Usually I go into winter mileage and suffering mode, riding about in all weathers and running up and down hills. As I've said it brought me results the last few years in longer races but it was time to change. On paper results have been mediocre to bad, there have been plenty of mechanical issues, crashes and a few minor niggles along the way but man have I learnt a lot! I had a few epic crashes at Bowhill, a 3 inch slipped saddle at Kielder and failed to start Whinlater due to a minor niggle. The last two races have been different though, I feel sharper, certainly faster and the race prep is getting dialed into auto pilot. Best thing is I feel strong at the end of races and my recovery is fantastic. Racing conditions have varied from ice, snow, mud and a bit of sunshine and all the races have been short, from 40mins to 2hrs30 so easy to recover from and no effect on training consistently. Best thing is I feel strong at the end of races and my recovery is fantastic. So no long races yet but I am confident it has been worth it.

Bowhill Duathlon

Bowhill Duathlon

Onwards and upwards, fast forward to the last 4 weeks. The days are getting longer, the sun is shining a bit more (especially in Malta ;)) and things are starting to come together. In the last race of the series at Grizedale duathlon, a race finally came together without major incidents or poor form and I felt stronger on the bike than last year and put together a good run off the bike to finish 3rd, less than 3 mins to 2nd but 1st was a long way off. Good signs and a little confidence boost for the trip to Malta 2 weeks after. I certainly don't feel like I have cracked shorter races yet but I know I am making progress, my determination to stop myself making the excuse 'its a bit too short for me' remains undeterred. Looking back its actually been a pretty awesome learning experience over winter!

Grizedale in the sun!

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