Endurance racing is definitely my strength so its time to enter my first official 24 hour race. Starting at the top, I've picked the UK Solo National Championships, also known as 24 Hours of Exposure. It has recently been announced that it is now the European Solo Championships, no pressure then?
The prestigious event takes place on 7th May 2011 where I will be riding along side a few other South Downs Doublers and the best MTB riders in Europe. The list includes; Matt Page, Rob Lee, Rob Dean, Rich Rothwell, Anne Dickins, Rory Hitchens, Ant Jordon, Kate Potter, Rickie Cotter, plus many more. Riding with such prestigious talent will be an awesome and humbling experience. (The list a personal selection from the wealth of talent in the MTB arena.)
Training started back in October where I'm following Joe Friel's periodisation training programme. It involves establishing a solid foundation of strength before developing the race specific abilities. Spending many hours a week in the gym during the winter months, I focussed on bike specific weight training, gym exercises, spinning sessions, Pilates and swimming. Riding the bike just once a week kept my hand in on the 2 wheeled rig.
With a solid core and powerful legs, more training is now on the bike in preparation for the race.
In my usual meticulous way, all training statistics are logged and plotted on graphs to note improvements or areas for development. Preparations for the race are carried out in a similar manner so the whole weekend runs smoothly. Dave (my brother) will provide support and help with the 360 mile drive to Newcastleton just north of Carlisle.
The 12 mile course for the race contains 1800 feet of climbing per lap, which is 160 feet per mile. The South Downs Way in comparison is 100 feet per mile, so this course is hilly! Selecting several of the toughest climbs on the North Downs, I've developed some demanding training routes.
Looking forward to a great race!