Thursday, 16 January 2014

2013- The Brecon Beast

Official website here

Right then! It's time to finally get my butt in gear and start getting ready for the Beast. Those that read my post about last years effort may remember that this event is the sole reason for my getting back on my bike at the grand old age of 29.

Perhaps because I knew nothing would top the epic scale of the Maxx Exposure event, I've been incredibly lacking in motivation this year and am struggling to do more than a couple of days a month.

Its fair to say, that there is very little in the way of residual fitness in the tank and more than a little excess baggage.

So, what do I hope to achieve before the big day on September 8th?

Well, last year, I managed to fit in around 475 miles training in the 6 weeks leading up to the event so this year, with a couple of extra weeks, I'd like to do around 600.

I've got some aspirations to try and fit in more off road mileage as part of the build up too as I'm not a technically great rider and I feel there is time to be made up by riding the trickier parts with a bit more conviction.

I am also equipped with some significantly better machinery! Now whilst I normally agree that only a bad workman blames his tools, I had a serious issue with mine which were easily remedied with my fantastic Scott Spark 920
I think that alone will help me to improve my time.

With regards to my excess baggage, I did get down to 13st13 last year which is about a 15 year best for me. At the moment, I'm 15st00 so have got some serious work to do!

Other than specific off-road training days, I'm going to try and stick to my three local training routes. One is a fairly flat 10 miles there- 10 miles back TT that when I Garmin'ed it, is slightly downhill.
The next is Streatly Hill, which is again 10 miles there, 10 miles back but with a slightly different return route. When I get going, I'll probably add some reps to the actual hill part with once up standing / once up spinning.
The last is a 24mile loop shown to me by Weeksy which has some killer hills and some nice scenery.
Rotating between the three should keep me amused whilst also making progress easy to measure.

As for how I'll train, there's no real magic to it, I just go out, warm up, then cane my tits off! If I'm having an off day, there'll be less sprints and standing-up in the mix and more sit down and slog.

Having said that, I am really crap at spinning so I might do some low-resistance stuff on the Turbo as it is something I notice compared to other people.

My TT route will be my measure of progress (making reasonable allowances for wind) as at my quickest last year (actually, after the Beast) I did that route at a 17.1mph overall average.
So I would like to churn out a 17.5 in the 10 days prior to the Beast.

2013 pre-Beast goals:
*Get weight down to 13st something.
*Get my average speed for my TT route up to 17.5mph
*Improve my off-road (downhill in particular) bike handling skills
*Optimise bike set-up in the preceding days to ensure I've got best chance against the weather
*Practice eating on the move- I reckon I can knock 30mins off my time by not stopping.
*Make sure I arrive early again to ensure a first-20 place at the start.
*Train to hit the gas straight out the starting blocks- getting to the single track first could knock 30 mins off your time.
*Aim to knock 1hour 20 off of my time (depending on the course and weather being comparable on the day!)
oh, and
*Have a laugh on my bike!

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