Since my last blog a few weeks ago things have been very busy indeed. The first race of the season is fast approaching so I've been fitting in plenty of training as well as organising my sponsors, sponsor announcements as well as trying to earn some money too!
The majority of the past 2 weeks I have been away training in Gran Caneria. I have been a little inconsistent in my training during January, mainly due to a lingering cold, so I was glad to finally escape real life for 10 days and focus on nothing but riding my bike. I spent a week in Gran Caneria in January last year so am familiar with the roads out there. Gran Caneria is one of the Spanish Canary Islands located off the coast of Africa so as you'd expect the temperature is much warmer than the UK. The island is also particularly mountainous and has a great network of roads which makes for some tough training.
I decided to take my road bike away with me. I train on the road a lot, I guess its a habit which has formed from growing up in Cambridgeshire where there are no Mtb trails! Riding on the road is also a lot kinder to bikes and means I don't have to pay for a new chain and cassette every other week as I would if I trained off road all the time. Plus more importantly it means I don't have to clean my bike and maintain it as often, I'm not the most patient of bike mechanics!
Anyway, back to the point! I took the road bike to Gran Caneria with the aim of getting in some nice tough rides in the mountains and also working my top end a little. I'm racing 2 stage races in the next month with Ben Thomas who is flipping quick so I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of actually keeping up with him! It also appeared that I timed my trip away just perfectly as the day after I left it snowed heavily across the UK. I must admit I did feel pretty smug as I was training in shorts and jersey while it was -8 at home.
So my week of training went something like this...
Wednesday- Arrived in GC in evening
Thursday- 4h30 only 1 climb (of 30miles!)
Friday-4h with 30min Threshold climbing
Sunday- Rest 1h45 easy spin
Monday- 4h with 30min threshold climb
Wednesday- legs totally smashed so stayed in bed most of the day then did some yoga!
Saturday- drank a beer then flew home
Although it was a tough week of riding I did learn some lessons from the previous trip where I did 4 5hour rides back to back as soon as I got there then was dead for the rest of the week. This time I took a few rest days and did slightly shorter rides. Its easy to do too much in Gran Caneria as the climbs are so tough that you always end up going harder than you think you are. I finished the week tired but not totally broken so hopefully I should be feeling strong soon. It was also nice to feel some sunshine again. I always tend to get a little run down at the start of the year and I'm sure its lack of sun that does it. I think a training camp can be judged as success if you arrive home with horrific tan lines, on this basis the trip was more than successful!
Time is flying though and I fly out to Spain on friday to my first race of the year, the Andalucia Bike race. This will be my first stage race alongside Ben Thomas and I have to admit I am a little scared that I wont be able to keep up. We'll see what happens though, I'm sure it will be fine once we get going.