Thursday, 29 May 2014

It's all GO here!!

Well where to start... It's been a manic month of racing and training and hence I haven't had anytime to blog about it. The majority of my training miles these days are concentrated on the ElliptiGO. I'm doing very little running at the moment but that didn't stop me popping over to Farnham to run the North Downs Way 50 on the 17 May. Another fantastically organised race by Centurion Running. This was off the back of the South Downs Way 50 which I ran the month prior to this. My run training miles was zero (if you don't count the MK marathon).

The schedule for the NDW50 weekend was to drive to the finish on the Friday at Knockholt pound with my ElliptiGO (I would need that for the Sunday!), leave van and GO there transfer to my Brompton and cycle to the station. Train into Waterloo and then out to Aldershot. I bunked there for £29 at the premier inn and woke up bright and early ready for a full weekend of racing.

First up was one of my favourite trails. I've run this section of the NDW trail 3 times now (twice on the 100 and the 50 last year where I finished in 6th at 7hrs50). I certainly wouldn't be repeating that time this year mostly because I had to save my legs for the Sunday ElliptiGO ride.

So I went out very steady at 10mpm pace with two fellow Leighton Buzzard teamies Mark and Helen. I felt strong throughout the 50 and really enjoyed the slower pace. The sun shone and the volunteers were fantastic (AS EVER!) Special stand out aid station awards has to go to Alastair at BoxHill serving up banana and chocolate sandwiches!!! They were amazing. And then at the penultimate station they had jelly and ice cream!!!! Man that tasted sooooo good :-)

I crossed the finish line in 24th place in a time of 9hrs something.... I can't even remember. This was a really enjoyable run and proved to me that the training effect of the ElliptiGO can transfer over to good run performances.

After a quick chat with fellow runners, and foot bath! I head off to Tonbridge which was a short drive where I would stay with a friend before hitting the Castle 100 cycle sportive first thing the next morning. My legs felt relatively good but I had no idea how I would fair over this distance on the ElliptiGO. Ive covered the distance a number of times before but never after a 50 mile run. I needn't have worried though as I had a great ride in the extreme heat topping 25+ degrees. This was a hilly course too including a pretty mega 1:5 grade climb. I even passed cyclists on route to the top :-) The ElliptiGO never stops impressing me. I've owned it for over 3 years now and can say that every ride has been awsome fun. But it's also a serious piece of kit and train well on it and you really can deliver dramatic results in fitness. And all injury free!!

The ElliptiGO theme continued throughout May. I completed the FT London Cycle Sportive (103 miles) which included BoxHill the week before the NDW50. I covered the Chiltern 100 route last Friday night leaving the house at 6:30am and returning at 4:30. 118 miles in total. And the plan now is to cover this same route twice this coming weekend. The actual Chiltern100 race is on the Sunday so I will ride the course once before then doing the actual race. Total mileage will be about 230 miles which will be my longest ElliptiGO ride to date by over 100 miles :-)

This is training for the weekend after which is the Wiggle Dragon Devils ride (300km around South Wales). That promises to be brutal!! But ALL this is training for what is to come at the end of June - The Audas Mille Cymru MC1K - this translates to a brutal 1020km around Wales to be completed within the 75 hour cut off time. This is an EPIC challenge of significant proportions. I'm taking it on with two friends Idai and Alan who are both fellow ElliptiGOers. This race is largely unsupported with just some manned overnight stations where we would be lucky to get our heads down for more than a couple of hours. We are expecting to be riding for between 15-20 hours at a time (with very short 5 min stops to replenish the fuel stores) and then a longer 2-3hr stop where we will eat a full meal get some rest before doing it all again three times over. I think this will be physically and mentally more demanding than Western States and UTMB combined. But I think I'm ready to move it up to the next level.

All my rides are available to view on Strava.

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