As it’s the start of the New Year I have heard a lot of friends new years resolutions, to join the gym, stop drinking or eating sugar. My new years resolution is to gather as much experience in endurance racing as I can and establish my first year riding in the Elite category.
I am under no illusion that this is going to be tough not only in moving up to the sharp end of racing but also taking on a new longer distance and essentially having to adapt my physiology to be able to cope with the increase in distance. Where cross country racing is short and sharp with races not being over an hour and 30 mins, I have predominately for most races been anaerobic for most of the time (heart rate above 170bpm). Endurance racing is going to require me to work aerobically to be able to take on food in order to fuel the long distance.
With this in mind I have been scouring the Internet for events and came across the UK’s only beach race. Looking at the photos and reading about the event I decided this would be a great first long distance race for me to tackle. I also managed to convince Martyn that he should race too for moral support, he reluctantly agreed.
So a little bit of information on Battle of The Beach. It is 25 miles (40km) of beach, singletrack and double track and the race loops three times around this 7-mile course.
Taking place in Pembrey Country Park, South Wales on March 21 – 22nd . There is a weekend of racing including roller racing on the Saturday, a youth race and many categories in the main event on Sunday afternoon (including my open female race). The trophies for first, second and third look awesome and there is also prize money for the top three in the open male and female races, bonus!
I have done a little research on the results from last year where the winning female had impressive lap times of around 31 minutes making her travelling speed 14 mph, on the beach! That is as far as I’m concerned, super speedy and has motivated me to increase my speed training.
To increase my ‘spinning’ capability Mark my coach has set me the task of high cadence sessions working up to a cadence of 130 rpm! At the moment I can’t reach 130 rpm, but with practice I am getting closer! The idea of these sessions is to get me used to a higher cadence, which will eventually allow my heart rate to drop so I can work aerobically for longer during endurance events.
So far my training for this season is going really well I clocked up 475 miles in 37 hours in December.
I am going to keep a diary of my training and my progression towards 14mph off road consistently which is my goal for March and Battle of the Beach.