Preparation: Jan – Aug 2014

Having committed to attempting the Cent Cols Challenge in November last year, I faced an immediate problem: everyone told me it would be much harder than the Tour de Force (my previous, closest comparison ride), so I would have to prepare even better and arrive at the event stronger.  BUT, I couldn’t see any way to factor in additional time to train…

So, I decided my only option was a multi-pronged plan of attack, in the hope that lots of small improvements might add up to a real, overall gain:

– the first part was to think about marginal gains (a la Team Sky): could I improve my bike, eat better, sleep more, stretch more, get stronger, get lighter? If I could only improve each thing by 10%, that might have a big impact by Sep 2014?

– the second part was to stop thinking about km: cyclists almost always think of distance when measuring the difficulty of a ride. I decided to think almost solely about climbing and measure the value of all rides by how much climbing I could pack into them. To put this into perspective, Strava says I climbed a total of 100,000 m in 2013. I’ve already climbed the same in 2014 and it’s only mid August – all I’ve done this year is climb hills!

– the third and final part of my plan was to really escalate my training in July and early August, with severe, back to back events. I created these myself: long, consecutive days, with as much cumulative climbing as possible. See Posts elsewhere in this blog for the details: Lon Las Cymru, followed by the Tour du Mont Blanc and then an extreme Welsh road trip.

So, as things stand, writing this on 20th August, I feel as well prepared as my lifestyle and time allows and now all I can do is hope to arrive at the start line on 31st August similarly fit and healthy.

SGL 20-08-2014 🙂