Getting The Race Face Back
I went along to the first race of the Midweek MTB Madness series at Haigh Hall in Wigan last week. I really enjoy mixing up my cycling with some MTB and I did 3 of these events last year and they are very well ran and have a good atmosphere. In all the events I entered last year, my best result was 17th. This year I finished 10th in the race, gutted after having a puncture on the final lap and having to yield the lead. The turbo sessions and weekend long rides have obviously crossed over to some great MTB fitness. I discussed the cross over both disciplines in an early post here, but I was happy to see such an improvement to get my within touching distance of that prize money!
I toyed with the idea of doing an Aquathon down at Salford Quays, organised by Manchester Triathlon Club, but it was maybe a blessing in disguise to not race on the receiving knee. My coach Paul did well and finished 2nd so it was good to see him in action.
My turbo sessions are a good starting point to see the benefits it has for mountain biking. MTB events typically have short, harsh climbs, and the most extended of climbs are never too ardour compared to something like Rivington Pike! Here are my regular turbo drills:
3 x 10min hard
6 x 5min hard
10 x 2 min hard
20 x 1min hard
I spread these out over the 3 turbo session I do each week. Obviously the fitness levels are raised from these, but also mentally I could work out the each of these mountain bike hills were no more than any of my turbo drills. If I can go hard at home for 10mins I can do this on the mountain bike. What goes up must come down so there is a nice roll at the end which corresponds to my rest period on the turbo session.
I went back down to the second race of the series and ended up 4th, pipped at the post in a sprint finish for that final podium spot. I am quite good at motivating myself, but there is no real practice or training session you can do that replicates that pre-race feeling or pushes you enough for that dash to the line. I love it.