Thursday, May 23, 2013

Two weeks and two races

Yeah… time flies when you’re having fun. It was some time since the last post, in that time I managed to get myself into a run and a cycle race. Both of them were fun and I will report both of them from the point of view of the questions the race throws at me.

Stride for success running race (5x2km loops up and down):
Pre race: How are you feeling? Those calves ready? Will it start as fast as last year?
Start: Why is it not going that far this time around? Shall you stay with the front pack? Shall you hurry the front pack up? Will you hang on to the this front pack for the rest of the 5 loops?
Lap 2.5: Ooops, eat a gel or hang on to front pack? Catch the pack or wait in no-man’s land?
Lap 4: catch the guy in the front up the hill or run him down the hill? Pass him or stay?
Lap 5: long drag or sit and wait for the sprint?

Cycle for life cyle race (1x107km lap)
Pre race: have you done enough hill training? Have you done enough interval training? You sure you want to race in the elite group?
Start: can you hang on to this fast pace and the upcoming hill? Can you catch the peloton 200m ahead down the hill? Are you able to time trial your way back to the bunch or will you wait for the next bunch?
Middle: do you really want to risk a fall in this rain and wind? Are you able to sustain this rate of exertion for another couple of hours? Have you eaten enough? Do you have enough water till the end?
End: do you want to sit and wait for the sprint or make this peloton work hard? Will you let those guys go or catch them up the next hill?

Races keep throwing us questions and the answers open a series of paths that one can’t return from. If the front pack is gone… it’s gone, there’s no way back. Similarly, if one commits to a hill 100%, then it’s useless to stop ¾ of the way there because the damage is already done, the ticker will be at a high work rate already. Interestingly, though , the mental answers to the questions and the ability to physically back up the replies with action depends a lot on the way we prepared for the race, how we rested, what we ate, what we drunk et cetera.

Another race to go in a bit over a week and then into hibernation, exams and who knows… maybe a bit of mountain action.