Saturday, 4 June 2011

One week. One weak!

7 days from now I travel down to Pietermaritzburg to start the race. The question in my mind now is - have I done enough to adequately prepare? Race preparation has dominated the last 10 months of my life.

On the physical side I have ridden thousands of kilometres, carried my bike up at least a dozen mountains, done a little trail running, played a bit of squash, tried to get hiking fit and lost 10kg's. I had a good joBerg2c (9 day, 900km stage race) just over a month ago.

For trail preparation I have spent 12 days riding sections of the trail, bought a new bike after my trusty ol' steed failed a few times and fine tuned my equipment.

Still, have I done enough? I guess not, could have done more physical preparation. How much is enough for a race where the weather in all likelihood will determine your final result. Mental strength is probably going to be the determining factor of who wins, who does well and who chucks the towel in and heads home early in this years race.

I have no aspirations of winning the race as there is the best line up of podium wannabe's the race has ever seen. My guesstimate has at least 8 riders looking to break the 13 day 15 hour record. All guesswork as very few people are prepared to openly declare their race strategies. My strategy is simply to do the best I can.

For all my preparation, the one thing I am not adequately prepared for is the cold! How do you train for that? Same old problem - hands and feet! I have ventured out in the early mornings recently and when it gets to minus plenty the extremities get sore. I have adapted my equipment choices in an attempt to be more comfortable but realise that unless one adopts a less aggressive race strategy its going to get a little uncomfortable out there this year!

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