|The Cape Epic in Previous Years - Riding Through South African Veld|
"Er, Cyclist, now that I have your undivided attention for a few minutes and you are not downloading and analysing your bike rides on Strava and have not fallen into an exhausted sleep in front of the TV, do you mind answering a few questions?"
How much longer to the Cape Epic?
He takes out his iPad and clicks on www.cape-epic.com and proudly says, "20 days and 19 hours until the start of the race".
How is your training going so far this year?
(Again he whips out the iPad and clicks on Strava)
So far this year I have cycled 2400 kms and ascended almost 39 000 vertical meters. And yes, last week you didn't see much of me with 21 hours of cycling 450kms. My training has been a combination of on road and off road, long distance and short interval training and fortunately very few unplanned dismounts:)
How does this amount of training compare with previous Epics you have done?
I think I may have put a little more effort in this time but every year the body gets stronger so it is difficult to judge.
What impact did "Healthy Eating No Alcohol February" have on your training? Have you changed your diet to accommodate your training?
Yes. It was the worst WEEK of my life - lol! Much to my wife's disappointment I felt like it had disrupted a good routine I had. As much as I wanted to support the family with their endeavours I gladly paid the fine and went back to some of my bad habits (I have reduced my consumption of sweets quite a bit though).
Having a demanding job and an (un) demanding wife and family, how do you find the time to train as much as you do?
I think this THE most challenging part of the Cape Epic. I'm 100% committed to all three and it takes a lot of effort to keep all three happy, well, reasonably happy. When it comes to my training I ride before the family wakes up, I commute to work and back and even train at night, sometimes getting home after 1am. Family events are always a priority over cycling and I don't want to miss any part of this wonderful stage of my kids lives. As for work, if you don't perform you don't have a job and that job pays for the cycling and our family life and there is nothing worse than not enjoying your job so I give it my best to get the absolute best out of it.
How are you feeling physically and mentally?
I'm in a good place. The training takes it out of you but I don't feel shattered. I have a good group of cycling friends who have supported me well and this makes every bicycle ride a lot of fun and keep my spirits high. It almost feels like I'm not training for a race but just having fun.
So what's left before the race starts?
On the training front there is no more time to make significant improvements. It's now a case of maintaining the fantastic foundation I have built and maybe making some minor improvements. So the hours in the saddle a week won't drop by much.
There are some logistics around the race that my race partner and I will work on like how do I get my bike and kit to South Africa on the frugal luggage allowance of Qantas, race nutrition plan, servicing the bike and the body...oh... and keep the family and job happy!
What treatments/ physio are you doing?
There is no way I would finish such an event without the support of a good sports physio. Once again, the team from Walker and Wiese Physiotherapy will be looking after my body with a one hour treatment every afternoon during the race. It is absolutely amazing that you can wake up the next day and feel like it is Day 1.
I'll also be showing copious amounts of food down my throat all week long!
What are you looking forward to about the Epic?
Everything. The camaraderie, the physical stress, the mental anguish (he is weird), the teamwork with my partner, the evening stories, meeting new people and collecting new memories.
Anything you would like to add?
Just a shout out to my race partner who, believe it or not, is training even harder that I am and holding down an even tougher job. Somehow he has managed to find the time to attend to those small but necessary logistical planning issues like booking a cool camper van and finding campsites in each town. This is a real treat, thanks mate! You have one last job, get me to the finish line!
|The camper van the Cyclist and his partner will be sharing|
So it looks like another couple of weeks of training before the big day. I guess I'll just keep on mowing the lawn and cleaning up the garden (as well as the house) as he is too busy to do so!
Any questions for The Cyclist?
Do you think beer is a good way to carbo load?
What do you think of the amount of training that he does?