Over the next few weeks, I’ll be keeping a little log of my training programme for the World Games in Saalbach, Austria – without a doubt, this is the biggest race I’ve done so far as the World Games is of course the world championships for non-pro riders.
As it stands right now, I’m also the only British rider in the Marathon category so the pressure’s on! I’ll be racing in the “Half Marathon” cat, which sees us do a 42.5k loop in the Austrian Alps, including 1980 vertical metres of climbing – ouch!!
As a rider who normally races Enduro style events domestically and abroad, it’s going to be a challenge doing something like this – my body shape is geared up more for blasting transition stages pretty quickly, but then being physically strong enough to hammer the timed descent stages full gas – for my height, I’m probably something like 7-8kg heavier than an equivalent cross country racer, which is what the “Marathon” format favours.
The big goal for me will be to improve my climbing speed a bit, but also further improve my descending and technical skills so that I can make up plenty of time and places on high speed and technical descent stages, which is traditionally where European cross country racers are weaker. So there’s be some pretty savage cardio work going in to supplement my core strength and upper body training that I currently do to maximise performance in Enduro events and rides.
Watch this space for updates on how it all pans out over the coming weeks – it’s going to be hard work, but oh so worth it!