Thursday, August 14, 2014

Focus on the Goals

Hurting at Ourimbah. Sonter Photography.
Get back on the bike. After a couple of months with very little riding it was the Shimano Grand Prix at Ourimbah that was the returning race. My mind was keen but my body wasn't ready for the intensity and duration of the event. Hitting the wall at 2.5hrs of racing, turned the afterburners off and cruised for the remainder of the 4hr race. Race report is here.

JetBlack MTB Racing team mate Kevlar joins me for a lap. Cell Bikes.
For the JetBlack 12hr my goal was to lower the intensity, relax and get all the other things right. After a great start and a swift sighting lap I wound it back a couple of gears. I ate and drank, having fun on the single-track. In this relaxed mode everything came easy but I always had to remind myself not to push to hard. Very happy with a solid 6hrs and 100km completed, there was plenty more in the tank but this was all about not over doing it. Race report here.

Leading WSMTB's A Grade at Blue Gum. Allen Dinham.
 Next event was WSMTB's XC round at the tight Blue Gum trails. The sighting lap before race start reminded me of last years Blue Gum round and my focus became getting the best start over total race intensity. 2013 Blue Gum round saw me slide out on the first corner, so this year I practised the start loop technique three or four times and visualised the how the strategy would work in a bunch start.

The Racing Ralphs held, the technique worked and I headed into the single-track well in front of the bunch. Keep an eye out on WSMTB's calendar for the 2015 Blue Gum XC round, it is a great little trail  that is spectator friendly.

Rough start. Sonter Photography.
Rocky Trail's Shimano Grand Prix Mt Annan. For the 4hr GP I really wanted to race faster than the 12hr, get competitive, but still get all the little things right. It didn't start well, I was in the back half of the start chute and looking back now gave seven minutes to my competitors. The remainder of the race went well though, only a fleeting moment when I thought my body was about to say, "your cooked", but I was able to power on completing the 4hr with super consistent, competitive laps. Thanks to my team mates for passing bottles and keeping me out on the trail.

Nutrition is a key to consistency. Sonter Photography. 
I find setting goals helps me focus on what I want or need out of an events and training. It also allows for self assessment, giving me an ideal opportunity to evaluate and better my riding. 

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