2019 started out well. I had had a successful first year in Audax in 2018 and my longest weekly run was up to over 21km in length. Then I cracked a rib cross-country skiing in Austria…
Base Metrics 2019
- Weight: 97.3 kg
- Height: 187 cm
- BMI: 27.8
- FTP: 285
- Power/weight: 2.93
- VO2max: 49 ml/kg/min
- Lactate threshold BPM: 156
- Lactate threshold pace (running): 5.00 min/km
- Average resting heart rate (12m): 52
- Average stress level (12m): 28
All my numbers were heading in the right direction except weight-loss which I’ve always found the hardest thing to improve. Now, I’m not sure how much training I can do with the broken rib, so I’m really worried about losing fitness and getting (even) fatter!
It was such an ridiculous accident – I was in the classic ski tracks, explaining how not to do something to Helen, when both feet flipped up and I landed on my back with the full force on the edge of a hard, icy classic track. I heard a crack and knew immediately it was a bad one. I was worried initially that it may have been my spine, but after slowly recovering my breath, I realised that everything was working OK. I tentatively skied back to the biathlon centre, but knew my week of intensive training and racing was over.
Anyway, after going very low, emotionally, on Wednesday/Thursday last week (I’d also heard I hadn’t made it onto TCR – not surprising really as it was my first year applying), and not being able to train for three and half days, I probably overdid it on the final Saturday and my rib/back has been very painful for the last 2 days. It was good from an emotional point of view to get out there and do some skiing, but 40km on skate skis was far too much, even though I kept my breathing and heart rate under control.
I’m back in the UK now and have reapplied strapping to my chest which has helped dull the pain, and I’m going to see Stefan, my osteopath, tomorrow to make sure everything is in the right place to help speed up my recovery – potentially 4-6 weeks, fingers crossed. My biggest fear currently is sneezing! One little sneeze last night had me doubled up in pain on the floor for at least five minutes…
Despite all this, I’m looking forward to 2019 and some big events I want to complete.
Primary 2019 Events
The following are my primary focuses for the year:
March – Skiing – Engadin Ski Marathon – 42 km
I have raced the Engadin Ski Marathon 5 times in the last 6 years. It’s a 42 km skate race through the Engadin valley from Maloja to S-Chanf. About 12,000 people take part each year and my best finish is just outside the top 2,000 in 2016. My ultimate aim is to go under 2 hours and finish in the top 1,000 but it’s going to be very difficult to achieve that with my injury this year. So my new aim is re-qualify for the Elite C starting block next year (and don’t do any more damage to my body!)
May – Running – Helsinki Marathon – 42 km
I love running, but I’m not a natural long-distance runner. I was a sprinter at school and probably hit my zenith at the age of 11 when, at our local tri-schools meeting in Ely, I managed to walk away with 1st place in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and long jump. I have only run one marathon before, the London Marathon in 2005, where I collapsed on the finish line and had to be stretchered off! My whole body started to cramp up and I thought I was going to die… A bag of jelly babies and a bottle of water later, and I was fine, though I couldn’t walk properly for a week! My aim for the marathon is to go under 4 hours if all the training goes well, otherwise I will run it with my wife Linda and try to enjoy it.
July – Cycling – Land’s End to John O’Groats (Hummer’s Lumpy End To End) – 1,900 km
2019 will be 20 years since I cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End on my trusty Kona Cinder Cone. So I’m keen to do it again as an anniversary ride but also do it in a “Unsupported Bikepacky” kind of way in preparation for races like TCR in the future. I’m planning to complete it as an Audax, which will mean riding roughly 250km and climbing 3,500m each day – not one for the fixed wheel bike then!
August – Cycling – Paris-Brest-Paris Audax – 1,200 km
La creme de la creme of the Audax calendar and one of the oldest bike events – held every 4 years, it attracts riders from all over the world. I will have to cover 1,200km in under 90 hours (including all rest stops), which is the equivalent of about 320km a day. Just getting to the start line will be difficult enough as I will have to complete a Super Randonneur series of rides (200km, 300km, 400km & 600km) by the end of June. A large contingent from Audax Club Mid Essex (ACME) are planning to do it, so it should prove to be a big, fun event (hopefully, gulp!). I’ve been told that there is nothing quite like it on the cycling calendar.
Secondary 2019 Events/Goals
- Complete my RRtY – a ride of over 200km every month for 12 months in a row – I have 3 months to go
- Complete a Hyper Randonneur series – 4 rides of 600km or more
- Do the Dunwich Dynamo
- Complete an Essex Super Randonneur series – rides of 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km starting in Essex
- Cycle a total of 20,000km
- Run a total of 2,000km
- Reduce my weight to 80-85 kg
- Improve my power/weight ratio to 4 W/kg
So, my dreams haven’t been shattered by my broken rib, but I have a lot of work to do. I’ll get on the Watt Bike tomorrow and see how that feels and maybe go for a tentative run.
Bring on 2019!