Hi everyone, it feels like a lifetime since the events of Richmond, from which I flew straight to Ireland and then on to my grandparents for a big family occasion – even then I went on a bike ride which wasn’t ideal given it was meant to be my off season!
Like any job, it’s great to see your family when you’ve been away with work for a long time, and so I rounded things off by booking a last minute holiday for seven days with my fiancé.
The last thing I felt like doing was anything long haul so we looked around for something hot and nearby, then jumped on a plane and had a great time! After that I was back in the UK again to see my sister with her new baby as well as fitting in a bit of shopping, specifically for a wedding dress – it’s been non-stop!
Back on the bike
I told myself I’d start in earnest on November 1st, but I’ll admit to having a couple of rides just beforehand! It’s a long time until the Olympics but having a long rest is still important, which I felt I had done and having looked out of the window and seen some great weather, I had a couple of rides out.
Technically though, Sunday 1st November was my first proper day of training. The night before was Halloween so I enjoyed that along with the rugby and a fun fair – definitely an off season day. The next day it was a case of getting my mind and body back into training mode, so sensibly cutting out any rubbish from the diet and then working my intensity up on the bike.
Training wise the first two weeks will be without any great intensity, just getting hours on the bike. It’s funny actually because about half way up the climbs near where I live I realised how much pain I was in as I was trying to do my normal speed, so that was my body telling me to slow down and work its way back up to full fitness.
My next goal is The Tour of Flanders in Spring and then it’s the Olympics. Rio’s all about climbing so all of my training will be about that, hence my strategy for Flanders may well be different as instead of waiting for the sprint I’ll be attacking the race earlier to suit where my training’s been focussed. I guess in a sentence, my preparation now is about Rio more than anything else.
In the news
I’ve not seen The Program yet so I can’t comment on the film itself, but I think with regards to the topic of cheating, you’re going to have cheaters in every aspect of life be it sport, business or whatever.
In my opinion the sport’s cleaner than it’s ever been before. I am personally tested on a regular basis and so are those around me so there’s not much more we can do.
Lastly, you may have seen that Specialized provided me with a fantastic new bicycle to celebrate my success as the new road world champion.
It’s actually exactly the same as the one I rode to success on, but with a custom paint scheme. Yes, it is sparkly white with a rainbow cross, so not exactly subtle but I really like it. I may only get the one opportunity in life to have this title (though hopefully not!) so you have to enjoy things like this when they come along.