(For the purpose of this review I will be looking at individual events only).
My first season into the world of time trialling (TT) has been a real eye opener, having previously classified myself as more of a climber the departure from riding hills to racing on (reasonably) flat courses has been quite a transition. First and foremost I have thoroughly enjoyed the racing, it wasn’t an ideal scenario developing anxiety for the first 7 months of the year, but I did my best to keep the training and racing going and by August I was back to my old self, feeling good and managed to finish the season on a high.
I say finish on a high but to be fair there have been very few racing lows in my first season, this was completely expected as novices should progress (time wise) quite quickly. You still have to do the training and race hard, the evidence of all that is clear to see from my Hatfield times. I kicked off my campaign there in March, a typically windy Hatfield at that with a 24:07 for the 10 miles, fast forward to August and I covered the 10 miles in 22:18, almost 2 minutes quicker, or 7.5% if that helps to clarify it better.
Having read my blog you might have thought that my last race where I took a wrong turn would be the low point, it wasn’t, that was just unfortunate. Although frustrating, I knew I’d raced well and would have shattered my PB so it was that I focused on. My one low point of the season was at Cuckney, having done a 22:48 on the 22nd April I put in a terrible performance three weeks later to finish with a 23:05. That evening taught me a lot about how preparation cannot be ignored. I’d been rushing around, hadn’t hydrated/fueled and was all over the place, throw in some cramp and the net result is a poor performance. I’m sure 2016 will have some lows, I’m keen to ensure that is not through lack of preparation.
Cramp is not fun……..
On the 16th May I had the unbelievable opportunity to race on the same day as Bradley Wiggins up in Hull on the superfast V718. What an amazing experience this was, I started 3 minutes behind him so got to see him on the start line and experience the crowds too, thankfully it didn’t affect my race and on a windy day I clocked 21:07, came 11th out of 164 riders and even took home some prize money. An unforgettable day.
Personal bests & targets for 2016
I raced a total of 17 times this year, 12 times at 10 miles, twice at 25 miles, once at 18 and then over two sporting courses (12.5 and 17.5 miles). I’ve detailed all the times, dates and power outputs below. I hadn’t envisaged racing anything other than 10’s but I’ll certainly be racing more 25’s next year as I really “enjoyed” those.
10 mile personal best: 21:01, set on the V718 on the 12th September, conditions were tough that day, I’ll be back next year with a target of 19:59.
25 mile personal best: 54:52, set on the A25/25 , conditions were fair, it was my first 25 so I was really pleased with the time. Next year I’ll be targeting a 51:59 for 25 miles.
Racing wise I’ve tried to compete as much as was effectively possible, each race I’ve learnt something new, gained course knowledge, logistics, who has the best cake, all of which will be of benefit for next year. Something I have also learned is to look ahead properly and get entries in on time, I do now have a cheque book which has helped! Next year I’ll be mapping out clear targets so I can train effectively towards them so hopefully the last minute entry submissions will be a thing of the past.
Writing this blog has been a really useful exercise, it’s allowed me to analyse (over analyse sometimes) my races so I can take this experience into next year. It’s also allowed others with more experience to be able to contribute to what I’ve been feeling or doing, this has been of great help so I’d like to thank everyone that has chipped in at various points over the last 6 months.
For 2016 I won’t be detailing my races (please don’t cry), instead I’ll be contributing to a new blog I have created New Bolsover TT Blog , which will be based around all our club activity.
So that’s it, thanks for everyone that read the blog and took time to contribute, what’s next? A week off and then winter training begins, the first race is only 6 months away….