It’s Sunday, it’s been a week since I’ve last raced and also a week since I last exercised. I can tell you one thing, I’m loving every second of my first proper break. Two years of racing in a row, that’s what it took to convince me for some real time out…
I did take a few break but never true ones and just like I did last summer when I was supposed to be off but cycled more than 200km and hiked about 45km in a week. Not really any recovery from that but it felt so as I wasn’t properly into any training scheme. As the season went I could feel more and more fatigue and I thought it was about time I should take a proper one and I am right into that at the moment.
First thing first and since last August, things have moved on a bit, I did my last triathlon in Üster right at the end of August with a surprising personal best back there and went into September excited by the time trial season coming ahead. As per my usual work agenda, I had to manage many travelling weeks and weekends around Europe but managed to extract a few performance to finish the end of the year.
All things considered, the Boscardin time trial was a strong result but nothing special as the course had changed if compared to last year. The good point is that I had a good day out there and could see through the data that I had made some progress in a year but also and that is the best part, I could identify a few weakness that remain in order to work for the season ahead.
Next one was the Orbe time trial and main goal if to consider for the end of my cycling season, same course and more or less same weather conditions as last year did permit a very good analysis and comparison of my power and progress from 2018 to 2019. In the end, I gained 01:38min over 30km and last years’ time, not too shabby on that I have to say, overall a better race, power and average speed and including the strong headwind that you have to face for half of the course..! For direct comparison, see the links below:
Then came the last road running race of the year, one I had signed up for with my long time friend Rémi Dargegen and for which I finally got a bib, less than two months before in fact as I was on a waiting list. To be fair I didn’t know if I was going to get one in the end so I did not really put myself into it up until the email came, telling me I would be part of it.
And then guess what? I couldn’t help myself and I just built a late training program as always which included the above time trial preparation. The more I race and the more I have realized that I cannot take any of these on the easy side. If it’s a race I have to try and go faster which may not be easy, especially at the end of the year when the body and mind are tired. Best take on the preparation and as I have realised last year, time trial and intensity works fine for an end of the year race as in fact you just have to complete the bike time with a few long runs for the endurance while the track intervals do benefit for both discipline.
Looking back at it now, Marseille Cassis is a hard but beautiful course and one element I did not consider or master well enough during the preparation was the incline. With +360m roughly on the first 10km, it’s quite a hard one, first 6km are steady and easy ups while the next 4km are serious uphills but in the end, time trial teaches you another one which is to keep your head down and push through pain, which is exactly what I did and it paid off in the end as I finished the 20km course with a time of 1hr19min50sec.
Altogether, a decent performance after a long year with 53 weeks of training but a number of personal best. I will be back on the long distance and Ironman in 2020 but taking a different approach to performance and all. I have learnt a lot this year, even more than the one before and it’s not just about strength, endurance or power when it comes to all this, mental is another discipline too.
See you next year, I’m off and having put on 2kg in 8 days already, the comeback will be even better..!