Saturday, May 14, 2011

Resting up

With the start of the tour of California now 2 days away I am well and truly on rest up mode. I can not praise the town of south lake tahoe and America in general enough as it has been perfect for my little altitude training camp. With the NBA playoffs in full swing there is no shortage of entertainment and analysis on the television to keep me entertained when I am not doing the other two activities involved with freshening up, eating and getting a massage. I have a great masseur, alesandro amedio whom I have had at basically every race and in the training camps which is important as massage for use cyclists is a crucial part of the daily routine. When you are on the table you need to be relaxed to get the most benefit from your muscles being relieved of the tension created by the hrs on end pushing the pedals. If you are not relaxed on the table you may as well not waste the masseur's time. So suffice to say this hr or so for me each day is super relaxing and beneficial. It is a great opportunity to work on my Italian as ale also takes the opportunity to work on his English. Also during this time for some reason the team managers always come in for a chat to see how I am getting on and explain any logistics required for dinner, the next days training or racing, and anything else that they need to bring up with you. So really the massage time can be very very productive and I always seem to leave not only feeling good but knowing all I need to know about the days activities.
The other key activity for me in the few days before a race is eating. Particularly for a small tour such as the one I will do next week which is 8 days long and in excess of 1000km the food eaten in the days leading up is a little more important than normal. I love this period because eating is one of my favourite activities, if my metabolism would allow it I could happily eat all day. The diet in these preceding days for me is made up unsurprisingly predominantly of carbohydrates, protein and water. Sure not the most glamorous of diets but one I find works for me and for me I am a man of routine. The difficulty as a paranoid cyclist is that in these days training is normally reduced to probably a third of what you normally do, well this is the level I like to do anyway. This means that physiologically you don't want to consume normal size meals through fear of getting fat but i have learnt the hard way that you need to put this thought aside as like any form of transportation the more fuel in reserve the longer the engine will run for. Due to the vigour's and intensity of professional bike racing it is almost impossible to replace the amount of calories burnt with food during the race so you need to go in with some reserve's. Pretty simple and common sense I guess but being a slow learning it took me some time to pick up on this little fact. Asside from getting your rubs and eating the final ingredient in freshening up is plenty of rest and I take the opportunity to knock out plenty of reading and time on my psp which my girlfriend jess brought for me when I started cycling in 2007 and has certainly been the best form of keeping me entertained I have ever owned. Psp's rock!!!! So ideally if you get all this right you will at least start the race feeling fresh and motivated and if you combine it with the adequate work required on the training track you should in theory have a good race. Sounds simple and for the top riders they obviously have all this routine nailed, for me, well I am still pretty hit and miss but certainly doing all can to try and get it all right.
So, the time has come to pin on the numbers and get the 2011 tour of California started

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