As the New Year has clicked over and people start their resolutions for 2013, mine is pretty plain and simple; survival. I just want to get through this challenge, get home and move onto another chapter, one that does not involve the extreme discipline of training hard and eating healthily. I know I need to “be in the moment” and just take it “one day at a time” (and all the other one liners that really are good), but to be honest what is ahead of me is a little daunting at present.
Dan, a friend and team member for the Aussie Challenge let me know last week during a training ride that he re-looked at the stats for what needs to be cycled (distances) each day and he said he felt sick. I kind of feel the same way at the moment.
So, all the above means is that over the next 9 weeks – that’s all that’s left – I need to really ramp it up in some key areas to make this ride both achievable and somewhat enjoyable and to move from feeling sick, to feeling somewhat comfortable with what’s ahead.
Training & Diet
I am currently hitting my training goals of 500km per week and I can see some improvements with my speed and recovery. This week will see me move from 500 to 600km per week.
Currently my diet is terrible. I am really undisciplined in this area as I love food. But this has to stop. I am aiming to drop around 5kg more so I begin this ride at my ideal cycling weight, and maintain that weight, rather than the other option of going in slightly heavy with the belief that I will drop weight due to the calories burnt. My preference is to be as efficient as possible from day one, not day 6 or 7. Right now I am hungry, starving. Just want to eat something, anything!
There is probably a professional term for this, but basically I’m looking at how I can increase my ability to stay on the bike for 16 hours per day for 35 days, through horrible conditions, lack of sleep or going slightly nuts because of lack of company (the challenge is an ‘assisted solo record’ attempt) on endless roads. Once this ride begins, it is basically 90% a mental challenge, rather than a physical challenge. Given the right training the human body is capable of achieving 400km per day for 35 days, but it is a completely different story depending on whether that same body actually wants to do it day after day (I think my purpose and motivating factors will play major roles here). It will be very easy to quit, very easy to say I have had enough, even if I could continue physically.
Hence, this area is one of the biggest areas I will need to work on over the coming weeks to see what it will take mentally to stay on the bike day after day.