Sunday, 26 May 2013

Three weeks and counting

This time in 3 weeks, I'll be in Poland, with a mere one day left until the biggest race of my year so far. The European Champs sprint in Zamosc. A day after that it's the middle distance race, also my focus for the championships.

EOC consists of 5 competitions, but I will only be competing in the 3 individual days, due to a large failure of interest by other GB team riders. Thus, I am the only GB competitior making the trip to Poland, and therefore unable to compete in the Relay or Mixed Sprint Relay competition.

Technical training
The MSR is a race I have really been looking forward to after having watched a few Ski-O races at their EOC in the winter. The format is also being introduced to Foot-O, which is a change I welcome as I think GBR would have strong chances to get top 6 places there. It's also an exciting format and with GPS tracking and (hopefully) short gaffles, it will be a fight to the line. Competitions like this become interesting and exciting to watch when going into the last leg, there are several teams in contention for medals. It's great to see who can hold out under such intense pressure the longest.

Anyway, I had been looking forward to my first chance to compete in the MSR, having missed EOC 2011 in Russia. But sadly I won't get the opportunity, but it does mean I get three recovery days between the middle and long races. I would say 'rest' days but I will be using the spare days to recover and get in a couple of easy hours each day - no sense resting completely and dropping off my speed/fitness.

It's going to be a busy 3 weeks. On Thursday we are leaving to go back to Denmark. Originally we had planned on the WR events in Turkey, but in the end the flight times were just too inconvenient to do the trip cheaply. With arrival times at 1am, and a very late departure back to Norway, I felt the impact on sleep, recovery and training/racing was just too great to potentially not higher my WR score.

Image from WOC last year
So, instead I will be pitting myself against the Danes, 3 of whom appeared to be strong in the early season. Lisbygd is making something of a comeback after a few years away, while Hoffmann appears to be riding well after her WOC bronze last year. Soegaard, a few years my junior and multi-sport athlete, was in very good shape in Denmark to win the ultralong over Hara and Laurila of FIN. It will be a good chance to see how my fitness, speed and strength compare, 2 weeks out from EOC.

We then travel back to Sweden for the Swedish Champs in Borlange. My first chance this year to compete against Cecilia Thomasson, and hopefully bag a SM title. I have forfeited my chances of British title this year, due to a) not being able to attend the races and b) having more competition in Sweden with Ingrid and Cecilia.

After Sweden we head back south again to Zamosc for EOC and a small organised training camp before. Not a hard training camp. Just some time with a map in relevant terrain for a few hours per day.