Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep? Maybe. Was Philip K Dick a sportsman? No he was an interesting an imaginative writer of cracking science fiction. I am a boring sports Jock, who unfortunately is stuck with reality. What is my present reality? Every now and then you have to take stock, so here goes. I am poor at everything! Plus I am poor! I am however happy, maybe that’s what’s wrong. I just had a great time in Malta and made some friends, but I did realize I was not very good at anything physical. Do I want to be? Yes. So access what’s wrong and change it. I have no ambition or goal! So make a goal! Last year was a great one, I did 2 rock climbs of the 9a grade, a mixed route called Cannabis, which is both one of the top for beauty and difficulty in the world, and did enough endurance to do the Tor de Giants trail race. I am not going to have another year like that, it was off the back of 2 years systematic training, and I work a bit now. Since the Tor de Géants race I have done a lot of endurance and neglected my climbing skills, but training has been all over the place, unsystematic and too unstructured. My pulse this year is much lower than last year, but my running is of a disappointing standard! What’s wrong? I enjoy my endurance rather than work at it! My rock climbing is as low as it ever gets, but I really enjoy it, and really appreciate it a lot. My snowboarding and mountain skills are back to where they were, but I don’t like the risk, and I used to love the risk. I have to make a plan, and try and stick to it, or things could get even more erratic! I am too relaxed and fat. I needed to put some weight on after two years of training to give my body a break, but unhappily, I think that holiday is over! So my plan is to get back to above 8a standard climbing, but more importantly to improve in the Tor de Giants race. I can’t really improve at climbing, but at running I am a baby! The rock climbing standard will be easy; lose some weight and just go climbing, 6 weeks max. The Tor is on September 11, 6 full months away, and time to get into a solid systematic training regime. I must try not to over-do it, and get injured. Wish me luck.
|First day of the Tor des Géants Photo Lorenzo Belfrond|
What is a realistic target for this race of 330 km and 24, 000 meters of up? It’s 3 Lake district Bob Grahams in one go! It’s such a demanding race that I wont put a number on it, in case I try too hard, instead I will be happy with an improvement, but it will be a big, realistic, possible improvement, that will give me something to aim for. There you go, plan is sorted. Now comes the pain, a mountain of pain ! An ocean of pain, I will bathe in its turbulent waters and cleanse myself of human weakness. I will become an Ibex, that tough imperial mountain goat, which is the emblem of this mountain region. A proud regal horny old goat, yep just like the old days. But it’s not the old days, don’t remind me. I am too old for sport, every body says so, I agree most days, and then sometimes, I know that old high standard is just under the surface. So, what to do? Running for three or four days without sleep is fairly tough, so it’s appropriate to take it seriously. I bought a basic heart rate monitor to keep track of my resting heart rate in the morning, as this is the only simple way of assessing if you are overtraining. Running is great, and simple. Running well, is on the other hand annoyingly difficult, and complex! Your max performance on a given day is asking for several different aspects of training and resting, to come together, like the wind and the tides, to create a personal tsunami of excellence. Running is like climbing, a divine pain in the arse!