I thought it may be interesting to give you a little insight into what activity I get up to and what motivates me and makes me tick.
I spend most of my time telling others what to do providing structure for their training. Myself on the other hand, well I don’t really train to a structure! The most important aspect for me is doing exercise to stay fit enough for what I want to achieve and creating memories. A lot of my training can be quite spontaneous, and very polarised, from very soft pedals into town for a coffee and fresh air, to hard zwift races/workouts or epic multi day bike packing adventures exploring different parts of the country. The majority of my exercise comes from riding. I’m pretty good at listening to my body and I know when I don’t need to or don’t want to ride/train.
For me this works. Maybe it is because I spent a lot of my younger years sticking to a rigid training structure whether at the swimming club or when I was doing triathlon competitively. I now enjoy doing what I feel like, when I want. I do a lot of riding on my own but enjoy meeting up with close friends of similar mindset to do epic rides. You can’t beat a bit of company for rides like that and share the memories for years to come.
As I mentioned, the makeup of my training is based upon what I want to be able to do/complete and also what motivates and gives me a sense of achievement. I have gone to longer, multi day bike packing trips which can typically involve 200k and 3000+m elevation per day. Therefore, I need to be conditioned and strong enough to do this. I also get excited by something that I think is beyond me and will be challenging both mentally and physically. I also really enjoy looking at maps and planning new routes (I love a point to point route) and generally just being outside in remote places.
I am still competitive at heart, and although I don’t really race anymore, I still have goals that motivate me and these are me against the clock, but over a long way. I have a few routes where I would love to complete in under 24 hours, but we will not be easy to do. This provides good motivation and excitement. See my my list of 2021 rides below.
In 2020 I really invested in bikepacking, and slowly getting the equipment needed to be self sufficient, and learning the best set up for me whilst also learning from others.
Highlights in 2020 included (When restrictions allowed).
Badger divide- 330k / 6000m elevation over 2 days from Glasgow to Inverness.
First part of the GBDura from Lands end to Bath- 420k / 6500m elevation over 2 days.
Cairngorms to Stirling 215k, fully loaded with bike packing gear on my MTB.
390k Zwift ride (charity event!)
Lots of local explorations and getting to know my local area better.
Goals for 2021-
Ride the Badger divide S-N in under 24 hours.
Complete the GB Dura (2000k self supported Lands end – JOG) If I get an entry.
Ride the 2nd City Divide- 600k gravel ride from Glasgow to Manchester.
Ride the King Alfreds Way in under 24 hours- 350k gravel route.
Explore Wales more- possibly the North to South gravel route.
Happy training and racing.