Lessons learnt from 2012 Cape Epic Part 1 Preparation
I have begun listing the biggest lessons and advice I would give to anyone wanting to give this sort of race a go. There will be 4-5 parts (I may think of more as I go!!)
Preparation – before you leave.
- Plan for the event to cost more than you expect. The entry fee is light compared to the flights, mechanical pieces etc.
- If you don’t enter the lottery there will be many competitors selling their entries 3 months before the race (at Cape Epic website).
- You need a good base before you get to the three month countdown. I would say that you should be at 10-15 hours per week by that stage.
- Do lots of long hills and try to maintain aerobic threshold.
- With three months to go you need to start doing multiple days of mileage. This should culminate in the full race distance in a week long session about 3-4 weeks before the race starts.
- Don’t experiment with gear once in South Africa (common sense).
- If you are doing road riding as well as MTB use the same saddle on both bikes.
- o HEAPS of riding with your race partner.
- Practise with your fluid and carb needs during race and don’t get depleted especially in the last three months.
- Do some strength work on your abductors 6 weeks out. The downhills are so long and intense that this was a muscle that got more work than I had trained for.
- Be proactive about injuries or potential injuries ( I recommend Functional Physio in Auckland). For example I knew that lots of riding on multiple days can give me back issues. I got these sorted before I left.
- Do as many MTB races as you can. The Whaka 100 in Rotorua was a good wake-up call for me.
- Use the same brand and style of clothing you will wear in the race.
- Work out if you want to use a backpack in the race or not.
- Become a mechanic. Learn what tools you need and what you can fix on the trails. Practise fixing thsee mechanicla challenges. Trust me this is invaluable.