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Getting the miles in
Laying the foundations for the upcoming year by preparing the body with a block of long steady rides, marks the end of the social season and the beginning of the antisocial season.
No more drinks with the boys; every dinner and party invitation cross-referenced with the training diary before acceptance; every available waking hour planned and pre-meditated. The trouble is, real life has a habit of intruding on the best-laid plans. Illness, family and work chip away at those carefully charted rides with increasing frequency until, before you know it, Spring has sprung and it’s all too late.
Now, the chaps at Rapha have come up with a fiendish plan to kick-start the process using Christmas week, a time when – let’s face it – drinking and eating have lost their appeal and most of us are champing at the bit by Boxing Day, desperate to get out on the road. Rapha’s Graeme Raeburn, being made of an altogether stiffer fibre than us mortals (or mad as a ferret – the jury is still out on that one) managed to clock over 1,000kms last year in some challenging weather conditions.
The Rapha Festive 500 is, as the name suggests, half the target of Graeme’s mile-munching, kilometre-crunching extravaganza and, therefore, eminently feasible, even for a lightweight like me. A little forethought is required here; a training schedule, something like this –
• Thursday 23rd: 100km road.
• Friday 24th: 50km road.
• Saturday 25th: Eat, drink, be merry.
• Sunday 26th: 50km road.
• Monday 27th: Ride to ‘cross race 50km.
• Tuesday 28th: 80km road.
• Wednesday 29th: 50km MTB.
• Thursday 30th: 120 km road.
And now the probable reality…
• Thursday 23rd: Totally washed out due to delayed flight into Luton because of snow. Fall asleep on sofa.
• Friday 24th: Presents to wrap and work to finish before break. Manage half hour on turbo.
• Saturday 25th: Eat, drink, be merry.
• Sunday 26th: Family coming for lunch. Riding out of the question.
• Monday 27th: Ride to ‘cross race 50km
• Tuesday 28th: Apparently, stripping wallpaper in the summer does not qualify as ‘decorating the bedroom’. Drive to Homebase.
• Wednesday 29th: Apply Homebase products to wall.
• Thursday 30th: More snow. One hour on turbo before head falls off. Spend evening compiling New Year’s resolutions.
Back to you in January with an update, hopefully closer to the first scenario than the second, but no promises.
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