I've now completed the first block of endurance training; technique work in pool, speed and mechanics work for running and building a solid endurance base on the bike. Getting that base work done is critical to building strong foundations on which you then build strength, power, speed and race specific work. These last few weeks have seen an increase in wind and rain, not surprising at this time of year but when you're battling the elements day in day out it can become a bit of a psychological battle as well as a physical one.
I had a week resting up to let the work soak in and am now part way though block two of the 2016 preparations. The first week was spent in Loughborough with the normal routine, the following weeks were to be back at home on Dartmoor tackling some tough climbs and running across the moor. It's been great to be back and to have a break from the somewhat tame and unchallenging hills in the Leicestershire countryside. To be greeted at the foot of each climb with a 20 or 25% gradient warning sign is something I've really missed. The running has been brilliant as well, being able to head out of the back gate on the farm and not touch a road for 2hrs or even see another person is very special, true wilderness. The dogs have been company for the long runs this week. They never pace them very well though, getting very excited at the start and running off ahead, only to find in the last hour that they are struggling to keep up, it would be quite difficult to explain to them at the start though.
Being back home to see everyone has been very refreshing too. I don't come back very often and this visit it was great to see the whole family and catch up on everything I've missed since June.
The next adventure will be a training in Spain for a month, with some of the Loughborough crew. I'm flying out in the second week of January and am going to get some more miles in the legs hopefully with a lot less rain and wind.