As with many
of the Cape Epic teams we are training apart. The ideal is
to train together so that you can both remain on the same
level and you can get used to each others riding styles.
However this is not always possible. So a good
training plan is what is needed. Check out how we manage
to keep it together between the Cape and Gauteng by training
over a long distance.
Our Cape Epic
training program has not really started out as we would have
liked. Training for the Cape Epic is no laughing matter, it
requires dedication and commitment. Having done two previous
epics means that we know what it is all about, but that does
not make it any easier. In fact it probably makes it a bit
harder. Motivation in the training for the first epic came
from the absolute fear of not being able to finish, but now
knowing that it is indeed possible that motivation is not
quite as strong. Mix that together with some new challenges
and additional expectations and you have a potential case of
under training to achieve lofty goals.
Big Als first
training report summed up the beginning of our third
" This Cape Epic is not going to be easy!
All the talk
of the new route being tough aside, work pressure, family
pressure and house building activities are set to make this
Epic the hardest one yet!
We are 6 weeks into our first 16 week
training program and I for one am many, many hours behind,
partly because of a long recovery period from my appendix
operation, and partly because I have not drawn the line yet.
What does it mean to draw the line?
Well, this is the Cape Epic! The training
and commitment to finishing has to be serious. No late
nights, no long Sunday braais. Just focus and commitment.
From now until March. Yes it’s difficult, but no-one said it
would be easy. And for my intrepid partner and me this third
Epic will be the most difficult. And only because, over the
3 years our lives have changed so much. It seems that
because we have completed 2 Epics already, the drive is
maybe lost. But we both realise that it’s time to pick up
Back are the long Saturday morning rides
and as many hours in the week as our schedules will allow.
Back, also, will be the weekly reports. Yes, it will be
hard, but you know what? We do it because we’re passionate
So to friends and family, we’ll talk
again in April 2007, when we have number 3 under the bib
We will once
gain use the heart rate based program supplied by
For more info on these programs check out our
2005 training program. For some FAQs on why and how we
use this specific program have a look at our
Cape Epic training program
This year we
are mixing it up a bit. We have opted to go for a
16 week training program of 13hrs max for the first period from September to
December. Then we will do a 12 week program with 16hrs max
from January 2007 up to the Cape Epic in March 2007.
was the first of the real taper weeks so the riding
dropped off quite a lot however I still managed about 12
hours on the bike with 8:30 in zone. But I squeezed in
one last long ride that I took really easy but still
spent a good 6 hours in the saddle. I finally shook off
the last of my lingering cold and felt good the whole
week. I will end up about 6 hours short on my program
which is fine considering that my total riding time is
well over the total hours. I am feeling good and
confident that I have put the training hours in.
decided to test my legs with some racing this weekend. I
felt alright, but no great. I am hoping this means that
I will peak next weekend, for the greatest race on
earth. Bring on the Cape Epic! I am now a total of 5
hours short on the program, but there is nothing I can
do about that now. Next week, the truth serum will be
The last big week is past
now and ended with a good ride at the Argus. I felt good
the whole week and went into the Argus with 11 hours of
riding in the week and ended with a good 15 hour week. I
am definitely feeling better than last year and my legs
feel stronger. The previous week the Argus MTB challenge
highlighted the need to be prepared and service your
bike meticulously as I suffered multiple chain breaks
and lost a chance of having one of my best races ever. I
have used a protein recovery drink in the evening after
the last 3 races and I am sure that it helped me recover
better for riding the following day. The next two weeks
I will taper but it will be a bit less than before to
rather maintain a regular riding pattern so as not to
cause too much of a shock to the system.
week I had to do a trip to the East for my new job. The
2 hours I did manage were done in the gym on indoor
bikes. Let me just say, that an indoor bike is no way to
train for the Epic! Then this week I managed to fight
jet lag and a cold to almost make the 13 hour week. In
total I am 9 hours short, but I feel really good.
Mentally I am not going to tell myself that the training
has been inadequate, that will be death. I must stay
positive and believe that the preparation has been good.
believe that we will achieve or top 100 goal and I am
really excited about the race now!
Our training camp went well
and I had a really good week of riding with over 21
hours on the bike and almost 18 hours in zone. The 3
days of the training camp yielded over 5000m of climbing
which was great. I recovered well between the riding
days, even after the Sabie race when I was exhausted,
but I felt fine the next day and enjoyed the riding. I
felt strong and for the first time confident that I was
going to be ready for the epic. I am still about 8 hours
behind the program in terms of zone hours, but with less
of a taper than the program says I should end up square
for the whole 12 weeks.
our monster training camp this weekend, and despite
missing the last day due to an overseas trip I still
managed to gain back an hour on the program. I am now
about 3 hours over on the whole program. The last 2
weeks were really big and I feel very good. I am a
little concerned about not training for the next week
and a half, because I will be in the East. I am hoping
the rest will do me good. I will try to get onto an
exercise bike just to keep the legs turning. This was
the last very big week and it is downhill now until the
event. I am starting to get very excited about the race.
Week 7 worked out well after a bit of
a slow start. I put in two big days on the weekend. It
was good to get two long days of riding back to back,
something that I have not done for a while. I could feel
it in my legs on day 2 but I still finished comfortably.
This is the second biggest week in the program and I
feel quite good. Endurance wise I am feeling confident
as I can spend 6 hours on the bike without really
feeling uncomfortable. In the next few weeks I will be
concentrating more on climbing, our Sabie training
weekend should take care of some of that. Also I will be
racing every weekend for the next 3 weeks, so I will
concentrate on speed during those races.
I had one of my best training weeks ever.
I was on the bike for 22 hours of which 19 hours was in
zone. I decided at the last minute to attend a Fritz
Pienaar training camp and the riding and climbing was
awesome. I felt really good and I am now finally 2 hours
over on the program as a whole. My legs are obviously
tired, but I feel strong. Hopefully this is going to
help for the week and a half that I have to spend
overseas after our own training camp next week.
Week 6 was an absolute disaster! It was
always going to be difficult trying to squeeze out all
the weeks riding out of just 4 days. But then I got sick
as well so that left just 2 and a bit days. Luckily it
was a bit of a rest week and I had a good hard week
before. However I am further down on the program again!
The little bit that I rode felt fine and that in itself
is probably a good thing because if I can ride for 9
hours in a week and feel like I have not ridden then I
must be getting stronger. I am also starting to get
excited about this Epic. I have been so caught up in the
“less than ideal” training regime, that I have forgotten
how awesome an event it is. I am really looking forward
managed to pull another hour back this week, while still
resting a bit. The next 2 weeks are the really big ones
and it will be important for me to make all the hours. I
have to miss a week and a half with an overseas trip, so
the next 2 weeks are really crucial for me. I am feeling
good though and I am ready for the big ones, hopefully
weather and other external factors play along so that I
make good hours.
This first really long week
was tough. I felt like I was riding all the time. I
could feel the training in my legs off the bike, but on
the bike I felt fine. I thought I would feel tired
towards the end of the week but I actually felt a bit
stronger so I think things are starting to come
together. Once again my total time riding was well over
the program but my in zone time was only just over the
program. Work and time pressures will make the next two
weeks really tough.
somehow felt that I turned the corner this week. I was
feeling a lot stronger and I did not struggle to ride
with the groups. I missed my target hours by 30 minutes,
despite having been on the bike for more than the hours
of the program. As I get fitter it is harder to stay in
zone. Saturday I was out of zone for more than an hour
and the same for Sunday.
Week 4 went quite well, I did a lot of
riding, almost 15 hours on the bike and over 300km. This
is the first time that I have gone over 300km in this
Epic program, but from now on it will probably always be
over 300km. A lot of time was below zone though so my
efficiency is not looking too good. For a variety of
reasons I am riding various bikes at the moment which is
also not ideal. I have been riding the MTB tandem, my
old hardtail and my new full susser, all in the same
week. The hardtail although it feels responsive and
nippy is a really hard ride so not much chance of seeing
me sacrificing my full susser for a hardtail. Other than
that everything is working ok and I am feeling
I had a
200km + weekend. And I managed to claw another hour back
on the program. I am now 4 hours short on the whole
still not feeling great. However, it looks like I am
very capable of spending 6 hours on the bike. Both big
rides on the weekend left me feeling tired, but I
recover quickly after the ride and that is what is
week is a monster week and so far I have no commitments,
so I am pretty confident that I can make the hours.
third week in the program was the last little rest
before the really big hours. I managed all my hours and
had some good rides. I have started to vary my rides a
bit with some specific training. One of them is low
cadence big gears ride, the other is high cadence, min
90rpm avg for the whole ride. I am also doing some speed
work on my longer rides to simulate the faster starts at
the Epic. I think it will workout well because it forces
you to get up to speed after just a 10-15 min warm up at
the start of the ride. It feels uncomfortable, which is
exactly why it is good to practice it. I am getting some
neck pain after 2-3 hours, it has just been since my new
bike, I am hoping it is a minor setup adjustment and not
a bike fit issue.
was a really good training week and I managed to do all
five sessions. Some in the afternoon due to all the
highveld rain! I did not feel particularly good, my legs
were heavy and I struggled to stay with the bunch on the
group ride. Looking back on my training this is the
first week that I have done 5 rides the last time I
managed this was 5 weeks ago! No wonder I don’t feel
that strong. The reason I am only getting 5 sessions a
week is because I am going to pilates twice a week. This
is a bit of a gamble as far as training hours go, but I
do feel a benefit from the pilates classes, so I am
going to stick with it.
going to do my best to make the rest of the program a
success. I am now 5 hours short on the whole program,
which I should be able to catch up.
went well this week. I spent 13:31 on the bike, but only
clocked 11:27 time in training zone so I will need to
work on the efficiency a bit. I felt pretty good on most
of the rides and did one 100k+ ride with a headwind all
the way home and it was ok. I have made the
psychological jump to full time epic training. It
requires total commitment and focus from now until the
event. Equipment issues need to get sorted out now and
then nutritional stuff and then the crazy before epic
weeks will start.
into the program and I am 8 Hours behind. I had intended
to take a break in the first week of the program and the
second week can only be explained by, life pressures
keeping me off the bike. I am now back from leave and
settled at home. Everything will take a back seat to
riding now, even if it means getting fired from my job!
is back to it’s old tricks and I think only patience and
rehab will help now, no more doctors!!
kicked off with a bang with one of the toughest rides
that we have done yet. A 9 hour epic ride over and back
over Groenlandberg from Grabouw. It was technical and
slow going from start to finish. A really great test of
bikes and body. I felt great and finished 9 hours of
riding felling better than I have ever felt. This was
rather comforting after a dismal showing at our training
camp. The next 2 months are the crunch months with a lot
of hours ahead.
the “Less than Ideal” theme continues on week 1 of our
final 12 week preparation with 2:45 short! This looks
worse than it is. I was on holiday and took some time
out and the week had a whopping 8:30 ride on Sunday at
Groenlandberg. Taking in some of this year’s day 7.
Holidays are over, and the training gets serious from
here on out.