Thursday, 31 July 2014

Digging a hole

How to dig a hole... Train really hard to hit the ground running in your first season in elite. Be dead happy at how you put in a stonking performance in round 1 and then build from there.

Then under prepare for rd2 by training too much and resting too little I'm between. Ride around with your forks locked out and then Snap your chain In a rage of fury at how bad you're going.

Continue to search for answers to your poor performance by entering an A4 road race on the following weekend to try and pick up your confidence. Crash heavily at 25mph after 8 minutes and end up in A&E with a suspected fractured femur. Be glad that its just a massively dead leg. Hobble around for days and force yourself back on a bike to try and make round 3 before the next weekend. Ride round 3 like a person who thought his leg was broken 7 days previous.

Continue to ramp up your anaerobic sessions. These are the intervals that will make the difference. Its true! But its intervals plus rest that does it ... You know this... But fall into the trap of pushing on In the hope you are superman. Go to round 4 in Limerick. Realise half way through the race that its a long one and 3 bottles aren't enough. Be relatively competitive with a podium possible. Blow up like a big balloon with 10 mins left when the screw is Turning. Sit in the car for 6 hours home and then wonder why your legs don't work for days afterwards in their dehydrated glycogen depleted unstretched state.

Go to rd5. Put in a class performance. Always measure your performance against yourself and what you know you can do. Even if it is your lowest position. Ignore the fact that you had enforced rest up to this one. Get back on the hole digging asap!

Continue to ramp up your CTL in WKO+ and get sick. Bonk on 3 rides in a row and race with manflu anyway. A new low!

You are now wondering whether you should stop the season here. Or travel another 700mile round trip to get your ass handed to you on a plate at the nationals in Killarney. Of course you choose the whipping. You lose motivation to ride and train and increase your ever growing appetite regardless.

...And a whipping it was. Power figures all time low. Couldn't ride the bike at all through the off camber and despite starting poorly... Every lap got poorer!

Well. 2 really good races and a whole book of lessons to take home and learn from. Not a wasted season at all but should have been much better.

A 3rd in the NPS table despite never finishing higher than 4th in a race. A trophy for persistence and fulfilling the rules. 5th in elites at the nationals but a pony trek off the men who mattered. Looks ok on paper.

Who reads papers though?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


What is Wattclub?

Wattclub is a special place, a group more secretive than the Free masons. A guild of middle aged men who, for a multitude of reasons, have acquired a power meter for their biclismo obsession.
It is a place where guys sit around in their lycra and talk in codes of NP, TSS, W/KG with some added chat about CTL, ATL and PMC's added on for effect.

For me, it all started when I was still getting smashed at the start of every single XC race, despite kidding myself that I had been training for the intensity and mayhem of an Ulster Senior 3 race start. I soon realised after moving up to S2 that I could no longer rely on my aerobic fitness to drag me back into a race that I had let slip off into the distance in the first minute every week.

So I started doing some real hard intervals. Except I would go so hard I couldnt last more than 20 seconds of a 1 minute effort without collapsing over the bars exhausted. So I tried to pace the interval a little more controlled but would get to the end of the minute and feel ok - where I was aiming to have the over the bars collapsed feeling. I decided I needed help. I became the proud and secretive owner of a powertap. Secretive until I finally decided I was keeping it and had the courage to tell the wife I owned it.

What is the first rule of Wattclub?

In my best Tyler Durden voice... "You do NOT talk about Wattclub".
Unless to a fellow member.
Nobody outside the ring wants to know how many watts you averaged in the inter-club 10 mile TT to the turn, or what your normalized power was for your latest A4 smash-a-thon road race. Honestly. Their eyes will glaze over and you will get labelled as another WATTMAN. A stem Starer. A person obsessed with numbers rather than the ability to actually race.
Just Don't Do It. OK!?

What Can Wattclub do for you?

Nothing but inflate or crush your ego.
No longer will you wonder if you were quick because of the wind, or whether you are suddenly superman. You should already know anyway, if you KOM'd it on strava, it was a tailwind.
You can compare your W/Kg with the pro's and realise just how useless you actually are in the grand scale of things.
On the positive side of the coin... The Powermeter is the ultimate training tool. Once your time is limited you can stop wasting time on training rides and make the most of the limited bike time granted by your other half. Those vouchers don't last long. Make them count.

Of course nobody "needs" a powermeter. But in my opinion, it will have a greater impact on the average Joe than the average Pro. The man who is prepared to learn and actually use it rather than learn and use excuses for the rest of their life is the man who can move from being a nobody to an S4 contender!

Man I love talking about watts... You better be in the club...

Thursday, 13 March 2014

It's 2014 race season?

The epic Maxbo blog has been somewhat neglected. I get so many people contacting me wondering if I am alright. Ok, I don't. I just cannot be arsed boring anyone who stumbles in here.

But Bored you must be, if you are actually reading this.

Quick XC Career recap.
Season 1 - S3. Deadly season, few podiums and decent NPS position. Top 10 at Nationals

Season 2 - S2. Stroked badly in every NPS round, got it together for a late push and took UXC S2 title and Ulster Masters Champs medal. 7th I think at Nationals, more by default of everyone else breaking their bike Down in Djouce wonderland.

Season 3 - S2. Late 2012 form carried on thanks to a season of CX, Hit the ground running, Podiumed every NPS round with 3 wins and won the National masters title. Go Me. Should have just quit then. But No, I went in and did another full winter of CX after a few months downtime.

Season 4 - S1. Senior 1? WTF? How did this happen? From Baggies and Trailbadger jerseys and racing on a Commencal Meta 5, to racing XC Elites, EPO and A national champs jersey to disgrace. All a bit of a blur. Race one is over, managed 4th in round 1 of the Ulster XC. I have another wee bundle of joy due in August. Expecting full time retirement or total career transformation to Enduro or Downhill, or some other format where I dont have to spend time training in between sh*tty bums.

I suppose I will update again when said baba is heading off to school. Primary or secondary..? anyones guess.