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Epic 2018: 21 weeks to go

Oscar Foulkes October 22, 2017 Cape Epic No comments
When I was a child, my parents had a Betamax tape of a Willie Carson documentary. I’ve never forgotten the five-time British Champion Jockey using the analogy of judging a race being like pouring water out of a jug. As the jockey, his job is to make sure that the water is not depleted before the end of the race.

During last weekend’s Java MTB, I was probably guilty of pouring the metaphorical water too quickly (although I suspect that insufficient lunch the day before the race may also have contributed to my fatigue).

By contrast, after yesterday’s 60km STBB4Good race on the Bottelary trails, I felt as if I could have ‘poured a bit faster’. I finished strong, and felt good afterwards.

As I alluded in last week’s training report, riding at the correct pace is a huge part of successfully completing Cape Epic. Of course, riding 700km over eight days is not the same as a one-day blitz of a 60km course, so one is bound to have something extra in reserve if 60km is ridden at Epic pace.

The STBB is a race I’ve done every year, and the route is largely unchanged, so it’s an interesting basis for comparison. My 2016 time was a full hour slower than 2017, and 40 minutes slower than 2015, which is an indication of how much my body was affected by radiotherapy (six weeks between January and March 2016).

The week’s riding was supposed to consist of relatively easy 90-minute rides on Tuesday and Thursday, followed by the race on Saturday, and then a three-hour road ride on Sunday. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, life got in the way of the Thursday ride, but everything else happened as intended.

It’s hard to believe that Cape Epic 2018 is just five months away. With training following a pattern of short, high quality sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and longer rides over weekends, those 21 weeks will fly by.

The STBB4Good race is the only event to make use of the fabulous Bottelary MTB trails

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