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Epic Training: Week 26

Oscar Foulkes March 5, 2017 Cape Epic No comments
We are now into the part of the training programme referred to as ‘tapering’. Things are taken just a little bit easier. The body gets a chance to properly recover from the fairly tough racing schedule we have followed since late January, as well as build up some reserves for the week of Epic.

Gym sessions on Monday and Wednesday focused more on mobility and recovery than strength. Wednesday morning’s hour-long spin on the road was about recovery only.

On Saturday, Piet and I did a meander around Meerendal and Hoogekraal. Having spent hardly any time on my bike during the week it was good to get out again. I certainly went at it faster than I should have, and discovered that the climbs get quite steep. Before I knew it, my heart rate was well over 170, with accompanying sound effects as a result of my restricted airway (best I don’t pull that stunt anywhere near a medic – I’ll be kicked off Epic faster than I can say Yeti).

Speaking of bikes, Piet was on his new Santa Cruz Tallboy. It’s the yellow version with turquoise branding, which looks very cool. If I hadn’t, after much deliberation, selected the Yeti, this is the bike I would have wanted for Epic. I suspect my days of keeping up with Piet on big descents are over. The Tallboy is a lot more stable on the trail than his old S-Works.

However, I’ve done our team no favours by insisting that we complete the Sergeant Hardy story by wearing my mother’s racing colours. Picture, if you can bear it, two middle-aged gents wearing pink shirts and pink socks, riding as a pair on these brightly coloured bikes (see alongside).

The fabulous Afrikaans word bont springs to mind. Our colourful ensemble is topped and tailed with black, in the form of black helmets (new, matching), black shoes and black gloves.

Sunday morning’s ride was an easy three-hour road ride to Noordhoek and back with my son.

Even this relatively casual week involved eight hours of either gym or riding. Over the months, my training programme has required a lot of shuffling of timetables, of squeezing things in, and of outright just not being available at certain times. My family has been massively supportive and tolerant. I could not have got this far without them. Thank you, Andrea. Thank you, Sophie. Thank you, Aedan.

The Prologue start times have been announced. We’re off at a very early 7.15am, which should leave enough time for us to get off the course before the seeded riders do their thing. I’d hate to be responsible for causing one of them to lose time on the route.

Next Sunday, I’m riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour in support of the Jenna Lowe Trust. Their aim is to raise R50 000 for two new oxygen machines at the Jenna Lowe Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital. Click here to make a donation, however small (more information about the Jenna Lowe Trust is on their website). The entire process will take you less than a minute. Your support is much appreciated!

My immune system has done a sterling job for the past year. Three more weeks of defence against illness would be fantastic.

Two weeks to the start…

I’m riding The Argus in support of the Jenna Lowe Trust.  Follow this link to make donations.

Piet's new ride, the Santa Cruz Tallboy cc.

Piet’s new ride, the Santa Cruz Tallboy cc.

The other half of our colourful pairing, my Yeti ASR40, in turquoise that doesn't quite match that on the Santa Cruz.

The other half of our colourful pairing, my Yeti ASR40, in turquoise that doesn’t quite match that on the Santa Cruz.

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