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Epic 2018: Six Weeks to Go

Oscar Foulkes February 5, 2018 Cape Epic No comments
As far as both intensity and volume are concerned, last week was the easiest week of my entire training programme.

I’m riding the Tankwa Trek this weekend, so last week was in a taper phase. Tuesday and Thursday’s rides were each supposed to be easy 90-minute spins. However, work got in the way of riding on Tuesday, so I shifted it to Wednesday morning. However, as there was an extremely strong (verging on gale force) South-Easter blowing, I made my way to the Tamboerskloof side to ride in relative shelter on the slopes of Signal Hill/Lion’s Head, and managed to find the one end of a trail that was built there last year.

The end I found was the exit, so I rode up what must be a great downhill run, with a few ‘testers’ of technical climbing skills. As Arnie would say, “I’ll be back” (although one has to temper confident riding with an element of humility).

On Thursday, I was about to do a spin from Pearl Valley to Franschhoek and back, when I instead turned onto a jeep track I’ve ridden a few times. I believe it might be the final descent on the last stage of Cape Epic 2018, and will therefore be the Land Rover Technical Zone.

On Strava, the up part is named “R301 Climb”, and I would put it close to top of my list for international riders wanting to get a quick induction into Western Cape terrain. Almost all of it is pretty loose, and there are a few sections that are more technical.

During this ride my throat felt a bit sore, which I assumed was because of the hot and dry conditions (I need to take particular care to keep my throat well hydrated). I can’t remember when last I was ill – and I certainly haven’t lost any training as a result of being unwell – but by the following day I felt the beginnings of a cold.

I already had an arrangement to do a road ride with my son and Piet on Saturday morning. Piet had been off with a cold the whole week, and I was a bit concerned about my own health, so we just did a relatively easy 40km spin to Chapman’s Peak.

The weekend’s programme was for a 60km road ride on Saturday, and 40km on Sunday, which meant that I’d taken care of part of the weekend’s riding. I had to work on Sunday, so there was no time to do the 60 km ride.

Some of my Epic-rider friends did big mileage over the weekend. However, they are at different stages in their training programmes, and they aren’t riding Tankwa Trek. Context is everything.

Piet completed the Iron Man 70.3 in East London at the end of January (looking fresh as a daisy, it must be said), which meant that our training programmes didn’t often overlap. I’m looking forward to sharing the three days of Tankwa Trek with him.

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