Published on July 1st, 2019 | by Admin0
Starting Our Final Training Block
Now we have both qualified for PBP we start our final and perhaps most dreaded block of training. This block simply comprises of back to back to back rides. The trouble we have is that it is already so hot here. In the sun we’ve already experienced beyond 40c. To be honest we were caught out a little by the heat this week as we simply did not acclimatise to it yet as it takes us at least a couple of weeks. We intended to ride 300k, 200k then another 200k during the 3 days, but had to cut the first day down to 200k as it was just too hot.
I can happily ride in temperatures up to 30c, but beyond that I do run into problems. For some reason above 30c my feet always swell up which gives me very painful hotfoot. I’ve tried different shoes and cleats without any success. But in all honesty riding in temperatures above 30c, especially during long rides, does take so much out of you. As I’ve said to Anne, riding in such high temperatures, there’s a fine line between it being training and simply flogging yourself. So sensible, due to the temperature getting beyond 36c on the first day of our back to back to back rides, we called it a day after 200k and over 2000m climbing.
We did though have a good day’s cycling although we had to have extra stops simply to refill our water bottles. Our first stop was in the town I first moved to in Spain, Torre de la Horadada. We stopped at the marina for a coffee and water and surprisingly Anne said she’d never been there before.
One again we were riding our “lumpy loop” which to some degree mimics the constant hills of the PBP course.
We stopped at Hurchillo at around the halfway point then again at the foot of the hill of Campo Verde to refuel with water. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed Anne drink so much. As a bonus, as we topped up our water we found a nice patch of shade where the temperature must have been 10c cooler. I was testing new white cycling shoes which I hoped would absorb less heat and reduce my hotfoot which to some degree they did.
For day 2 we decided to start an hour earlier at 5am to ride a 200k loop around Murcia. It soon became apparent it was going to be another scorcher. It was close to 30c by 11am. Worst still the wind was cruel to us as we seemed to have either a headwind or crosswind. We did not get an actual tailwind until the last 10k or so. I had persisted with my new white shoes but was in agony during the final 30k or so. Anne was also struggling with her toe and her hands. And with the intense heat increasing our sweat, we were both a little sore on our main contact point.
We stopped for a quick coffee at around the 50k mark then again at around 125k where we had an early tapas lunch. We had unscheduled stops along the way when we found shade as we both adjusted our shoes to ease our pain. We even stopped for a water and ice cream at a garage around 40k from home. For me with the heat, the wind and my bloody aching feet, I found this the toughest of the 3 days.
For day 3 again we started at 5am to ride our “lumpy loop” again in the crazy heat. Then to complete the 200k we added a flat loop as the temperature headed to 40c. The highlight of the day for me was the fry up we had at Paqui’s Restaurant. Anne left her bike in the sun with her Garmin recording a staggering 54c!
I can honestly say that after 3 days of riding in such heat and wind I felt shattered!
With the high temperatures set to continue here in Spain we have decided our next back to back to back rides will be through the night!