At the moment I have just over a week left here in beautiful Colorado before I leave towards home again. These days I am doing my last serious trainings before my target event of this journey: the GoPro mountain games in Vail (CO).
This story will be online at my website the Wednesday before the race, my important race is coming up on Saturday and at the moment I feel good and I am looking forward to compete again against the American top athletes who come to Vail (CO) next weekend. As the title already reveals I downgraded my expectations for this event. Where the first goal was to battle to win this event I found out the hard way that preforming at altitude is really hard, but even harder against guys who are used to much lower amounts of oxygen available in the air.
Learning along the way
Of course it sounds cocky to say ‘’I come over to win this event’,’ but this is a mindset that helps me to completely focus on an event and the complete way of working towards it. Setting goals is really important for an athlete to work towards that one specific day. Targeting events was something I had to learn along the way, I am a bike racer and I just always want to race and win. I absolutely hate losing and also that was a thing I had to learn to deal with, especially in a sport like cycling where winning a race is really hard. In my point of view there is only one winner and all riders from 2nd place to last place lost the race.
The long story short
But back to the road towards a goal, the main goal of this trip over to America was to get a good block of quality training in at high altitude. This is my first time on altitude and when I am back in Europe I am curious how it will pay out. Hopefully this effort over here will pull my level in the preparation towards the cross season to a higher point and therefore to better results in the winter. That is the long story short.
In the preparation towards a good result at the GoPro games I did a bunch of mountainbike races along the way. These races where a part of the preparation, and even though I went as hard as I could and I sometimes lost a day of training because I had to recover an extra day from a race the preparation towards this upcoming weekend was a blast! I like the suffering on the training and I like to do all those trainings alone. I basically did all my trainings here alone, in most places I was the only cyclist and only since I am here in the area from Golden/Boulder in Colorado I start to see other cyclist.
The last two weeks I tried to ride up to the 2500 meter level on every training to start to do my efforts on this altitude level because this will be the lowest point of the GoPro Games. This meant for me that every training started with climbing for at least an hour up in the mountains. I got to know my body better and better while I was doing the efforts on the climbs and getting higher and higher. With the feeling in training on this elevation I try to find my borders and the maximum efforts I can still do and what numbers I can keep up with. Because when you’re so high in the mountains and you go over this certain line during an effort you have to pay for that straight away and during a mountainbike race there isn’t much time to recover.
During the Iron Horse cross country race I saw riders sprinting by me on a climb and at the top of it they where completely done for that race. That happened to multiple riders and that race that had its lowest point at 2000 meters, finishing 6th at that race gave me confidence that I was on track with recognizing my borders and the efforts I could put into and what I could keep up with for one and a half hour of racing.
On the day of this publication there are some last short efforts waiting for me, then I take a rest day to do a final check on my bike and prepare everything I need for the weekend, from making my meals to packing my bags and plan the trip.
When I hear the bell on Saturday I know it is one lap left until a small rest period. This rest period will contain a few last days here in America where I hope to do some nice stuff. There is a baseball game planned already and I will probably be shredding more mountainbike trails but then only down with the bike and up with a car. On the 14th and 15th of June it will take me two days to come back home to my own little place in Germany. I will try to get used to the European time already a little bit while I am here in America for the last few days so the jetlag doesn’t hit so hard when I am back home.
Depending on how I feel when I am back home I will start training again when I feel to and when new goals are set for the second part of the summer!
Thanks a lot for making it all the way down here!