It's only one week now before my first race this season. Ryan and I are going to take part in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, a series of UCI points races (2 C1, 1 C2 and 1 S1) spread around the centre of Cyprus. I'm really excited to see how my winter training over the last few months has helped me improve and get faster. My training this year was quite different from that last year. Last year I just did a lot of short, high intensity exercises early in the morning - I remember getting out before breakfast at darkness, just to be able to get my training done before work. This year I am a lot more flexible with my time and I was able to do a lot more long endurance rides after having had breakfast - something I could only do at weekends last year. And of course, this year I spent 2 weeks in Gran Canaria in January for base training where I was able to put in lots of long miles in beautiful weather. So my race preparation has been quite different this year. Only last week I started doing some high intensity VO2max and anaerobic capacity drills (boo!) and this year I already feel sooo much stronger than last year this time. Hopefully that's a good sign for the coming season.
However, racing prep is not just on the bike, it's also off the bike and sometimes even takes more time than riding. Off-bike racing preps involve things like choosing your races for the next season, cultivating and creating sponsor relationships, sourcing gear and bike bits (all processes that have started at the end of last year), finding airports, finding and booking cheap flights, finding and booking cheap accommodation with broadband Internet (both Ryan and I have a full-time job/PhD), finding and booking a cheap car, prepping the bike (bike fitting, exchange bits and pieces, testride, adjust things here and there, prepare tires etc.), go to the physio to get your knots untied etc, etc. And then it's the actual bike and gear packing for the journey itself! It seems like we are never finished doing bike stuff outside the riding itself. Unfortunately it's not just riding the bike!
However, it is nice to see when it all comes together and I am really happy about the help that we are receiving from our main supporters Cycleways/Specialized, Torq and KCNC this year. I can't wait to ride my new shiny amazing bike wearing my new shiny cool looking gear! :)