Cross Country and Winter Rehab

With only one race left in 2018 (Dorset Ultraplus, 74km, on the 1st of December), I see this winter as a great chance, not only to get fitter and stronger on the bike, but also a chance to correct some injury issues still hanging on from 2018. The main issue was my knee pain during the recent CCC, relating to IT band syndrome.

I have started a few different strength and stability routines such as this IT band Rehab.

There are days where rehab is boring and seems pointless when you don’t feel injured. Like so many of you I just want to go out and take on a good run or gym session, whatever gives you the buzz. A 20 minute session with a resistance band, a few weights or just a body weight session will stand to you in the long run. Figure out or let your physio figure out the issue and then focus on it. This is not to say that you let other things slip, it is just a matter of gaining from the winter ahead. Lots of people start their program in January. To me every month is as important. Why start something new in the darkest, wettest month, when you can start it right now.

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Sticking as a team in Cross countries, County Silver in the bag.

I have been sticking, roughly to my training plan, while racing a really tough 8km Cross Country back home. It was a great feeling to be involved in a team silver medal at county level.

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What a team, Castlegar AC, Cross country Counties in Tuam 2018

The next few weeks will be busy with interviews coming thick and fast. Given this schedule, I will train when I can, play some football and get a run or two in with the club. However, winter rehab and strength will be number.

 


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Check out my little piece in Kayathlon.ie. (Page 48-61). A big thank you for the inclusion goes to Greg Dillon of Kayathlon. It is great to see an adventure magazine growing in strength.

Check out my latest workout music with Kastane on Spotify by Alan Walsh. I found it great for watt bike, cross trainer or threadmill sessions. Have a listen HERE.

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The Winter Awaits

I’m sitting here thinking about the winter ahead, as the sun shines, not a cloud in the sky and it is 17 degrees in the shade. I’m in Bristol 5 months already and I have only seen a few bad days of weather, but I’m sure there is plenty ahead. With plenty training to contemplate and a few goal races already lining up, it has been a nice few weeks since the CCC. I have met new people both at my new football club, The Retainer’s and also at my new running club Great Western Runners. I think it is so important to keep a social side to your training as well as a training plan to meet your own goals.


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So what is happening this winter? A few cross country races, a little 74km ultra in Dorset and then a massive push to get my training in full swing for, well yes, for The Race 2019. Luckily this year it isn’t until the 23rd of March, meaning heaps of training time and maybe even an early season 50km somewhere to warm the blood. Oh and in the middle of all this I have to find a job.

(see last years race report, Dorset 2017)

I’m currently cycling around Bristol, feeding cats, looking for dogs to walk and will soon spend some of my time delivering food. Job applications, interviews etc are the most important thing this winter, but I won’t bore blog readers with these parts of life. Let’s stick to the fun bits!

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Breezy 40km
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The Severn Bridge to Wales

I have been exploring Bristol on the bike a bit and started to bring my mileage up, slowly, in the last few weeks. The roads are busy so I am trying to find quieter routes. As for the hills, well it’s like as if they dropped Bristol on top of Donegal. Need I say anymore there!

I hope to join a gym and get back into some proper wattbike training soon, but for now I’ll stick to the roads and getting to know what lies in the Bristol countryside. I went for a trail run, only 20 minutes from the city with Emma, in Rowberrow, last Sunday, a gorgeous route along very technical trail and some hills thrown in. It was great to get the legs going on the trail, three weeks after the CCC. I went for a shorter mid week run on a trail near Bridgwater the week before. This was in the Quantock Hills. Again, some typical South West English farmland with rolling green hills and forestry here and there. Exploring the area little by little but it really has great running potential. My legs were still tired on this run but it was nice to get moving properly again.

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Fishing reservoir style, Quantock Hills
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Part of the Trail in the Quantock hills.

So as the winter roles in and the temperatures start to drop, we have to drag ourselves out training at times. The body naturally feels more lethargic, with shorter days and needing more energy in the cold weather. However, as I mentioned before, I really see the winter as an excellent time to train, become stronger and if needed, a great time to work on injury or niggles. Treat it as a rehab, re-strengthen, learning period and come out the other side, fitter and stronger, mentally as well as physically. It is too easy drop all and blame the weather or the darkness. Stick on the headtorch, the hi-vis or scrape a few quid for the gym, whatever works for you and make the winter count.


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