Winter over, time for bib shorts and racing!

April 06, 2022   ·  

We have finally come out of the winter and hopefully all those long days in the saddle through the shortest days of the year will be worth it.


This month started well with the new racing suit being delivered and I must admit I was delighted with the outfit designed by Nancy (my better half) and manufactured by a German company called Owayo! I would highly recommend them if you need any sport gear (cycling, running or even hiking) branded.


The new suit made its first public appearance at Gorrick “Spring” series race in mid March where we finished a comfortably held 7th place. I use those events for skills training as I spend a lot of time in an uncomfortable heart rate zone which means decision making is more challenging. I was happy with my performance and got more confident and attacking with my lines thorough the race!


Let’s touch base on Heart Zones. As an endurance rider most of my races would be done in high zone 2 (aerobic zone) where your body still mostly uses fat as fuel. I would only allow myself into zone 3 (dead zone) and zone 4 (threshold) for either steeper parts or, when riding in the Alps, the climb of a mountain. We use mostly glycemic (sugar) energy for those efforts. Sugar burns a lot quicker than fat so we go through it a lot quicker than fat. But I will touch upon the fuelling system later on this season. Those heart zones very much allow you to know how long you can ride at that tempo. As a rule of thumb it goes something like days in zone 1, 7 to 10 hours in zone 2, 3 hours in zone 3, 45 minutes to 1 hour in zone 4, 10 minutes in zone 5, 10 seconds in zone 6. So it’s up to to you to manage your effort and only apply pressure on the pedals at the right time! We all have different heart zone and the best way to establish them is to do a VO2 max test.


As you get fitter, your heart rate slows down and it will also recover very quickly from a tough exercise/work out!


This coming month, we (Myself, partner, dogs, daughter and her bf) are all off to Wales for the first round of the Hope sponsored Marathon Series (It’s my partner’s 40th birthday on the same weekend, luckily for me, she knows what I am like). There hasn’t been one of the races for the last 2 years and there is a general positive vibe within the MTB community over this. We can expect a 65km race with over 1800 metres of elevation. It will not be a very long day in the saddle but a very fast pace from the time we start. This will be a good test to see how far I have come on since the last winter with a few riders that I can measure myself against.


I will follow this with a long day in the saddle later in the month with my 12 hours pairs race partner and another short format race held with central XC!


Very much looking forward to all of it and hopefully start to work on my cycling tan!

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Katie Range
Katie Range

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