When HJ mentioned there was a local MTB race yesterday evening (he mentioned it at about 3pm with the race starting at 6pm) I thought ‘hey, why not?’! It was most certainly a local race; just 5 mins drive from our house, up at Brandbukampen and the lit ski track.
‘Ski track’ typically means: grassy with no clear path, bumpy, hilly and bloomin’ hard work. I hadn’t heard of any MTB races at the ski track before and was sort of expecting something a little shorter than the United Bakeries Cup races I rode in the summer. They were around 60 mins racing time, so I thought this evening race should be about 20-30 mins, and a good bit of fun.
I took the whole of September off from training. With a large map to draw in the fells nearby, long days in the forest often take their toll, so I wanted to be able to pedal when I felt like it, rather than pushing myself into it. It’s nice to take a break from training once the MTBO season is over, I find I am able to refresh mentally and spend the time analysing my season and planning the next one. As a result, it’s been 5 weeks since I last did anything harder than moderate HR training, and certainly no intervals or anything more painful!
We turned up to the race to find 24 children, the eldest was about 14 and the youngest were very small. All on bikes of varying wheel sizes! It seems grown ups just watch these things, being too mature to play on bikes. Ah. This was a race for children … But since HJ and I are 25 year old children, we were allowed to race. For the kids it was a chance to meet and race an ekte verdensmester, or real world champion. I am not sure if it’s possible to be pretend world champion, but it must be as HJ is clearly the real deal. Since this was a race for children, there were different lap options: 500m, 1km or 2km. 2km was the longest course, and took HJ just 6 mins (I took 7mins). We rode our fatbikes which was much to the amusement of the children.
The format was 30 second start intervals with the longest lap racers starting at the back. By the time we were starting it was almost completely dark, but the fatbikes helped absorb any bumps in the track (unlike the fully rigid kids bikes that bounced them around all over the place!).
It was great to see so many out on a Wednesday evening. For children, the race was plenty long enough, and to be honest, it was for me too. 7 mins of lung busting sprinting, lugging a really heavy fatbike around a mildly hilly course! I sprinted the first section then fatigued and started to have some leg seizing, before managing to push through the final part to the end.
On finishing, my lungs were utterly shredded. Breathing, not breathing, everything was painful. I could taste blood and was in agony! After 10 mins, the pain died away to leave what felt like 50% lung volume. This was a massive wake up call. I must do some harder training before heading to England in 5 weeks for 4 weekends of XC racing 🙂
This may well become a new interval loop for the future.
You can read a newspaper article here and look at the photos!