I’ve pretty much spent the whole of the off-season training and racing on Zwift. It’s something I’ve grown to really enjoy over the last 18 months and as my body has adapted to the shorter, punchier races, I’ve become a lot more proficient at it.
I joined the BRT (Bolt Race Team) last year which made the eracing experience a lot more fun and interesting, and even offered the opportunity to compete in an event with cash prizes. Competing at a higher level with the A-cat BRT team also improved my overall Zwift race ranking (effectively your erace world ranking), to around 150 at its peak in Autumn. But in order to maintain and develop a higher ranking you have to compete regularly and not only was I finding it hard to get any training in around the races, but I was not adequately recovering between them. This is something I’ve struggled with a lot more lately as I’m moving into my late 40s, with a 3-year old daughter that wears me out!
Towards the end of the year I started receiving physio/rehab to the Achilles tendinopathy, which involved a few short (1-2mile) runs in the week. This was quite a frustrating process as I was very unconditioned. I had to try and ignore the stiffness and slow pace. But I’m improving. A few 5km events with and without the running buggy, and just recently a short Duathlon. The soreness and stiffness is still there, but the pain is not as acute, and I’m recovering faster.
Because of the return to running and the struggle with recovery I decided at the end of the year to drop out of the higher profile eraces on Zwift. I still race but not as regularly and tend to pick flatter, shorter races where you get more of an opportunity to sit-in and draft, recover between attacks. This has enabled me to do a little more running. I’m only hitting 20miles/week at the moment, but it’s a start and hopefully it will grow over the coming weeks. A couple more months of work developing the running, and some long-distance bike rides and I’ll be good to go for a few Duathlons and cycling events.
One other thing I’ve improved, introduced over recent months is my IT equipment. My brother was good enough to build me a gaming PC from scratch that could handle multi-gaming at a high output, alongside streaming. I’ve been a little limited in the past, but the new PC can handle anything without even drawing a breath, and really looks the part.
I’m not big on IT but I have had some fun learning about streaming. I now record or live stream most races (apart from anything long and/or boring of course) to the YOUTUBE CHANNEL