Already a month since I wrapped up the season in Girona at LaTramun Singletrack Marathon. Normally the off-season is the busiest time of year but this year it's been busy everyday, a complicated puzzle of commitments.
I took nearly 3 weeks off training after returning from Spain, the only exception being a few strength and conditioning sessions at the gym and a few rides with coaching clients. It felt great to finally have some time in the new house with my girlfriend Pippa and finish unpacking after our move back in September. We enjoyed several relaxing day trips using the Vauxhall Vivaro and a weekend away on the south coast where we met up with Sally Bigham and Dave Padfield who are expecting their first child in a couple of months. It was great to catch up with them away from the usual hustle of a race weekend.
Sunny south coast
Adventures of the Vivaro
On the 1st of November I climbed back onto the Simplon and headed out into the hills. I love exploring new routes in the winter and stumbling on amazing places, these months can produce some of the highlights of the year. The time off was much needed after my week in hospital back in August which ruined the rest of the season. I now feel completely healthy but I'm not quite back to the same fitness level I would normally be at at this time of year. I've got another 4 blocks of training including almost 3 weeks in Gran Canaria before the first race of 2018 so I'm sure I can make up the missing few watts. That time in hospital was tremendously scary and I thank those who supported me through it.
It's been great seeing the extra interest in Ben Thomas Coaching since the website was launched both in the UK and overseas. I'm already looking forward to seeing what the current and new clients can achieve in 2018. I'm motivated to give the clients the platform they need to achieve their goals. There's still a few spaces for new clients so check out the various training services on www.benthomascoaching.com and send me an email.
My season will start at Andalucia Bike Race, a week long stage race at the end of February. I've got many good memories from racing this event in previous years and am excited to race it in it's new solo format rather than as a pair. Andalucia always attracts a strong entry list so I hope to be in good condition by then. I'll also be racing Belgian Mountainbike Challenge again in 2018, I love the Ardennes and always enjoy the great trails this event includes. It's great to see so many Brit's on the entry list. Later in the season I'll be heading to the north of Norway for Skaidi Xtreme, it looks like a great experience which Pippa and I are already looking forward to. Otherwise my calendar is still being worked on but hopefully I'll be at a couple of British XC races, Brighton Bigdog, Gorrick 12, National Champs, European Champs, and World Champs.
In 2018 I'll continue as European editor for MarathonMTB.com and have already been busy updating the event calendar with all the major races happening around the world.
Training ride with coaching client on our Simplon Cirex bikes.
Over the past couple of months I've been negotiating new deals with sponsors and can already welcome BKOOL and Castle Royle. BKOOL offer a great range of turbo trainers and I'm currently using the Smart 2 Pro for training sessions either when the weather is being too British or when I have specific efforts to complete. Castle Royle have come on board and given me the perfect location to train this winter. The club's facilities give me the opportunity to work on my weaknesses and general fitness. I'll be using the huge gym to do dynamic strength work throughout the winter, then stability and conditioning throughout the summer. I'll be doing workouts in the pool for general fitness and aerobic gains.
Hope you're enjoying the winter months. I look forward to bringing you another update in December.