These last few weeks have been crazy, in August I was finally able to focus on racing and not building up my fitness so much, however yet again I found problems, and not everything going as smoothly as planned. This time round it was my caffeine intake, and how caffeine actually has an adverse effect on me! For most people, caffeine is an everyday essential to boost you throughout the day, but for someone like me who doesn’t drink tea or coffee, I never find myself consuming caffeine. Most of my fellow racers use caffeine gels, chewing gum, and caffeine powder in bottles to give them an energy boost for the race. I tried this, as I thought surely there’s only gains to be made here- but how wrong I was. I didn’t go overboard with caffeine intake, I took a reasonable amount, but it just seemed to send my heart rate throughout the roof, but at the same time my power and strength wasn’t increasing at all- in fact decreasing if anything. I saw some crazy heart race figures in the races I consumed caffeine in, but nothing good came out of it, in terms of race result, or performance. I came to the conclusion that the only thing caffeine does to me is spike up my heart rate, putting immense strain on my respiratory system, but it does not help me get more performance, so I therefore stopped using it and instantly found better results.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve done lots of races, nothing to shout about too much, a few podiums, combativity awards, trophies etc. That win has been hard to find, and time is not of the essence, with my last race coming up this weekend! Route du Roc, a 2 day tour, consisting of 2 road stages, and a Team Time Trial (TTT). I’ve been picked for this race by my team as the main candidate to win the overall, as we know I have a good track record of winning these multi-day stages! It’s also my last opportunity this season to bag a win for myself, after such a dramatic season in so many ways, I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to end things on a high note with.
It all seems a bit surreal to be putting a close to this season already, it really has flown by and I can’t believe I’ve been in France for 6 months! I have to say I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to do this, it has been a real eye opener to the cycling world, and I am incredibly lucky to have been able to have all the opportunities over here. Things have rarely been easy, and I’ve had my fair share of blood, sweat, and tears, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The things I have learnt will stick with me for life, and the friends I have made will also be ones I remember.
I head back to England soon after the Route du Roc, in final preparations for a national race back home, which is going to be a great opportunity to get a final result in. I’m really looking forward to coming back home, having the comfort of my family, and friends of course.
With a couple more opportunities to show off my strength, I am excited for the next few weeks. I’m not firing on all cylinders, however I’ve got good legs, and I’m going to make the most of it.