BPMR -Things to Improve/Change For Next Year
It’s been most of a week since I did the BPMR. My body seems ready to get back to training, but before I start talking about future goals and training programs, I think it’ll be beneficial to go over some things to improve on for next year (if I decide to do it again…which is “probably”).
Here goes: Things to Improve/Change for Next Year
- Bike Training – Obviously. Tonnes more riding, technical trails and even some spin classes would give me a huge leg-up from this year’s performance.
- Get My Own Bike – I spent a lot of time this spring dicking around with my bike situation. I considered renting a bike through the race but decided against it. I considered buying a new bike but didn’t exactly have the cash at the time. I even considered using my current bike which is a fully rigid Specialized Rock Hopper circa 1993 (It’s purple), but ultimately I was lucky enough to borrow a friend’s swanky new full suspension bike. It handled all the terrain easily, but consistent training on the bike you’re using for the race is probably a good idea…maybe…
- Bike shoes – Speaking of borrowed equipment, guess what came along with the borrowed bike? Borrowed clip-in shoes! They worked pretty well, but apparently (unbeknownst to me) the peddles and shoes were for road riding and I would have had an easier time if I had used proper mountain bike gear. Who knew?
- Bigger transition bags – The race utilizes a 2-bag system for transition areas. Bag “A” & Bag “B” (I’ll slow down for those of you who are struggling to keep up). I used two cloths bags that cinched close with a string/rope that doubles as a shoulder strap. On a positive note, the bags were two different colours so it was easy to differentiate between them, but still quickly identify them as mine. However when it came down to it they were simply too small to fit all the gear necessary. By the end of the race I was clipping my hydration pack to the outside of the bag an through the strings as well. Not ideal. Larger bags, with bigger openings would ease and expedite gear swapping.
- One Hydration Bag? – Most other racers used 1 hydration bag. I didn’t want to lug around any more weight than I had to, so I made up two packs (with all the necessary kit) and swapped them at transitions. I often wondered though, if I could stash the bike tools/pump on the bike or in the transition bag would 1 bag have been easier to use. I’m still on the fence for this one.
- Strength Training – Lunges, squats, deadlifts. One of the reasons my legs were cramping was that they were over-worked. Yes, I was dehydrated, but when my IT band started screaming it gave me some indication of what shape my legs were in. Sure, I felt fine on the run eventually, but it was apparent that the strength training I was doing in May should have been continued into/through July. Also, my lower back was pretty fatigued by the end of the kayak, deadlifts would have stabilized my core, and enhanced my posterior chain. In July, I was paranoid that they strength work would compromise my endurance training…but I think I had it backwards….20/20 hindsight I guess…
- Fuel – I think my food/hydration was pretty good. Yes, I was hungry at points but with the limitations I had (upset stomach at start) I think I did pretty well. A little more solid food and some Gatorade at transition #1 might have helped; mind you I did eat and drink…maybe just not enough.
Have a great weekend all, enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!