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Ed Laverack journal: dealing with setbacks

Rider journals: Ed Laverack #4

Ed Laverack and three other riders are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. Ed rides for the new UCI Continental team SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling this season. This is Ed’s 4th journal entry…

I’ve seen many riders put on a cloak and say they are healthy and in good shape when in actual fact they are coming down with an illness. There seems to be a stigma attached to it

Much has been uncertain the last month. 

I’ve spent the last 4 weeks in a state of not knowing. I’m a little bit used to it now, as it becomes part of the lifestyle but it never gets easier. 

I’m referring to the racing calendar. It can be very easy when you know exactly which races you are doing for the next four to six weeks, as planning becomes straight forward. Nutrition and lifestyle can be planned around training session, recovery can be like clockwork. 

Things can throw you off that path though. Illness. I became ill around a week before the Totnes-Vire Two-Day race. I entered the race on the basis that it had an uphill time trial stage on Haytor. A recon on that climb would be perfect ahead of the national hill climb championships later this year in October. That same week I got the heads up that I needed to prove to my team that I was in good enough shape to ride the first round of the National Road Series at the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix. With lungs full of gunk I rode Totnes knowing I had to show myself. My performance in the time trial was well below par; 1m45s below par to be exact. Bizarre how you can go from being the course record holder for the climb one day, to being at the back of the pack the next (that’s something I love about this sport actually).

Nevertheless, I knuckled down and came round the final stage not feeling too bad. I didn’t get selected for Klondike, nor the 5-day Tour de Loir et Cher starting 2 days after it. I’d hoped to ride Klondike, as it was so hilly, and Loir would have been a chance to get some big hours in. 

I needed something to test myself, to trigger it, to prove to myself that form was just around the corner

Something I was asked in the build up to that by the team was how my form was going. 

I was quick to point out myself that I was unsure of it, uncertain. I needed something to test myself, to trigger it, to prove to myself that form was just around the corner. I have been at Continental level now for 7 years and have seen many riders put on a cloak and say they are healthy and in good shape when in actual fact they are coming down with an illness. There seems to be a stigma attached to it. Like they never want to be made out to be weak. I’ve seen it happen where we have flown 15-20 hours across the world to race, only to find a rider gets dropped the first day, or gets ill immediately after we land. Sometimes its best to be open and honest for the good of others. 

Ed with Marcin Bialoblocki Photo: Huw Fairclough

Ironically, I’ve been training very well recently and recovery has been very good. Back to back performances at local races have indicated form. I spent a total of 3 hours in a breakaway on Easter weekend with numbers reaching 320w for the 90 minutes, indicating a tough ride but on later assessment, the perceived exertion seemed lower. I’ve been drip-feeding my body different stimuli over the last 2 weeks and really finding a zen state balance with it all, some of you will know what this feels like. As of writing this I am sipping on a coffee, something I only reserve for my bigger sessions, and I’m about to get ready for a local club hilly 10 mile time trial. I hold the current course record with an average power of 365w. See what I can do tonight, I better get kitted up. 

Read more

Rider journals: Ed Laverack #3

Rider journals: Ed Laverack #2

Rider journals: Ed Laverack #1

Rider journals: introducing Ed Laverack

Interview with Ed Laverack by John Smith

Ed’s brilliant vlog is well worth checking out.

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