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Ed Laverack journal: inside my national hill climb championship win

Rider journals: Ed Laverack #10

Ed Laverack and three other riders are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. Ed rides for the UCI Continental team SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling this season.

In this entry, Ed takes us inside his recent national hill climb championships win.

October was a really good month for me. I mean, really good

I guess this entry is going to be a little different to many of the ones I’ve written this year. 

Truth be told, I couldn’t be more happy to share with you some of the details from that day, even if most of you have watched the video on YouTube. 

October was a really good month for me. I mean, really good. 

Image: Martin Wilson

For starters, I’m grateful that training for these extreme hill climb events, if done well, actually takes very little out of you. Goes back to the minimum effective dose strategy. What’s the least I can get away with whilst not doing too much damage to my overall fitness.

I’ve said to plenty of people that the Tour of Britain had a lot to do with my form. The conditioning the race gives you is something that can only be replicated in a specific 7-10 day training block, but the training would be harder than the racing. 

In the lead-up to the event, I broke a course record on Burrington Combe, a rapid climb and quite shallow. By all accounts, taking 11 seconds off a relatively short duration climb record is unheard of I guess; unless it’s a sign of form.

The week of the nationals I didn’t change anything. Apart from sleep. I slept more. Training was just as methodical and if anything I did a slightly harder ride than normal on the Friday, two days before. For me, I need that numbness in the legs. If I start the effort at the race and my heart rate and breathing get out of control then I know I’ve got the build-up wrong and I’m too fresh. There’s a balance but through trial and error you find what works, everyone is different. 

You can see at the bottom of this page what my notes looked like in the build-up. I had my pacing strategy dialled. I knew what I had to do if I wanted to challenge, but there was a part of me that thought 430-450w was a big ask. 

After four minutes of effort I knew. I knew I’d got the build-up right

After four minutes of effort I knew. I knew I’d got the build-up right. I knew the effort I was doing was sustainable. I was bouncing off that red line, on it for a couple of minutes, over it for a minute and then recovering on that red line. If I make it sound easy, I apologise, it wasn’t. But the preparation made it easy. Executing it was the hardest part. I’ve been asked what would happen if the wind was against or other external factors and my reply, “Just call it on the road.”

With the flat section allowing a bit of recovery and minimal time gain or loss I knew it was a chance to recover before the final 800m at 8%.

On paper, I shouldn’t have been able to do 500w for that final 1m 40s but that’s where sport turns things on its head. I’ve always loved crowds and responded well to them in competition. 

The pictures from the finish are incredible, and since then I’ve got my mug on a double-page spread in a certain cycling mag right at the front! Plenty of older friends have told me that back in the day that would have been a career finisher, can retire there and then!

But those pictures tell a story and I’d like to leave you with a little thought, it’s a bit deep so bear with me…

Look at those pictures from the final 500m. You’ll notice that all the riders have a pain face, but there are two types of pain faces. 

You are either in control of the effort…or the effort is in control of you.

Thanks for reading. 

Drop me a message on Twitter and let me know your thoughts!

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Nationals Target – Part 1

0-1.2k 440-50w BIG TIME

1.2-1.9k 410w

1.9-2.6k 440-50w BIG TIME

2.6-2.8k 415w

2.8-3.5k 435w BIG TIME MOMENTUM SQUEEZE

(8min)

Part 2 – BIG TAILWIND

500m 320w AERO 

Part 3 – BIG TAILWIND HUGE PUSH, STRONG

Car park 1 – sprint up rise 

Short 100m flattish

Car park 2 – 1min Max 

Strava Ride – https://www.strava.com/activities/2821621250

Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com – 03/08/19 – British Cycling – HSBC UK National Road Series – Cycle 360 Manx International Stage 2 – Ed Laverack of SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling finishes third in the Hill Climb on Stage 2

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Ed’s vlog.