Strategy – how I keep Go’ing
I have been surprised by how many of the skills that I have learnt and called upon to climb big mountains – I’ve also been able to apply to The Go Trek.
This trip will total almost 70days when I my journey ends on Friday and that’s the longest expedition that I have completed – even longer than my Everest trip!
Kit wise; my Rab sleeping bag (my comfort blanket!), my Peli head torch & my Powertraveller solar chargers all remind me of days in the mountains but I wasn’t expecting to find so many other similarities as I’ve ElliptiGo’ed through Europe. After all I’ve not been remote, out of touch or without the comfort of regular showers and I’ve even enjoyed the luxury of a proper bed for some nights of the trip!
However, endurance is endurance and as the weeks have gone by and as with other expeditions, I’ve really had to keep focused mentally and very importantly look after my physical well-being.
It has been calculated that an ElliptiGo is 30% more effort to ride than a regular bicycle, add a trailer of 20-30kgs (depending on how much chocolate is in it!) and you have an idea of the energy needed to ride the Go.
In the first few weeks of the trip we were doing days of 20 – 70 miles and had a few rest days. It was a gentle start and allowed fitness and condition to increase. However as we came further South and reached Switzerland/France I began doing 100 mile plus days (often consecutively and in the mountains with lots of hill climbing).
As my aim has always been to hit the 3000mile target by Paris it’s meant that I’ve had to continue to cover large distances over extended and here’s how I’ve a. achieved it, and b. maintained my condition so that I can continue to do it.
- Eating and drinking correctly. I’m keeping myself hydrated by drinking between 4 and 8 litres of water a day and I’m eating as many calories as I can take on board and eating every hour to avoid energy crashes. I stick to the same tried and tested routine that I use in the mountains – for me, the key is to eat before I feel hungry and drink before I feel thirsty.
- Sleeping at least 7 hours a night. It might not sound a lot, but as long as I get this as a minimum I’m ok. I also find I sleep very deeply when I’m exercising to this degree and the quality of sleep I’m getting is good.
- Working no harder than 70-80% of my full capacity. I’m using a slower pace to ensure that I can keep going and don’t burn out and I use my Suunto heart rate monitor to help me to do this.
- Planning and taking rest days. When I was in Nice at the Ironman I met Bobby Julich (competitor in 2005/06 tour de France and now trainer for the top riders in the tour). We discussed tactics and Bobby said to me, “When you ride – ride hard and when you rest – rest hard”.
With that in mind I pushed hard last week so that I could have two days complete rest days.
I now I have just four more days Go’ing and I know that these will be long, hard days. But, if I continue to drink, eat and sleep well and maintain a steady pace….and if I keep this in mind (see below) then I’ll arrive in Paris having completed an amazing 3000miles!!