Tips for Cat4 riders: don’t get ill

This year I am a lot fitter and lighter than last year, and my bike is lighter and faster. But my race results are about the same, if not worse – why?

In April in the Duncan Macgregor memorial road race I finished in the second group in place which I was pretty happy with. It took me most of last season to get a result like this so I expected to be having a much better season than it has turned out to be.

I’m still convinced I’m a lot fitter and stronger than last year, but the odd illness here, and a couple of weeks off the bike there can really knock your form off. At the end of May I was totally wiped out for 3-4 days with a virusand last week I had a slight throaty cold for three days. I thought I had shaken it off in time for two races this weekend, but I found my legs just weren’t there when it mattered and I couldn’t take the pace on the climbs.

Racing when off form can provide some good intense training but on the other hand, struggling round a course on your own, to a poor result can be demoralising. If you’re ill it can set you back too. If you fall unwell, I’d suggest considering cancelling your events (hard as it is to do) and regrouping- getting some solid training in again, setting some new goals for a month or two down the line, and working back up to fitness and form.

If you have any thoughts- please post in the comments below.