Cape Epic- The Training Continues - 39 days to go!

Cape Epic- The Training Continues - 39 days to go!

Cape Epic 2023 – Training

Life is busy, as you get older it’s a giant balancing act of family, work, social and of course exercise. When one of those things gets out of balance the others suffer. Training for an 8 day stage race involves riding a lot, more about consecutive days to get your body use to the rinse and repeat that is stage racing and some long days in the saddle to build base fitness.  As I’ve found much like managing your overall life balance the same can be said for training balance, between Mountain/Road/Indoor and hills vs. flat it’s hard to know you’re doing the right thing. The old saying goes train your weakness but race to your strengths. For me long flat sections has never been my thing, but Covid lockdowns and Zwift soon saw the opportunity to train that, and the good news is I loved Zwift racing and long group rides! But of course you train one thing and other suffers, and that was less elevation gained and a loss of downhill skills. So training for the Epic is about maintaining a good and interesting mix, my training in the 4 months odd before the event involved the following, it was never hard and fast more what fitted around what was going on elsewhere that week:

  • 180kms Road – Usually on a Saturday and Sunday. Given wet weather a group ride for one of those on Zwift always worked…and also meant I was around at home(sort of)
  • 110kms MTB – Mostly fitted around riding to work during the week. Generally two longer rides of 75kms combined, one shorter 20kms, one commute of 14km return, and one rest day.


It’s not like I woke up one day and just started doing this volume it built up. From 150kms a week, to 200kms, 250kms then 300km over a 4 month period. Four months out from the start we had a group MTB trip away and squeezed in four good long days in the saddle which always sorts you out early and exposes what you need to work on. And riding with other people makes it a damn side more interesting, even if it rains continuously for 4 days! However, as we approached the start date, 6 weeks out odd, then the transition to MTB only started with more race based efforts and intensity to mimic the actual event. Leaving enough time to recover in the week(s) leading up to the event. My aim was to arrive feeling reasonably fresh, and not knackered and tired from the above.


Over arching all of this is about maintaining your health and sanity. At 48 years old, two active kids, busy job, and of course a loving/forgiving wife :-)…you need to do what you can. I sometimes started a ride with the family, and continued on for a couple of hours afterwards, or stayed at home on Zwift just to be around in case of emergency. But the most beneficial was the commute to and from work, it’s what I call dead time so you might as well use it. Been blessed in Wellington NZ with MTB trails in every direction it’s really easy to do, it’s just about stretching out those rides for an extra 1hr…which meant being more regimented on leaving work at the right time (4.30pm if possible, after starting early).


Increased motivation comes from your Cape Epic partner. Strava is great for PB’s, crowns etc but it’s really good to see what you partner is up to and you feel guilty if you fall behind the eight ball.


Tags: cape epic 2023  

Posted: Tuesday 7 February 2023