Con­quer the Win­ter Ball­buster

Sea­soned par­tic­i­pant and course record holder Andy Green­leaf pro­vides his top tips for Ball­buster suc­cess

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Fuel well the day be­fore. A

three-hour-plus race re­quires a lot of en­ergy and, given it starts early in the morn­ing at 8am, you can’t rely on just a big break­fast to get you round.

Six­teen miles (in total) is a

sig­nif­i­cant dis­tance to run, even with­out a 24-mile bike in be­tween. Make sure you pace the first run sen­si­bly, and I’d sug­gest start­ing out no quicker than you would aim to run a marathon. To pre­pare well for the sec­ond 8-mile run, in­clude Train­ing Ses­sion 1, right, in your sched­ule.

As the run and bike cour­ses fol­low

the same route, use the first run as a recce for the bike. It’s worth think­ing about how to han­dle the de­scent through Headley Com­mon, how to ap­proach Back Lane, and how much en­ergy to con­serve for the fi­nal as­cent up Box Hill. Use Train­ing Ses­sion 2 to get you ready for the chal­lenge of Box Hill.

Make sure to wrap up warm for the

bike. Put ex­tra clothes in tran­si­tion that you may or may not use, but re­mem­ber to pre­pare for be­ing out on the bike for well over an hour. Think about gloves, arm warm­ers, toe cov­ers. Don’t risk the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing to pull out for be­ing too cold – and that’s me speak­ing from past ex­pe­ri­ence!

Do you pick a time trial or a road

bike? I’ve raced on both, and they have their ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages. If it’s set to be wet and windy, I’d likely opt for a road bike with some aer­o­bars at­tached, oth­er­wise I’d go for a TT if you have one. Ul­ti­mately, you need to be in a po­si­tion to brake sud­denly and to han­dle a tech­ni­cal de­scent. Check out Train­ing Ses­sion 3 for a great race-spe­cific brick work­out. With a few en­tries for the 2017 Ball­buster Duathlon on 4 Novem­ber still re­main­ing, the or­gan­is­ers are urg­ing ath­letes to get in quick – www. hu­man­race.co.uk – to se­cure their place. Next month: Chal­lenge Wanaka, which takes place on New Zealand’s South Is­land on 17 Fe­bru­ary 2018.

MATT ALEXAN­DER

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