Conquer the Winter Ballbuster
Seasoned participant and course record holder Andy Greenleaf provides his top tips for Ballbuster success
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.