Today is my first rest day since the training camp in Caldaro – and how could you celebrate that better than with pizza? In South Tyrol, where I had the honour to spend a week with my teammates from Team Alpecin at Haus am Hang last week, the food was also amazing. That was quite what we needed, because who wants to perform great also needs enough energy!
Our daily routine started with a round of morning sports. The focus was primarily on fascia training, correct stretching and core training. All three training sessions are essential in the everyday life of a successful athlete – and important to be at the forefront of peloton right into old age. For me as the youngest team member, some exercises were much easier than others, but some deficits occurred during the core training. However, it was really helpful to watch my teammates doing the exercises. Here I could take important lessons for home!
At breakfast, we talked about the weather and the day’s tracks and filled up our energy storage. Departure was always between half past 10 and 11. However, only after a final technical check-up of the bikes.
The training was really versatile: from driving in the group, driving technique training to hard and long mountain climbs. My daily highlight was the climb back to the hotel. Many of the Strava-Times set here came from earlier “Alpecinis,” as we call each other. Although I only climbed on the 4th place, but my predecessors were also very strong! My favorite moments were the climb from Lana and the Passo Mendola. On both days I was in a good condition, the weather and the roads fantastic and the dynamics in the team unique.
Incidentally, the Mendel Pass was my first climb of more than 10 km and honestly, on the bottom of the mountain I didn’t think I would make it up there. I fell back quickly and ended up in the back with 2 teammates. My tactic was to keep my pulse as low as possible, which is 170 beats per minute. After a few meters of altitude I realized that there was still a lot more Watts I could pedal so put me forward from the group.
I like to climb mountains on my own (#solitude), and so I enjoyed the wonderful roads and the surroundings, which gradually changed from green to white. It was 12 degrees in the valley where we started and on the summit just below zero degree. And then finally: after about an hour I finished and even caught up with another teammate. At the summit, I could not stop smiling! In a small restaurant, I grabbed a double espresso, pulled my warm clothes over and now expected me 13 KM of wonderful descent!
Before team meeting and dinner, I always enjoyed a nice bath, physio therapy and massages. Although I always thought I was quite messy, I managed to not just clean me, but also my new bike properly after every ride. Also the of pre- and after-ride-workshops where quite interesting! Squeezy for example explained everything we need to know about training- and race nutrition – but I will tell you more about the whole nutrition topic, my Compex and my head unit from Wahoo, the ELEMNT Bold, soon in another blogpost!
Let’s be honest: the training camp was like a different world. So many like-minded people in one hotel, the only things we cared about was cycling and everything related. I didn’t read the news for one week and my only contact to the “normal life” were my daily calls to my lovely boyfriend. I soaked up on positive energy and got so many tipps from our Trainer Flo from the Radlabor, Lude from Alpecin, olympic gold medal winner Mario Kummer and Maurizio Fondriest and now I’m ready for 3 though months of training for the L’Étape du Tour! My planned training rides take about 12 hours a week which is quite a challenge as I’m working full time, but my company is really supportive and as the day gets longer and warmer, it’s not that hard.
By the way: you can read more about Team Alpecin in my blog post to the team meeting in Bielefeld!
Do you want to know how I started racing? Then have a look at this blog post!
Pictures by Henning Angerer