Thursday, March 09, 2017


I´ve been training. No really! 

I have to. It is now an integral part of my job.

The last time I did this job I also trained. I trained by walking in the Himalayas for a month, mostly eating pizza because I almost died from a dodgy curry. In that time I did one mountain bike ride, contracted dysentry and almost died. Did I mention I almost died? But thats another story.

After Nepal I had a few weeks in Barcelona before starting work, but this mostly involved Spanish language classes, drinking and being hit on by a guy who fashioned himself after Neil Gaiman´s Dream. At the time I was trying to pull an 18 year old South African girl. I´m not sure where the mix up was. Beer may have been a factor.

In a nutshell, I wasn't very fit. And it made the first few months of the guiding job an absolute misery. 

This time i´m going to be fit. Well, fitter.

It is difficult to understand the fitness required to be a guide unless you you have done it. If you normally ride once a week for two hours and then decide to ride twice a week you have basically doubled your riding time. This will definitely lead to an increase in your fitness.  If you triple this to six times a week you have to then start thinking about recovery time. You want your body to get stronger so that means pushing it, let it recover. Push it a bit more, recover, repeat. If you don´t recover then your muscles don´t rebuild. Without recovery your body is constantly catching up. If you don't recover you will actually become weaker.

And this is what happened to me when I started guiding. 

One of the things I wish I had done is keep a track of my weight, and measured how my effort changed over time. I was riding the same trails so a historical heart rate reading would have been able to do that. I remember making the first test ride as a guide and finding it incredibly difficult, there was a climb that I thought would never end and downhills that were barely within my skill level. Of course a year and a half later the perception was different but having a higher level of fitness in the early days would have made the job much more enjoyable.

So I am training......

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