Jamie Blanchfield who finished 3rd in last years national junior championship behind Eddie Dunbar and Michael O’Loughlain is supported by Lucca Sports for the 2015 season and will be riding a Swift Carbon Ultravox RS1 and wearing Verge clothing as he is a member of Carrick Wheelers which is also supported by Verge custom cycling clothing and Lucca Sports. Jamie will be writing a blog for us throughout the season this is his first installement
New Bike, New Season and New Goals
I collected a Swift Ultravox RS-1 from Lucca Sports at the start of February to ride for the upcoming season. Unfortunately I was just returning from an injury that spanned over the whole winter so it would be a couple of weeks before I could experience it in its full glory. A couple of days after collecting the bike I got a bike fit with Barry Meehan who also tried out the swift http://thecyclingblog.com/swift-a-bike-that-lives-up-to-its-name/ and had nothing but praise for it. I started using the bike properly about two weeks ago and I am absolutely loving it. Out of interest I put it up on the scales with a set of 50mm carbon tubulars and it came in just under the 7kg mark. This is seriously impressive given the fact it’s a large frame with an ultegra groupset and even more weight could be saved with lighter pedals, wheels etc. The bikes is extremely responsive out of the saddle, especially when climbing, compared to anything else I’ve ever been on.
I had accepted the fact that much of the early season races were out of the question given the fact I had no training in. Through a lot of hard rehab work my knee injury has eased significantly and I have been able to get consistent training in over the last 5 weeks which I am delighted with. To say it was a learning experience, would be a complete understatement, but now looking back and hopefully forward to a successful, injury free 2015 I can say that my experiences, as annoying as they may have been, have fed my desire to achieve and also taught me so many valuable lessons. Positivity and patience are sadly assets I am not blessed with, I’ll have to work on them! Last year showed me that these aspects above everything else are the most important. I’ve decided to make my return to racing on Paddy’s Day in Carrick just to give the legs their first real test of the season.
Obviously my build up to the season was very different to the normal approach given the fact I was delayed for a couple of months so I decided to start back from scratch, building half an hour rides into 4 hours and slowly increasing the intensity each week. My typical training week is now starting to become more structured as I gain more faith in my knee holding up. Here’s last week as an example; Monday – 30 minute core circuit, Tuesday – Turbo session after college with two 15 minute sweetspot efforts, Wednesday – 45 minutes in the gym before catching the bus to college at 8 and another turbo session when I get home at six, this was a couple of efforts building to just below my threshold while trying to hold a high cadence, Thursday – Took a day off, Friday – 3.5 hours with 2 15 minute sweetspot efforts in the last hour of the ride, I went to have a look at the new Paddy’s Day course during this session, – Saturday – did another 3.5 hours just trying to build that endurance base that I have missed out on, Sunday – did 2.5 hours with the club and some core afterwards. I was very happy with the last few days as it is the first time I’ve got a 3 day block in since the beginning of November. I also stretch once a day every day and foam roll after the longer spins to keep everything in order.
With respect to goals this season I have been taking it one month at a time since January and setting short to medium term goals to do with recovery primarily. Once I get a good indicator of my form I can start to set solid goals and begin work towards them. I am really looking forward to this. I am hoping to race the Gorey 3 day and I also want to get upgraded from the A3 category before June. Hopefully with some more hard work I will achieve the majority of my goals this season.