Some highlights from France

There were so many great moments:

Our group early on in the camp (Titch, Jen, Louis, Stef). A lot of fun. Watching Louis disappear off over the final climb to Embrun on his own was pretty inspirational:


A lot of laughs with Stef across many hours of cycling. I nearly fell off my bike a few times I was laughing that hard. Here we are getting close to arriving in La Grave, in a depleted haze:


Riding up the Galibier wih Julian, Iain and Stef. Jules gave us an impromptu Tour de France history lesson, followed by a lesson in descending:


Watching Iain tough it out over many, many climbs:


He’s even had time to set up camp here while waiting for us:


Our chalets for the last week (Sainte Foy Tarentaise, Grand Bornard & Morzine). The common areas gave us a chance to chill, watch le Tour & recover:


Fellow Endurance Corner athletes Rob Mohr and Walter McCormack. Rob is a gazelle in running shoes, and Walter is an AXE on the bike (and quite handy to draft behind in open water – like being behind a mid-sized boat). Good blokes. Here they are analysing the day’s events (sponsored by Apple):


Riding through part of the 2016 Tour route. It was nice to know that even the TDF is not immune to the force of the French unions. Road surfacing has been affected by striking recently (we didn’t notice it until we hit a 7km climb which had a half-finished gravel surface). Hopefully they will have caught up by 22 July:


Running with Rob and Stef in Morzine. It was great listening to their views & philiosophies on nutrition and training. I am going to add some different foods into my diet for gut health. An hour went by incredibly quickly around this lake:



The “gravestones” at each kilometre mark of the major climbs. An easy way to create a series of short-term goals:


I am pretty good at home when it comes to getting my training done, but quite often it takes a conversation with myself (and a bit of mental energy) to get out the door, or get on the trainer, or get to the pool. This didn’t happen once in France – that is the real power of these camps. The training was definitely tiring, but motivation was easy.


Nose bag

We have eaten a LOT of food in the last 11 days. It’s going got be hard to stop and return to ‘normal’ levels.

I was a bit worried early last week when evening meals took about 3 hours and there wasn’t quite enough to eat after 7-10 hours of training. That quickly changed though, with quality and quantity consistently high. Buffets have been cleaned up pretty quickly – a pack of wild animals would probably have behaved better…….

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The Pain Train

I have been leaving early each morning with the “Grupetto”. It’s a lot more of a mellow ride than waiting for the Pain Train to leave. That group has been cranking out the watts all week.

The Kiwis have been an integral part of the Pain Train. Here, John is seen showing off the Yellow Jersey; Murray is in Red (for leading Vet) and Phil is modelling a nice blue Rapha number:

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Pete has an unbelievable capacity to bounce back from hard efforts. He seems unaffected from the week in this picture:

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Ian has spent some time with the Grupetto, but then hammered away up the climbs when he got bored of talking to Stef and I. This picture shows him soon after a tri race, contemplating the rib he cracked by coughing too hard:

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I’ve tried to create as many mental images as possible from the last week of riding. You could stop every few minutes to take another picture.

Louis and I have spent a fair bit of time cycling and running together. He is a great inspiration – amazingly strong and able to keep ticking away each day.

Lou has only taken one photo on the camp so here are a couple more mate, just to refresh your memory……

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I’ve just finished a tub of chamois cream in 7 days. Some cycling numbers from the first week:

* 850 km
* 41.5 hours
* 18,500 m of climbing (over double the height of Everest)

It’s been an AMAZING route. Lots of classic climbs. Continuous photo opportunities.

Mt Blanc is in the background here…..

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Happy Birthday John

John is spending his 40th birthday training all day. He started with a 36 minute 10km run and then went to the pool in Morzine for 100 x 100m (long course metres).

About 10 of us started out with him. Rob gave us another example of fatigue by beginning with 200m (he forgot the pool was 50m rather than the 25m he usually trains in).

I had no intention of doing the whole 10km, but my thoughts changed a bit as it went on:

2km – “I am going to bail at 3km”

3km – “Might as well go to 4km now” (we did it in sets of 20 x 100m)

4km – “6km is pretty close now” (you get extra points for a 6km swim)

6km – “Just an Ironman swim left now”

8km – “No point in stopping now”.

Another amazing pool to swim in – a great way to spend 3.5 hours.

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