Claire & Miles Willett
Just to say, thank you for your fab programme over the last 3 months - It certainly made all the difference. Due to the threshold training and hill repeats, we had more confidence to push it up the hills on a long ride and know that we would recover well.
The Maratona was unbelievably amazing! The Dolomites are very special. Very dramatic and sheer drops, with scenery unrivalled by other mountain ranges.
We had a very slow start due to 8,000 people starting together and a few bottlenecks, so it took an hour before we could go at the pace we wanted too. That suited Miles due to his accident and hip flexors still not having fully healed but not me as I like a fast start!!
We rode really well together.... the 9.5% 10km climb up the Passa De Giau was brutal, nothing to look at except tarmac as it was closed in within the valley. My heart rate held at 165-168 for the 10km (I didn't push it beyond 155 last year for the Etape) and I thought I may not recover from it and with 2 more major climbs to go - 1 at 11km and 1 at 20% for 500 metres. But I was fine, so clearly your threshold training made a big difference.
Miles did really we'll too, he could push it a bit more than me on one of the high altitude climbs (Passa De Giau) without his BPM going as high as mine (within our age difference) but didn't recover as well as me for the next climb due to the time out he had in the last 4 weeks after his accident.
We came in the top 40% over all and I came 125th out of 308 women .... which considering we started at the back of the pack and took an hour to get going, we were pleased with and considering we did't think Miles was even going to make it!! We also spent 20 minutes across a couple of feed stations as Miles had garmin issues.
So, thank you! It clearly worked a treat... it's a shame I trailed off a little in the last 3 or 4 weeks (although not too much!) and Miles had his accident as I reckon, if we'd started at nearer the front we would've knocked at least 30 minutes off, plus some more at the feed stations!
Total ride time was 7hrs 23mins for 138km and 4230 mtrs of climbing!
Thanks again and hope all goes well for you for the rest of the season.
Claire & Miles