Blog – Laura ‘Moo’ Morgan


Learning the lessons of being over enthusiastic about racing and training and doing too much which can ruin a season

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Blog – Laura ‘Moo’ Morgan

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

“Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.” – Hunter S Thompson 

Laura writes … I’ve been looking through some of my old blog posts, generally because I’m going to be hitting my third year of cycling in four or so months and have been spending a fair bit of time reflecting on everything that’s changed since I first started back in 2012.

Interestingly, this time last year, I’d posted a blog entitled “No form, no fun.” – about my struggle to cope with base training due to the fact that I’d done too much for a newbie in the previous race season and ended up making myself  a bit ill. This gave me some inspiration to write a bit of a follow up, as it was one of my slightly more negative posts…lolzies.

2013 was insane, I’d been riding a bike for just a year or so, yet attempted a full Feb-Sept quota of racing, as well as moved countries and rode from London to Paris at a pace I genuinely wasn’t fit enough to keep up with. Logically speaking, I was a time bomb, and at the time – while full of enthusiasm – probably my coaches worst nightmare.

By November that year, I’d run myself into the ground, having to take break after break after melting down every time after trying anything resembling a training ride. I got ill over and over again. It was heartbreaking. Reading back on that post, it’s genuinely disturbing to think back to how I felt then. I was so full of excitement to get my base endurance in ready for the 2014 season, but I couldn’t DO anything. I could barely walk for half an hour let alone ride a bike for three.

Obviously this year had to be different but my over enthusiasm almost completely ruined this years racing season as well. I’d not found my legs until late August, just in time for the national TT, just out of time for the road race season. Bugger. Coach and I made a stern agreement at the start of my off-season in September… “No f**king about, Laura. You’re going to do as you’re told.”

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Throughout October, I’ve been keeping a base level of fitness, just treading water, eating healthy and enjoying a rest. Most importantly, I’ve been enjoying myself. Last year I took everything incredibly seriously, I didn’t see anyone, I didn’t go out, I made myself unhappy with my diets, I just didn’t cope.

This year, while I’m taking everything equally as seriously – I’m also including my state of mind in that consideration. It’s paid off. I feel refreshed, and as we enter November, my training has started and it’s a structured regime once again.

I’ve finally been able to get out on a couple of group rides. While I’m still not a great climber, it’s been so refreshing to get out with the lads and try and hang on to their pace. They’re encouraging and it’s given me a great
confidence boost. One of my gripes this year was with riding in a group – this seems to have dissipated entirely and for once I’m just able to enjoy riding my bike with other people.

My fitness has improved tenfold in comparison to last year, too. While I’m not out to break any QOM’s right now, every climb I hit feels natural, my legs are responding without complaint and while last year the thought of going anywhere fast made me wince, this year I’m feeling relaxed and ready.

I need to be. This winter is going to prove to be a step up for both my coach and I in respect of how we work. We’re going to be concentrating on getting me more prepared and on form for the road in a big way over the winter. Looking at the amount of hours I’ll be doing by December, I’m just glad that right now I’m feeling happy about riding.

It’s such a wonderful feeling compared to this time last year. I don’t know where it’s come from. I don’t know why I feel so good, I just feel merry, every time I ride my bike I feel full of glee. It just feels great. I’m excited to
know that this winter may just be what I need to actually start getting those results in, and I couldn’t be more proud to try and do that under the wing of the awesome new team of women at VCUK PH-Mas.

One bit of advice I’ll give you all for this time of year, if you’re feeling good – don’t be afraid to join in those club runs. I was so nervous about trying to fit in last year, I ended up talking myself out of every club ride. This
ruined my bunch riding skills by the race season and effectively ended any chance of doing well.

It doesn’t matter if you hang on for five minutes or two hours – the fact is that if you hang on at all, next time round, you’ll be that much fitter to hang on for a while longer. Don’t be afraid if it’s a bunch of burly lads, you’re
riding with, banter aside, chances are they’re the best encouragement you can get. The very fact that you’re giving it a go speaks more volumes that shying away.

You won’t know what you are capable of until you give it a shot, so just do it….just don’t over train…it sucks.

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