Cape Epic
Official Cape Epic Website

Check out our Cape Epic Guide, the story of our 3 past Cape Epic successes. Find out all our epic training secrets.

News Articles

An archive of news articles about Team BBB on their way to Cape Epic 2008
2008 route and accommodation

Bikes & Parts

At Cape Epic 2008 we will be riding Raleigh bikes again. They will be kitted out with BBB Parts. We will report on these and other bike equipment choices.

Training Blog

Stay up to date with our training progress. We review our training and preparation each week for Cape Epic 2008, starting 10 Sept 2007.

Videos & Photos

Look out for some cool BBB videos and other epic training photos and videos.

Cape Epic 2008 Training

Absa Cape Epic 2008 sees us following our trusty and proven training plan that includes Polar heart rate based training programs, long rides and multi-day training camps. This training regime has proved so successful for us in the past that we have started to document the entire process, you can find it in our Cape Epic Guide.

Training Blog

We will share our training blog on a weekly basis. The two of us live on opposite ends of the country, so it is important to stay in touch and keep our training in sync. Every week we swop training data and a brief training diary for the week.

It is less than 12 weeks to go now to Cape Epic 2008. This second block of training is critical so we will try to stay as focused as is possible with life going on around us.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Polar and the software, here is a quick note on the report. We are using the new Polar Pro Trainer software. One of the big benefits of this new software is that you can plan your exercise. We first did a Polar 16 week program which we then followed up with this more intense 12 week program.

What you are seeing in the report is basically a budget versus actual scenario. We have a certain amount of hours to do per week in certain zones. This is shown in the stripy bars, then what we actually ride shows in the solid bars.

The other points on the graph are distance, HR average and this year, for the first time; weight. Since we would like to achieve our best results ever, we have identified our weight as a key factor in this success, so we are hoping that if we have to report on it, it will help us to reach our target weight easier.



Week 10: 16-03-08
I had a fairly easy week as I started to taper. I rested for three days this week and really needed it. I could feel how the rest made me feel good and rejuvenated. I rode three days in a row and on a mini tour and felt good riding each day, I recovered well and felt fresh each morning. With the next week and a half of tapering I am sure I will start to feel strong and ready for the Epic. Bike stuff and packing will be the focus for the coming days.

This week I did one ride on Monday before I left for Taipei. I pretty much had no choice but to treat it as a rest week. With the public holidays coming up I am hoping for some good miles, but I am not going to over do it. I need to be well rested for the race, and you canít make up for lost time. I will just have to trust my previous weeksí preparations.
Week 9: 9-03-08
This week turned out to be a great week. I got some quality riding in and felt good. I recovered well after the training camp and put in a big week. No real injuries or worries to complain about. Saturday I did a biggish 5 hr ride with lots of climbing and then rode the Argus with Candice on the Tandem on Sunday. We finished quicker than the previous year and my average heart rate was almost 10 beats down and I felt good. I can feel that I have been doing a lot of riding over the last few weeks. And looking back at my graph I can see why. From now I will start to taper and start resting and getting strong, most of the hard work is done now.

I was spot on with hours this week again. Next week is my big rest week and I will not be even close on hours. I have had 3 really good weeks and the forced rest next week I think will do me good. I am starting to feel better again. My knee is definitely getting better and with a week off in Taipei I am sure it will be 100%. I have reached that stage in the program where I am really tired of the training. I canít wait to start on 28 March.
Week 8: 2-03-08
This week was a bit of a rest week after our big training camp week, I also had to nurse some sore legs and niggling injuries. I also raced on Sunday at the MTB Argus so I swapped a bit of quantity for intensity. Looking at my heart rate zones I see that I am spending a little too much time in blue no mans land of aerobic stamina. I am on target with lactate workouts, but under on aerobic endurance. So I will concentrate a bit more to ride easy, except for when I need to ride hard then I will really ride hard and not somewhere in between. The rest of this week I will put in some more big easy miles and leave a bit of intensity work for the last few weeks.

I swopped this week with last week. Since last week was our big week, it made more sense to ride the 14 hour week this week. I managed to make the hours despite me knee still feeling sore. It is getting better though and I am pretty confident that after the full rest week that I am forced to take because of an overseas trip it will be 100% for the race. Other than the discomfort from the knee, I felt really good and I am starting to feel confident for the race.
Week 7: 24-02-08
Well as I sit here Monday morning doing my weekly report my legs are sore after a training camp this weekend. I donít really know what to think of it all. Day 1 was one of the hardest days on a bike for me, with 173km and 3200m ascent it was never going to be easy but I felt really bad. I have to just believe that the preparation I have done has been adequate. A quick check reveals more hours than last year, same avg ascent per week and similar distances and long rides. Some last minute seat adjustments resulted in an injured hamstring tendon, but that seems to be feeling better. Bottom line is the Cape Epic always needs respect and is going to be hard no matter how much you train and what you did before. Iíll take a day or two to rest and then finish off the program with another 2 good weeks.

The report looks pretty impressive, with a huge peak as we completed our final training camp. I actually did over 20 hours on the bike, but 18 in zone. The reality is that this was a big wake up call for Team BBB! A knee niggle that I had has now turned into a full blown injury. And I have a huge saddle area issue. This weekend I was reminded that the Epic must never be taken for granted! Even at number 4, you need to take care of yourself. The next 5 weeks will be spent; managing the injury and ensuring that I reach the start line in good physical shape.
Week 6: 17-02-08
Week 6 and half way through the program and that means 6 weeks to the epic! This week was a bit of a rest week before our second training camp coming up this week. I also did a race this weekend, it was short and fast and good for some intensity and climbing. I was happy with how I started off managing to start fast and maintain a good pace. I am looking forward to some long hard days in the training camp to test our preparation for this years event and to finalise some bike setup issues.

I was very slightly off this week again, because I had to travel. Most of the time was made up with 2 monster rides on the weekend, which were at a high intensity. At this stage I am going to have to trust me previous training to carry me through. With time being more and more of a problem, I am opting for higher intensity when I do ride. I didnít really feel great on the weekend rides, but I think this is because of a lack of riding. This next week we have our final training camp together, so we will log stacks of good quality hours.
Week 5: 10-02-08
I had a really good week and achieved my hours comfortably. They were also quality hours because I did some good rides including one interval session and a good 6 hour ride. I felt good most of the week but my legs are a bit tired now so I am taking a rest day again. I have started to feel the program working, so with the next few weeks I am confident that I will be able to get to a good peak.

While I am worried about the serious lack of hours this week I am still pretty satisfied with the week of training. I did 2 races back to back on the weekend at a very high intensity. And I am sure that this will be good preparation for our Epic goals. I was, however, very surprised at just how hard it is to ride at such high intensities for 2 days in a row!
Week 4: 3-01-08
This week worked out little more sedate than I had hoped for. I spent 16hrs on the bike but only managed about 12:30 in zone so I was about 30 min short of target. I did however do one hard session Ė a 10 minute hill climb with 5 min back down again, repeated 3 times - it was hard but good. I really need to concentrate on long rides with lots of climbing in the next weeks. I missed out on one this weekend and canít afford to let it happen again.

What a week! The program now demands some intensity training and I got my fair share of that at the MTN training camp. I had to ride really hard and outside of my comfort zone, but this was really good for me. This is a very good simulation of the feeling on the mornings in the Cape Epic when you have to try to stay with the group. My weight is also finally starting to come down. I have lost 4kgs since I bought the evil digital scale at Christmas time. I felt good this week despite some really hard riding. Next week I have a big racing weekend, so that will be a good tester.
Week 3: 27-01-08
I made up a bit of time this week, but still had a relatively small week. My ride on Saturday was interesting, it was a standard 108km route. I rode quite hard and finished faster than before, but I was very exhausted, more so than I should be. I think a combination of lack of sleep and dehydration took its toll. It has reminded me of how important good sleep is during training, as well as good hydration before a big ride. If I was at the epic I would have been in real trouble. So from now on it is earlier to bed and a better hydration regime.

I wanted to have a big week, and I managed to get some good riding in. I felt really awesome on my long weekend rides. I hope that the feeling continues. I should have a good week next week as I am on a training camp with the MTN pro team. I am really looking forward to it even though it will all be road riding.
Week 2: 20-01-2008
Well what a dismal week, it was always going to be a tall order. My big weekend ride ended up shorter and a lot wetter than I had hoped for. It was good rain riding training, going out in the rain and then plugging away in the mud and mist, it was shocking, gave me flashbacks to Epic 2006. But these things can happen on race day and then you just have to suck it up, so I did. I am going to speed up things a bit now, we really need to get on with it, time is running out!

I pulled up really short this week. Bad weather, work, and finally mechanical problems all conspired to give me a terrible week of riding. I will consider this a rest week and try to make up some hours next week. I really donít like to start the program like this, but sometimes there is nothing you can do about it. You just have to look forward and keep going.

Week 1: 13-01-2008
I got off to a good start for the second program. I felt good from the start and really enjoyed the weeks riding. I feel like I have a good base to work from and plan to make my training a bit more interesting in the next few weeks by doing the following, a longer ride in the week probably 3h, a hill training interval session once a week, practice going hard and fast for the first 30 min of my long rides and some monster climbing rides on the weekends. Cape Epic urgency is starting to take hold and the pressure is on with an unexpected business trip this week. So some creative training planning is needed.

It was an interesting week of riding for me. The yellow bits you see where 2 Criterium races I did in the week on my road bike. Very interesting and good for some interval type work. Not exactly the right time in the program for that, but I felt good. Generally I felt good this week. I seem to have heavy legs at the start of my rides, but then at the end I feel awesome. This was a problem for me in the Epic last year with the fast starts. So it is some thing I will need to work on.


Mountain Bike Tours in South Africa - LIVE2RIDE