Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Ian Field: This is a Hard Game


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Ian Field
Ladies and gentlemen, we present our newest blogger on VeloVeritas: Ian Field.

Hey everyone, Ian Field here – it’s great to be here on VeloVeritas! Well, after a really good opening race to the season recently it was always going to be difficult to back it up seven days later – and so it proved.

I had recovered well from the first race of the year and my body was already feeling ok by the end of Monday, a good two hour spin along the canal had me ready to train on Tuesday morning.

Up at half seven for an hour of running, sprinting and core work exercises then three hours steady on the bike led to me being very satisfied if not a bit tired Tuesday evening.

Wednesday morning was a couple of hours steady and in the afternoon was ‘cross training (my favourite time of the training week by far!).

However an innocuous: tap of the knee on my bars during the session led to much stress in the following days.

Anybody who knows me will know I have been through a fair bit over the past few years with knee injuries and I always get paranoid about little knocks and niggle.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday was spent worrying about my knee.

I hoped it was just badly bruised but something kept saying it was worse. Every so often I would feel and twinge in the muscle and I would back off even when warming up on Sunday before my race I was worried that my knee wouldn’t be ok during the race.

Stress and distractions don’t usually lead to great results on the race track. I tried to put it behind me but obviously wasn’t thinking straight when I lined up on the grid; I chose totally the wrong side of the grid which led to one of the worlds worst starts I have ever had.

The start straight was narrow and narrowed after 20 metres and narrowed further still when entering the woods. Although the UCI rules state the course should be three metres wide and the course was indeed that wide the track was in fact single-track.

Ian Field
Come off the racing line and power outputs had to increase so much that overtaking was some what difficult for 90% of the course. Photo©Luc van der Meiren

I hate whinging riders who moan about everything so I will move swiftly on to the positives I took from the race!

Going through the first pit I was in about 41st position I finished 27th, for the last six laps I was lapping as fast as Martin Zlamalik who finished 18th and was catching everyone in between me and him over the last couple of laps once I had a clear track ahead of me.

My legs felt strong and for my first race of the season with a real sand element to it my technical skills were up to scratch however I do feel as though I still have a lot more to give in this area.

Finally and most importantly my knee was fine and still felt ok after the adrenaline had worn off in the evening after the race.

Ian Field
Racing at Neerpelt. Photo©Luc van der Meiren

Motivation right now is higher than ever and I am looking forward to the training I am going to do as much as any of the races I have coming up.

Next up is the first round of the GVA series at Namur, I finished 17th last year and really hope I can pull everything together for another top 20 and maybe some TV time!

Keep pedalin’, Ian.