Since the end of the summer guiding season I’ve been getting out putting in some early “base miles” for the upcoming ski season.

Training and work wise I tried to take it easy in September, especially after the CCC. No massive days or runs, just out for the fun of it. Since the third week of September I’ve been back on the training, gradually increasing the weekly volume. This year has been a little different, in that I’ve now got a couple of new bikes to train on (before it gets too cold in the valley).

I’ve got a road, drop handle bar bike that I’ve been out on a few times now. It’s great to cover some proper mileage, mainly up and down the Chamonix valley or nearby. I’ve been out with local friend Tom as well, who looks much more pro than me on the bike, I’m still in my running gear basically.

I’ve got a sturdy mountain bike as well, which has a kiddie seat on the back, and even a basket on the front. Brilliant for mellow trips up to Chamonix with the family, coffees, gym, swimming pool etc.

Talking about the gym, I’ve bought a four month membership to the Chamonix gym this autumn. It’ll be good to make the legs strong and hopefully keep some injuries at bay through being a bit stronger, we’ll see.

At the weekend I had my first taste of the Chamonix Ski Alpinisme club, on their annual pre-season training “race” from the village to the mid station on the aiguille du midi. This is a bit like a vertical kilometer race, although it’s a longer course of about 6km and more vertical ascent as well – 1345m.

I had decided to definitely run my own race, as I didn’t want to reduce my training volume that week, and was treating it as a good training session “tempo run”. I had had a fairly busy week up to that point, but had a fairly mellow day on friday before the race with an hours family cycle and a quick half hour at the gym doing some core and upper body stuff.

After a mooch around the Chamonix market in the morning (including a coffee from the mini market stall, probably my favorite coffee spot in Chamonix at the moment…) I made my way over to the bottom of the midi for a mini warm up. Thankfully someone had volunteered to take rucksacks up the lift, saving us having to carry them which was a massive bonus.

There were only fifteen runners in the end, and very quickly everyone settled into an order that we kept to the finish. I kept my heartrate super steady at what for me felt like a good hard pace, but not overly brutal. I topped out at the midi in an hour and four minutes in sixth place, happy with that. The winning time was fifty seven minutes, which was super impressive. Now I have some training motivation!

Thankfully, at the finish there was cake

Thankfully, at the finish there was cake

The forest leading to the mid station on the midi, with the Chamonix aiguilles in the background

The forest leading to the mid station on the midi, with the Chamonix aiguilles in the background

Finishing off the last few meters, with Carron shouting encouragement!

Finishing off the last few meters, with Carron shouting encouragement!

Up early this morning on the bike. Time for some base miles. #skimo #training #Chamonix

A photo posted by Ben Bradford (@benmbradford) on