Mid-way round-up of my Marathon year

Pro mountainbiker and European Singlespeed champion Matthew Page is the latest to join our squad of sponsored athletes who train and compete with Garmin GPS to measure their progress and performance. Follow Matthew's blog as he charts his build-up to the 2010 UK and World Solo 24hr championships and reports back on his biggest competitive year to date.

Matt Page profile
By Matthew Page

2009 was a fantastic year for me. Winning my major race at Mountain Mayhem was a real highlight but I am never satisfied. No sooner had last season ended than I was looking for bigger challenges – and there is nothing bigger than the World Championships!

In 2010, my biggest race will be the World Solo 24hr Championships in Canberra, Australia, in October. The other key event will be the inaugural UK Solo 24hr Championships just around the corner on 22-23 May.

As each year of my racing progresses I am always looking to get the most out of my training and looking for new and better ways to train. Over the winter I made big changes to my training, including a switch to using a power meter with the Garmin Edge 705 as the head unit. The combination of a power meter with the massive amount of data my Garmin can gather has made a big difference to my training and after a long winter I have emerged as a faster and stronger rider.

Matt Page 

Over the winter I did a few of the Welsh Cyclocross events, a totally new type of racing for me. I guess I picked it up pretty quickly as I won Round 10, only my third ever cyclocross race. Going into the early MTB season I was starting to see fitness gains and the results began to follow. A major part of my training plan was to try and improve my speed through racing shorter distances, including traditional XC racing. In Round 1 of the 2010 British National XC Series, I finished 3rd in Expert category after starting from the back of the 60-rider grid, far better than I was expecting. I followed this up with another 3rd place in Round 2 of the series.

While I really enjoy the buzz of the shorter events, I will always favour endurance events. I seem to be naturally better in longer distances – the longer the better in fact! My only endurance race so far this year has been the Wiggle Enduro 6hr, which was one of my major targets for 2010. I had a poor start to the race, but managed to find a nice rhythm and moved up from 4th position early on to take the lead at the 4-hour mark. I kept my lap times very consistent whereas the other riders started to fade and I went on to win by 20 minutes. The speed and endurance I showed has given me a huge deal of confidence ahead the UK Solo 24hr Championships. The competition is looking extremely tough, with everyone big in the sport entering, but everything possible is in place to help me take the title. I have the best bikes, kit and a superb pit crew to help me through, whatever the race throws my way.

Pro mountain biker and European Singlespeed champion Matthew Page trains with a Garmin Edge 705 GPS bike computer. Having racked up endurance and marathon racing titles including Mountain Mayhem 2009, Duck ‘til Dawn 2008 and Bontager 2008, major events on the radar for 2010 include the UK and the World Solo 24hr Championships.