Thursday , 22 August 2019

THE MUNGA DIARY: DOES FEAR MOTIVATE YOU TOO?

 

Different things motivate different people. When it comes to racing bicycles, my biggest motivator is fear. Fear of excessive suffering and pain; fear of race-induced injury; fear of not finishing; in the case of team events, fear of letting down my teammate/s. – By Sean Badenhorst

It’s this combination of fears that has got me into fully committed mode to train for The Munga, which most will know by now, is a single-stage 1000km-plus mountain bike race from Bloemfontein to Stellenbosch.

"Long rides, most of them solo, are on my schedule for The Munga". Photo: Dino Lloyd

“Long rides, most of them solo, are on my schedule for The Munga”.
Photo: Dino Lloyd

 

The pay-off line for The Munga is ‘The Toughest Race On Earth’. Sounds scary, but is actually seriously scary when you know you’ve committed to actually doing it.

Some will argue about whether or not it is indeed the toughest race on earth. I do believe it’s going to be the toughest physical challenge I’ve ever undertaken.

I’m fortunate that my Team TREAD teammate for The Munga is Mike Woolnough. Mike is

Pictured from left, Tread editor, Sean Badenhorst and team mate, experienced ultra-endurance rider Mike Woolnough. Photo: Dino Lloyd

Pictured from left, Tread editor, Sean Badenhorst and team mate, experienced ultra-endurance rider Mike Woolnough.
Photo: Dino Lloyd

about 10 years older than me and not as fast as me (over short distances). But he’s a multiple finisher of the Freedom Challenge and Race to Rhodes, so he has ultra-endurance experience. And he’s much smarter than me…

So I believe I have chosen wisely in terms of my teammate. I’m currently trying to work out which bike will be best. A dual-suss? A hardtail? Carbon? Aluminium? Steel? I’ll see which makes me least scared closer to the race…

Tyres (compound, width, tread pattern)? Gearing (single or double chainring)? Saddle (wide and hard or soft and narrower)? Grips (ergo shape, bar-ends, soft compound)? Clothing (thick or thin pads in the bib shorts)? It’s not like anyone has done this race yet and can give authoritative advice. We’ll be riding through the heat of summer, through the Karoo. That’s scary. But I’m more a hot weather rider than cold weather rider so I figure that’s a positive…

When I did my only Cape Epic (the second one, in 2005), I got serious tendonitis pain. Lack of conditioning – my own fault! I don’t want to have this same pain or any other unexpected pain during The Munga. I’m training as much as I can to be as conditioned as I possibly can to the rigours of this race.

How do you train for a 1000-km non-stop race? I haven’t got a clue. Not many have got a clue, actually. For me, normally, a long mountain bike ride is at least 80km/4 hours. I’ve had to change my perception of distance during training and aim for some 200km training rides that will take more than 10 hours! As I write this, my teammate has already done two of those! My longest so far has been just 84km! That’s scary. There’s still time though…

Motivational quotes – sometimes just what we need

Motivational quotes – sometimes just what we need

Everything about The Munga has changed my thinking, my actions and my perceptions. That’s what’s attracted me to this race. It’s challenging its competitors on a whole new level. And it’s all happening right here, in South Africa. Lekker man. Lekker! Bring on the fear. Bring on The Munga.

 

TREAD Magazine is sold throughout South Africa and can be found in: Spar, CNA, Exclusive Books, Discerning bike shops and on Zinio

 

*Originally published in TREAD Soul Provider Issue 31, 2014 – All rights reserved

TREAD ISSUE 31 COVER

 

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