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A day in the life of... Fabienne Heinzmann, marathon mountain biker

17. January 2011

... just a normal training day - preparing for the Grand Raid Christalp Verbier-Grimentz in August 2010!

There are still 10 days to go before the starting pistol is fired for the longest Grand Raid Cristalp ever run from Verbier to Grimentz. It's the event's 21st anniversary and the distance has been extended to 138 km and 5800 hm - so that will definitely make it a long day...

07.00 hrs: The alarm goes off; time to get up ... I look out of the window and the sun shines in my face. Great. The perfect day for a long, hard training session. Down to the kitchen to get some breakfast: coffee, fresh bread with jam and lots more. I enjoy a superb breakfast with my darling Alex - it's the best way to start the day. Then it's time to get into the biking gear, get my drink bottle ready and pack a few energy bars to eat on the way round. I pack my BMC bike and my biking shoes, helmet and a few dry clothes into the car. Today, I'm having a look at one section of the race course for the Verbier-Grimentz bike marathon. I drive as far as Vex in the car, and from there my training session sets off toward Veysonnaz station. The first climb up to the race course is longer than I thought. After around 10 km, I join the race course. The section from Veysonnaz to Hérémence has a number of technical passages, which I have a really good look at. I soon notice that it rides well and it turns out to be a course that's a lot of fun. It is very important for me to come away from my last training session on the race course feeling good. Harnessing all of my motivation, I tackle the climb up to the Mandelon. If the legs on race day are in such great shape, it will be brilliant ... these are the thoughts I have as I go along.

Just before the Mandelon, I come across a fellow biker who also wants to take a look at the race course, so we ride on together. It's a whole lot more fun not to be pedaling on your own. The time flies by and soon we arrive in Evolene. We stop by a fountain, fill our drink bottles with fresh water and eat our energy bars. By now I've been out for 4 hours. There's still another climb before we reach Eison - not exactly my favorite climb. I am happy when we are at the top and can turn off onto the fantastic singletrack and enjoy the descent to the full - complete with lots of cheers! That's just the sort of person I am - when I'm having fun, I have to let it out ... At Eison, our ways parted and so I ride back to Vex, where I parked the car that morning. After 5½ hours of training, I'm glad to get off the bike. Feeling good and packing lots of confidence, I review my training day. I try to hold on to these feelings in my legs as well as I can so they can help me in the sections of the race that are really tough. I get changed and savor my Regi Shake which helps me to recover more rapidly.

Satisfied, I drive back home and wait for my darling Alex to get back - he's been taking a look at the first section of the course. We've both had a great day, tell each other about it and take the positive vibes from it.
Then we look forward to some fine dining in the evening and then the chance to put our feet up for a little while. It had definitely been a brilliant day with a good training session, lots of sun and a fine meal to finish off. What more could you want...