Conserving ‘le jus’



At a weigh-in last Wednesday my weight was 10st 10, a new – and probably ultimate – low. On Saturday I was 10st 12, on the same scales as I used just before Christmas, when I was a hefty 11st 12 (who ate all the mince pies, etc.). I haven’t weighed this little since I was a malnourished student surviving on espressos and rollies.

It feels great, by the way. You feel light, fit, and lean – it gives you confidence, because you know there’s no excess flab getting in the way, holding you back. And being so light makes climbing relatively easy. 

Right now, with under 2 weeks to go to La Marmotte, I’m working on building to the right level for the big one. Speaking to Joe, his advice was to rest well after the Reigate sportive, when I felt really great, then start to build back up for Dartmoor and La Marmotte. Last week / weekend I put in a couple of 5hr rides, then over this weekend I focussed on a couple of shorter, punchy rides. I’ll do a final Regent’s Park / Swain’s Lane session this Wednesday, with some maximal efforts, then Dartmoor. 

Apparently, retaining form is all about conserving what French cyclists call the ‘jus’. You only have so much of this precious elixir; you know when you’ve got it, and when you haven’t; the hard thing is holding on to it, and nurturing it, lest it run out completely (to be restored only by an extended period of rest). I think if I can take even my Ventoux form to La Marmotte I’ll be OK – hopefully with new improved core strength – but if I’m at Reigate levels again, look out Jefferies…

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