My year 2020 in sport

31 décembre 2020
8 min
My year 2020 in sport

2020 is over. Even if numbers are good, they don't reflect my year with up and downs where I get throw all emotions.

Data

YearDistance
(kilometers)
Ascending
(meters)
Time(hours)Active
(days)
Rest
(days, /week)
20206.900101.600411252113 (2,2)
20197.00065.70045428382 (1,6)
Δ-100+35.900-43-31+31

In 2020, I was active 252 days which left me 113 days off for an average of 2.2 days off per week.

I have spent 411 hours doing sports this year. By being active 30 days less than in 2019, I still managed to travel the same mileage. The increase in the number of long rides helped a lot.

I passed the symbolic 100,000 meter elevation mark for the first time, which is the equivalent of climbing Everest more than 11 times!

Running

YearDistance
(kilometers)
Ascending(meters)Time(hours)Count
2020138525.850124105
2019150010.950140113
Δ- 115+ 14.900- 16-8

I have run 1400 kilometers this year.

Mid-May, starting at a pace of 160 kilometers per month, I was 250 kilometers ahead of 2019. Unfortunately, I could not continue at this pace but I can consider running 2000 kilometers in one year if I finish a year without injuries

I finished just 100 kilometers from my record year with all these physical problems. It's pretty encouraging for the future.

I climbed 25,000 meters of elevation gain, whereas I had never exceeded 11,000 meters in a year. While I tend to focus on mileage only, I improved my best mark without realizing it. This is 2.3 times more than in 2019 when I had already increased by 2.7 compared to 2018.

This progression increased the load on my achilles tendons as well as my calves. This inevitably had a significant impact on their fatigue and the appearance of injuries.

Cycling

YearDistance(kilometers)Ascending(meters)Time(hours)Count
20205.35075.250255151
20195.25044.150252322
Δ+ 100+ 31.100+ 3- 171

I spent more than 250 hours sitting in a saddle to cover 5300 kilometers, including 600 virtual ones. These numbers are identical to what I achieved in 2019, yet the years are not the same.

I climbed 75,000 meters of elevation gain. As in running, I have considerably increased the climbs by 170% compared to 2019 for 30,000 more meters.

I don’t live in town anymore so I reduced the number of commute rides.

Swimming

YearDistance(kilometers)Time(hours)Count
2020371526
201922917
Δ+15+6+9

Until June 23 I didn’t swim at all. But it was especially when injuries kept me from running or cycling in the middle of summer that I swam to stay active.

We have to admit that having a 15-meter pool on site has helped a lot. I lengthened the typical distance of my usual runs from 1,000 to 1,500 meters. I like round numbers when swimming in a pool and it is still difficult to do 1000 meters in a 15-meter pool. You would have to do 66.66 lengths!

Story

From january to april, I run 100 km per year like in 2019 on the same period.

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Unlike previous years where I took my bike only to go to work during the four first months of the year, I start the year strong with Zwift which let me ride when it's dark and cold outside.

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I like to challenge myself. I successfully climb Alpe du Zwift, the exact replica ascent of Alpe d'Huez, in less than one hour.

I take a lot of fun and I subscribe to few races like Tour de Zwift.

In only two months on Zwift I stay 24h on my bike, ride 600 kilometers and climb 11.500 meters of ascending elevation.

In march, I sold with a lot of regrets my home trainer because I move in Canada at the end of the month.

A bit nostalgic, I try to get some records on the routes I lived to run I Toulouse.

Finally pandemic spread faster than planned. Planes don't fly anymore and countries close their borders. I can't move to Canada but I leave the city for the country side fresh air. I go for some walks with Oïka in the woods.

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I put a bag on my bike and I'm able to procure fruits and vegetables from local producers. The life I always dreamed of.

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In April, I feel very better than ever and recover faster. I run longer distances and almost daily. I never exceeded 200 kilometers but I run 300 kilometers with 6000 vertical drop meters.

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I switch from mountain bikes and runs and I take only 3 days off in the month.

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This month was exhausting for my shoes. It was my grand father's shoes. I'm sad I can't run with them anymore.

Les chaussures rendent l'âme après 300 kilomètres en un mois
Nike Zoom Vomero+ 7 HS

In may, I go to Aude where I exchange smooth forest paths with rocks end elevation. Daisy is happy.

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After a week, I start to feel pain from my Achilles tendon. It’s the beginning of troubles. I take a few rest days but it’s not enough.

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One week later, I receive the Vibram Five Fingers I ordered before the injury when I thought my stride was ready after years of adaptation. I can’t resist to try them.

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The experience was not the one I expected. After the excitement and the light strides of the first few kilometers, the sensations became worse. My achilles tendons have suffered and now both achilles tendons are inflamed.

I try a mountain bike trip with Daisy who hates bikes. After 10 minutes of struggling to move forward when she tries to eat the bike wheel, she finally understands that we can go for a walk with a bike too!

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I can't resist celebrating World Running Day and am running a half marathon a week later but it was not a good idea. The pain has intensified, I try a month's rest from running while continuing to cycle.

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STRAVA EMBED Journée mondiale de la course à pieds

In mid-June, I challenge myself and success to finish my first 100 km with 1000 m of D+ at an average of 30km/h.

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A week later, while we are going on vacation in Provence, I am looking for nice routes in the area. I discover that Mont Ventoux is nearby. I have to climb this legendary pass! I decided to leave from Bédoin to feel the most emblematic climbing experience.

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I swim for the first time this year in open water and I enjoy it. It’s decided I start swimming again when I get back!

After 5 consecutive mornings of cycling in Provence, where I see superb landscapes, I spend two days in Hérault. As I move away from Montpellier, I am surprised to discover amazing landscapes filled with greenery. Not far from the Cévennes National Park, the appointment is made for the next time.

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To reach Sète, I ride between ponds and sea on a Gravel road.

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When I come back to Dordogne after a month on new routes I am venturing into the Lot.

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I want to go further. I buy frame bags in order to experience real bikepacking.

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I'm not wasting time. A week later, I go on a 2 day adventure sleeping at a friend's house near Bordeaux. I only take the essentials with me because the space in the framebags is very limited: a swimsuit, a t-shirt, the necessary repair on the road and feed myself.

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Mid-July, I’m going to Auvergne. I take the Volcanoes route but the rain and fog prevent me from enjoying the view.

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2 days later, the sun shines in the sky. I am planning a great itinerary of 105 km and 1900 m D+ which begins in Auvergne to reach Cantal via Mont-Dore and the Tour d´Auvergne. I am amazed by the view.

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I arrive at the foot of a beautiful mountain. I am told that it is the famous Puy Mary, the highest peak in Cantal, finishing a stage in the Tour de France this year. I want to climb this pass!

I'm not wasting time. The next day, I set off on the slopes of Puy Mary from Cheylade.

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I enjoy myself. At the top, the Pas de Peyrol pass, I am filled with energy. I go down the other side towards Mandailles and climb again to the top by the same road.

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Cyclists grab onto my wheel and I pull them for several miles but they don't pass me. I look back after a while and see in amazement two semi-professionals outfitted from head to toe by their sponsors. We exchange a few words then they pass me. Too bad for the photos, I don't stop and try to stay in their wheels as long as possible. Unfortunately, I cracked one kilometer from the summit after 10 kilometers of ascent. It was a great experience!

I'm already thinking about a 200 kilometer route. I am looking for solutions to have less pain in the buttocks and reduce irritations. Interested in bikepacking I discovered the Infinity saddle, invented by an American Chiropractor, which seems to do wonders to the point of no longer needing a short with foam! I decide, after reading and viewing many reviews, to import this saddle.

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I make all the recommended settings and try it out on a group ride the next day. Very quickly, pain sets in in my knee but I'm not too worried. Although the pain seems to intensify, it does not prevent me from pedaling. Then I burst my tire after 55 kilometers and I have to stop to repair.

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My body is cooling down and my knee hurts a lot. I am the leader of the group and I do not want to disappoint. I'm trying hard to finish the route I had planned. The pain bothers me with each pedal stroke but I manage to finish by grinding.

Big mistake. In the afternoon, I limp a lot because my knee is blocked. The slightest movement makes me suffer. This is the drama. After the Achilles tendons that prevent me from running, my knee prevents me from cycling in the middle of summer! I take the saddle off and send it back to the other side of the Atlantic immediately. I don't want to hear about it anymore.

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I go for a ride after 10 days without cycling. I have to return after 10 kilometers. The pain is still here. Same thing after another 15 days of rest.

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I swim 37 kilometers in the summer to get through the frustration.

I experiment 4 times the distance of 3 kilometers, 200 laps in a 15 meter pool, by stopping once halfway to drink a few sips of water.

I'm going to the sea for a few days without my bike but I can't resist the idea of running in La Clape.

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At the end of August I successfully finish a 50 kilometers ride.

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At the beginning of September, when I had just become a Dad, a pain in my right calf began to appear in an easy climb.

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While I already don't run much anymore because of my Achilles tendons, I also have to reduce the volume on the bike. The 2019 curves are catching up with me and I can't keep up.

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However, I continue to go out because the pains do not seem to get worse.

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In November, I finally decide to go see the physiotherapist who makes me strengthen my muscles once a week. When I run I try to increase the pace between 170 and 180 steps per minute and run flatter to reduce the load on the calf.

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For the Christmas holidays I go back down to the Aude and take my last chance to improve my time on the "Signal de Alaric" climb. The summit is in the clouds but I managed to get the KOM.

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Conclusion

I would have liked to have finished 2020 without injuries to attack again hard in 2021 but I will have to contain myself a bit more.

At the end of December, I still have pain in both Achilles tendons and my right calf. The hardest part seems to be behind me, however. The pain bothers me but does not prevent me from practicing. I must, however, force myself to stay in my comfort zone.

However, the picture is not all black. While injuries also ruined the party, I'm proud to see how much I accomplished when I look back:

  • Running
    • 1400 km
    • 25.000 m D+
    • 300 km in one month
    • 6000 m D+ in one month
  • Cycling
    • 5300 km
    • 75.000 m D+
    • 7 GranFondo (+ 100 kilometers)
    • 1 ride of 100 km 1000 D+ at 30km/h
    • 1300 km in one month
    • 12.000 D+ in one month
    • "Mont Ventoux" climb
    • "Puy Mary" climb
    • Bikepacking
  • Swimming
    • 37 km
    • 4 times 3 km

Despite all the misfortunes that slowed me this year, I made further progress on many points and 2020 was a year of new records.

Hopefully the results for 2021 will be as positive.

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