Matt Green
Matt Green.

One of the most important things to do when you’re flying long-haul is to treat it like a race.

Rest in the days coming up to the flight, hydrate well, leave early to avoid stress.

That way, when you’re on the flight the likelihood of getting sick is incredibly reduced and it’s a stress-free experience.

If you add any of those factors into the time zone changes and the tiredness that creates then getting sick becomes a lot more likely.

Getting sick means a serious break in training and a huge dip in fitness and form, so leading up to my flight to Florida over Christmas I had two very easy days – which I was grateful for over Christmas.

Florida would be a great place for time-trialling.

Its pan flat. The only elevation you find are bridges. It’s flatter than both Holland and Belgium which is saying something. It’s rarely windy which means as soon as you’re out riding holding 20mph (32kph) is child’s-play.

That makes riding really quite fun. Endurance rides are around 35kph and you really get the miles clocked up. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a race you’re going so fast.

As I rehab myself from the crash I had, where I was hit by a car and broke my entire left side, it’s important to remember to forget the rider I used to be. All power numbers, records, and the feelings I had during training are now useless.

I’m, for all intents and purposes, starting again as a beginner.

Training rides are rarely over two hours and weekly hours barely crack 10 double figures. I’m finding I have a lot of time on my hands compared to winters of the past!

Florida is a great place to be for that as there is endless opportunity for fun and just being with my girlfriend and her family is a huge respite from the world of cycling and what training I’ve done that day.

Sanibel Island
Sanibel’s flat, straight and quiet roads are perfect for getting back into the training rhythm. Photo©Matt Green

After this trip I head back to my apartment in Mojacar, Spain for five weeks.

It’s a tiny town on the South-East coast the country, a hidden gem; the roads are perfect, climbs are long and gentle, and the weather is 20 degrees every day.

Add to that the fact the days of rain a year are usually less than 10 and you have the perfect training environment.

Because of the accident I had six months off from training, which is also known as six months of putting on weight, and I currently find myself 10kgs over my race weight, so the next five weeks have a colossal emphasis on weight loss.

‘Til next time, Matt.