Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Training camp and the New Year

Sweltering away in Brisbane humidity the drier, near perfect climate of the Christmas training camp seems a lifetime ago. Why a training camp? Well everyone else seemed to be doing one and I had camp-envy! I’d been considering one for a while as a chance to get out of the CBD for some long uninterrupted riding and prevent staleness caused by the rut of riding the same roads and trails day in, day out. Being away from home you’re also less tempted to indulge in work or spring cleaning so it gives your body a chance to recover and properly absorb the training.

Mount Beauty fit the bill perfectly with its access to the climbs of Falls Creek, Mounts Hotham and Buffalo as well as some very handy singletrack. MTB identities Paul and Neil Van Der Ploeg and Tori Thomas also hail from here meaning it punches above its weight as a breeding ground for cycling talent. Meeting Matt and Laura at a race in Langkawi they generously accommodated me and allowed me to abuse their coffee machine for five days of epic riding. The highlight being the New Years Eve riding where I demanded I be bleeding from my eyes and groveling home. It took 173km return to Dinner Plains and 3200+ of climbing but it was ‘mission accomplished’. Turning out to be quite the adventure it began with one of the group breaking a collar bone descending Tawonga Gap and ended with me running out of water and having to refill at a mountain stream (better than tap water I tell you!). I have no idea how I made it to midnight but the impromptu Limbo comp at the Van Der Ploegs has confirmed that I have zero lumbar flexibility these days.

After a recovery week I am back training and working into the higher intensity intervals to develop speed for the block of racing in February and March which consists of National Champs, Oceania Champs and a World Cup. It’s nice to see the numbers on the Garmin looking better each week as the red-zone becomes more familiar. It sounds sick but I actually love ergo sessions – or at least love what they can do for my form. The key will be not to over-do it and to make sure I turn up to the start line fresh.

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