Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Crocodile Trophy Prep: Progress Report

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The first three weeks of the official preparation for Crocodile Trophy have ticked the three big boxes:
1. The routine has been established
2. Motivation has been restored
3. The body is starting to respond

Establishing a routine
People often say about diets that you shouldn’t think of it as a diet, but rather a way of life. After more than six months of riding for fun and racing infrequently, the routine I require to prepare for the Croc is substantially different (and a lot less fun). The major elements of the routine that I needed to establish were:
• Early mornings and late nights – getting the training done, including the 3-4 core sessions a week – with my current work and family schedule means finding hours to train that are `unsociable’. Take 5.15am wake up calls on weekends, and potentially earlier during the week. They aren’t exactly pleasant, or sustainable morning after morning, but they are definitely a part of the routine. It’s similar at the other end of the day, where it’s not unusual to complete an ergo session at 10pm.
• Scheduled recovery. It sounds counter-intuitive but a demanding routine needs to schedule in time to rest, and to sleep.
• Scheduling food intake around both of the above. I have learned the hard way that a large meal before a core workout is potentially disastrous. Likewise an intense ergo session after a particularly spicy curry is potentially debilitating.
In short, the routine has to be predictable but sustainable.

Generating (and sustaining) motivation
I am generally a motivated person, but I also know that I am motivated by goals and success. One of the issues when you start a training program is that success and results are a memory rather than a likely short-term occurrence. I have developed over years the ability to turn poor results into motivation. One of my regular tactics is to go and do a hard race at the start of the preparation, which I did with the Forrest 6 hour a few weeks ago. It had the right effect – pushing me into action. The challenge now is to stay motivated while you are under pressure in all other parts of your life. I find great and reliable training partners are perfect for this, and Jesse fits the bill on both fronts. I also rely heavily on (training coach) Jess Douglas to keep me motivated and accountable. She does this naturally, and always looking for positives even in mediocre weeks and average races.
In short, motivation can’t always come from within.

Getting the body to respond
There isn’t a lot you can do here except wait. The first two weeks aren’t going to see your threshold rise by 20% but I take positives from small indicators. For example, when climbing a hill I can notice that I can keep my upper body more still under load which is a sure sign that the core strength is starting to kick in. Those incremental signals also help with motivation, and tell you that you are closing in on where you used to be.
In short, look for the little responses.

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