Sunday, September 19th, 2021

The Countdown to Croc Trophy Begins


In the new Giant Cycling World Kit - might need something a little cooler for Cairns in October...

Five months sounds like a long time, but for a race as long and hard as I expect Croc Trophy to be it’s just around the corner. The 19-week training program designed by coach Jess Douglas is radically different to my program for the World 24 Hour Championships, on three main fronts:

1. A greater focus on ergo training and intensity (typical session is an hour)

2. A reduced emphasis on long road miles (not much more than 300kms per week even in a reasonable week)

3. A significant emphasis on core strength (three or four specific sessions a week)

The changes in focus are as much a reflection of the demands of my life as the the demands of the race. With Wynne growing up, almost weekly work trips to Sydney and a generally higher workload I have had to adopt the `lean’ training program. This unfortunately means almost eliminating social rides without purpose, which are enjoyable but not the most efficient use of time. A typical training week for me will involve between 10 and 15 hours a week, compared to the almost 20 hours I was putting in on big weeks leading up to the worlds.

The training has been officially going for just two weeks and the body is still struggling to come to grips with the emphasis on ergo. I have always been someone who pulls out a bit extra out on the road but have had a history of being positively soft on the ergo. I am gradually training myself to go deeper on the trainer, and I’m finding it pretty taxing. As an example, I did a reasonably hard session on Friday morning which made my 5.5 hour jaunt with Jesse Carlsson positively uncomfortable. Jesse had me in the box within half an hour and I never got out of it… Still, great to get a 130km MTB ride (2200m vertical) in the bank.

The program is basically a slow build to the Croc Trophy in mid October, with two preparation races in there as form finders and motivation. The first will be an epic – the Mawson Marathon – covering 360km in a single day. Jesse and I are riding as a team (it will hurt) and expect a time in the 15 hour range. It’s not quite a 24 but it’s not cross country sprint either. The second race is two weeks later and it’s on bitumen: the Midlands Tour. This race is perfectly suited to me – hilly but not mountainous and generally windy. I’m not necessarily fussed about the result of this race but will be a form indicator two months out from the Croc. I have two weeks in Bali coming up – the bike is coming with me – so trying to get some good base kms in over the next few weeks to ensure that I am reasonably well prepared for the Mawson. My sister Sheridyn is getting married on Saturday, but after that the social functions will diminish and the weight control campaign also begins in earnest. I am sitting at 77 kilos and aim to make it back to 71 by late October, which should be do-able with a bit of discipline (OK, a lot of discipline)…


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