Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

Crocodile Trophy Build Up #3


Less than two months to the start of the Croc Trophy and the form is starting to build. And a little anxiety…

It has occurred to me over the past few weeks how implicitly you have to trust your coach. I have had a heavy focus on ergo (indoor trainer) sessions which tend to have the effect of flattening you before they make you stronger. In particular, the mega sessions of two hours duration take a lot out of you and it’s easy to start panicking when you go for a ride and feel like you have got nothing in the legs. As an example, I did a road race just over a week ago and felt like I had OK power but zero zip in the legs. Given the heavy ergo workload it’s not surprising, but it’s difficult not to second guess yourself.

The value of a great coach is that they anticipate all of this and prescribe some workouts that you simply wouldn’t prescribe for yourself. I tend to try to err on the side of under-training and if I am feeling run down I avoid the tough sessions. But as I know academically, to achieve best results you have to over-reach a bit in your training but not so much that you get sick. Jess Douglas – my coach – proved that she knows her stuff in the lead up to the 24 Solo World Championships and confident it will be the same this time around.

The week just gone was my most consistent and highest quality string of sessions for a long time. Particularly pleased that I was able to get through my 41st birthday and a bout of giardia with minimal interruption to training. I only did 14 hours but all of it was quality. Highlights included:

  1. Two hour ergo session – 10 x 2 mins (first min at 360Watts and second min at 380W), 8x 2 mins (340Watts), 5×4mins at 60rpm (300W) and a 10 minute escalating effort up to 400Watts for last minute
  2. Hill repeats at the You Yangs – for those that know You Yangs it involved up and down Cressy x 2, up and down Lactic Acid x 2, up Lactic and down Trav’s x 2, up Vomit Hill and down Boulder x 2. This was followed by a one hour time trial through Kurrajong to round out the three hours

Sunday I did a bunch ride up Kinglake and clocked my highest speed on the mountain bike – 82.8kph – and climbed well. I had the feeling at the end of this workout that I had turned the corner from rebuilding to improving.

The coming weekend will be a real test, with the St Kilda road race Club Championships on Saturday and the Castlemaine 6-Hour Enduro on Sunday. I have managed to get some good advice from Dean at Torq Nutrition and will be trialling my full race nutrition strategy over the weekend. The objective will be to drink a bottle an hour on both days, a gel every 45 minutes and trialling the new recovery drink in between the two races. Assuming all goes well, I will get Torq products for the Croc Trophy (that’s going to be a lot of gels). I have no real result ambitions for the weekend but want to ride consistently.

In other news I also managed to get to the Giant launch and eyed off the new carbon 29’er hardtail that I will be racing for the Croc. It’s still a few weeks away, but looks great. Accommodation and flights are also booked for Cairns so it’s feeling like a reality.


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